Frequently Asked Questions

Below you can find the answers to frequently asked questions for student, faculty, staff, and loved ones. Think we are missing something? Please send us an email and let us know!

FAQ’s for Students

A submission of a safety net referral does not mean that you are in trouble.  A referral is      submitted when a person has concerns about a student and would like to help get them support. Our priority in SOS is your health, safety, and well-being.

Student Outreach and Support services are available for any student facing challenges that may be impacting their academic progress, social/personal functioning, or success in the Georgetown environment. Examples of these challenges include, but are not limited to:

  • Academic adjustment or performance
  • Attempted suicide or thoughts of suicide
  • Absences from class
  • Death of a friend or loved one
  • Family emergency
  • Financial insecurity/food insecurity/housing insecurity
  • Hospitalization
  • Mental health concerns
  • Missing or unresponsive student
  • Physical illness/injury/assault

Yes, students are encouraged to self-refer to Student Outreach and Support. Encouraging students to proactively seek assistance when needed can contribute to their overall well-being and academic success.

Yes, if you observe signs of distress or are concerned about a friend or classmate you can play a role in supporting them by submitting a referral to SOS. 

Yes, Student Outreach and Support can assist students with medical leave of absence requests. If a student is facing health-related challenges that require taking a leave from their studies, the Student Outreach and Support team can provide guidance on the process.

No, all requests for academic and housing accommodations are done through the Academic Resource Center.

FAQ’s for Faculty and Staff

A student should be referred to Student Outreach and Support if they are facing academic challenges, mental health issues, personal crises, or any other circumstances affecting their well-being or ability to succeed academically.

Talking with the student can provide more information to determine if they are in need of help. It is common for students to experience a temporary increase of stress due to academics, which can make it hard to tell if their behavior is due to academic stress or if there is something else to be concerned about. Excessive absences, a drop off in communication, or a drastic change in behavior are good indicators of when a student could benefit from the services of Student Outreach and Support.

Please fill out and submit a Safety Net referral form providing as much information about the student and their concerns as you have available.

Once the form is received, a staff member from Student Outreach & Support will review the information. After initial review, action steps may include following up with the referrer, contacting the student directly, or reviewing the incident or concern with other University officials as appropriate.

Student Outreach and Support is not a confidential resource, which allows us to share certain information when communicating about a student. However, we try to limit the sharing of information to what is absolutely necessary, in order to maintain student’s privacy.

FAQ’s for Loved Ones (Family Members, Friends, etc) 

Please contact Student Outreach and Support at to request to meet with a member of the SOS Team. Please limit the sharing of personal and medical information you share in order to protect your loved ones privacy.

Information about a student’s interactions with SOS are generally not shared without the explicit consent of the student. This approach is designed to create a safe and trusting space for students to seek help. However, there may be exceptions when parents or guardians are notified without the consent of the student.

FAQ’s For Everyone

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of personally identifiable information from students’ education records. While this law generally prohibits the release of such information without the consent of the student, there are exceptions to FERPA that university officials can use.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that aims to provide better access to health insurance, limit fraud and abuse, and reduce administrative costs. Features of HIPAA include: providing consumers with control over their health information, establishing boundaries on medical record use and release, and ensuring the security of personal health information.