Safety & Security

Student Health, Safety & Well-Being

SIT Graduate Institute places the highest priority on the health, safety, and security of all our students. We aim to help all students achieve their academic potential by providing a supportive, diverse, and community-focused learning environment.

SIT’s dean of student health, safety & well-being and the Office of Student Health, Safety & Well-being provide leadership and vision for student health services, crisis management, counseling, housing, safety and security, diversity, student conduct , and support for students with disabilities. The dean establishes and monitors best practices and institutional protocols for student health, safety and well-being in the US and abroad. Staff are on call 24/7 for crises and situations that need immediate attention.

Overview

2020 Clery Annual Report and 2020 Annual Fire Safety and Statistics Report for SIT Graduate Institute, Vermont Campus

The requirements of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act mandates that all institutions receiving federal funds (e.g., financial aid) report and publish certain crime statistics and policies. This SIT website has therefore been designed to make this information readily available to current and prospective students, faculty, and staff.

The responsibility of crime prevention and campus safety is shared jointly by all at SIT. In fact, community awareness and involvement are the most important factors in crime prevention. Successful prevention depends largely on each person following sound security practices, and on people recognizing and immediately reporting suspicious or criminal activity.

The SIT campus is located in a sparsely populated area on the northern edge of the town of Brattleboro, Vermont, a community of 12,500 residents. Historically, crime has been either exceedingly low or, for some crimes, nonexistent.

SIT’s eight residence halls on campus keep their common area access doors locked. These buildings are Bolton, Ellsworth, Gamble, Janeway, Dickinson, Black Mountain, Winner, and the residential areas of the International Center. All students are issued a key to their room, and are strongly encouraged to keep the door and windows locked when the room is unoccupied.

Non-residential buildings on campus also keep the common area access doors locked. These include the Rotch Learning Center, the Student Center, the Undergraduate Building, the Graduate Building, and the campus laundry. Faculty and staff are responsible for locking their offices when not in use.

Emergency Procedures

How to Report Emergencies and Criminal Activity
911 is the best way to dial emergency services. For non-emergencies, dial local support services directly:
• Fire 802-254-4543
• Police 802-254-2321
• Rescue 802-254-2010
• Vermont State Police 802-254-2382
• Women’s Freedom Center 802-254-6954
• Poison Control Center 802-658-3456
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255

Fire
In Case of Fire:
• Sound the fire alarm
• Leave the building
• Call 911
• Meet others from your residence hall outside the building

Medical
If you have a medical emergency, call 911.

Crime Notifications
A. Timely Warnings
Anytime a serious situation or emergency arises either on campus or in the immediate area of the campus that in the judgment of the Dean of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being and/or the Executive Director of Corporate Finance poses an ongoing or continuing threat to the campus community, a campus “Timely Warning” will be issued. This warning will be posted through the SIT/WL Alert System, voicemail or telephone notification, e-mail, on the website, on posted notices, public address announcements, and direct contact with individuals.

B. Confidential Reporting
Any member of the campus community may report violations of the law or other matters of concern to the Office of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being. All reports will be responded to in the appropriate manner. Anyone with knowledge of a crime or possible crime should contact the Dean of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being.

C. Annual Report
Federal law requires colleges and universities to publish reports containing campus security statistics. Amendments made to the Clery Act in 1992, 1998, 2000 and 2008 altered the law’s reporting requirements, expanding the list of reportable offenses and creating new reporting categories. All statistics in this Annual Security Report reflect the expanded scope of the 2008 amendments.
The Dean of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being is responsible for obtaining, reviewing, and reporting all required aspects of the annual report. Crime statistics from the required geographical areas to SIT/World Learning from local law enforcement jurisdictions are requested as required.

D. How and Where to Report Crimes
While SIT does not have a full-time security officer or staff, the Clery Act requires that the following persons designated as SIT’s Chief Campus Security Officials (CCSAs) notify the institution about crimes they have learned about from persons believed to be acting in good faith. These persons are: the Dean of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being and/or the Executive Director of Corporate Finance. They do not have authority to arrest individuals, but do have responsibility for the following:

  • Implementing, communicating, and reviewing policies and programs designed to enhance the safety awareness of students, staff, and faculty
  • Implementing and communicating procedures for crime reporting
  • Serving as first-responder to crime incidents 24/7
  • As appropriate, investigating and documenting crimes with the assistance of the Brattleboro police
  • Maintaining a case history of reported crimes
  • Preparing an annual report of crime statistics
  • Conducting a regular lighting and safety audit
  • Ensuring that all student and employee vehicles are registered with proper vehicle identification

Communicating campus emergency evacuation procedures
The Chief Campus Security Authorities also receive reports from other designated “Campus Security Authorities” (CSA). CSAs are staff members who have significant responsibilities for student and campus activities, including but not limited to student housing, discipline, and other student services. These persons include staff members in the Office of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being.

E. Professional Counselors
Professional counseling staff, when acting as such, are not considered to be Campus Security Authorities and are not required to report crimes to be included in the annual report of crime statistics. According to SIT policy, these persons are encouraged to inform persons being counseled of all the procedures in place to report crimes on a voluntary basis to be included in the annual report of crime statistics. SIT also encourages professional counseling staff to report all crimes of which they become aware. This can be done without identifying the individuals involved if those individuals want to remain anonymous, but it makes of members of the campus community aware of the crime.

The Clery Act defines counselors as follows:
Professional Counselor: an employee of an institution whose official responsibilities include providing psychological counseling to members of the institution’s community and who is functioning in the scope of his/her license or certification. At SIT, this means all counseling staff employed in the Office of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being.

Safety Tips
  • Be alert and walk purposefully. Stay alert to what is going on around you.
  • Travel, walk, or park in well-lit areas and with a companion whenever possible. Avoid lonely or gloomy places, especially at night. Whenever possible try to walk facing traffic. Ask anyone who gives you a ride to wait until you have safely entered your building.
  • Respect your intuition. Don’t allow rationality to override your “gut feeling” – it could protect you from danger. Call for help if you feel something is just not right (or 91 if you feel it’s an emergency). On campus, blue lights designate public local phones that are accessible 24/7. Locations include: International Center, Boyce House, Undergraduate Building, Student Center, and Black Mountain, Dickinson, Bolton, and Janeway residence halls.
  • Be wary of strangers on foot or in cars asking for directions – it’s better to be rude than to be in trouble.
  • If someone follows you, go to a place where there are other people.
  • When someone knocks on your door, before opening always ask: “Who is it?” Ask for identification as appropriate.
  • Be careful about giving out information concerning yourself and where you live.
  • Be cautious when using elevators. Stand near the buttons and get off immediately if you are suspicious of other occupants.
  • Take a self-defense course. Check with your local community health clubs and police department for availability.

Personal Safety in Residential Halls

  • Lock your door when you are in; lock your door when you are away. Please lock your door always!
  • Report any suspicious activity immediately, including anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Pull the shades to your room at night and lock your windows.
  • Watch out for each other! Report any sign of forced entry. Do not go in. Instead, go to a safe place and call 911. On campus, blue lights designate public local phones that are accessible 24/7. Locations include: International Center, Boyce House, Undergraduate Building, Student Center, Black Mountain Dorm, Dickinson Dorm, Bolton Dorm, and Janeway Dorm.
Code of Conduct

Philosophy
SIT’s mission includes the promotion of understanding among people from different parts of the world. In performance of our role as an educational institution, SIT endeavors to provide the support needed by students as they work to achieve satisfactory academic performance in their courses and within the program as a whole. As members of the SIT community, students share in the institution’s dedication to goals of mutual learning, mutual enjoyment of the other’s company, and mutual respect. However, these goals can only be realized if individuals honor the rights and privileges of all community members and take responsibility for their own actions. Every community has guidelines to direct the behavior of its members and to ensure the basic rights of individual members for the benefit of the community as a whole.

Student Code of Conduct
The SIT Code of Student Conduct, which is deeply influenced by our Core Values and Behavioral Integrity Standards, advocates responsible social conduct that models good citizenship. View here.