Brattleboro, VT | Washington, DC
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Safety and Security

 

 

 

Safety and Security
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 Vermont campus is located in a sparsely populated area on the northern edge of the town of Brattleboro, a community of 12,500 residents. Historically, crime has been either exceedingly low or, for some crimes, nonexistent. Approximately 45 percent of SIT graduate students live off campus, either in Brattleboro or other surrounding communities. SIT does not oversee or manage any off-campus housing not owned by the college.

SIT's eight residence halls on campus keep their common area access doors locked between the hours of 9:00/10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. 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 they are strongly encouraged to keep the door and windows locked when their room is unoccupied.

Five non-residential buildings on campus have significant student traffic and thus are accessible 24/7: the Rotch Learning Center, the Student Center, the Undergraduate Building, the Graduate Building, and the Campus Laundry. The Whitney Spiritual Center is also available at all times. Within the Rotch Center, the Donald B. Watt Library and the Professional Development Resource Center have formal hours. All other non-residential buildings are locked between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Faculty and staff are responsible for locking their offices when not in use.

In sum, guaranteeing safety and security at SIT requires the personal awareness and active prevention of all students, program participants, faculty, and staff.

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 254-4543
  • Police 254-2321
  • Rescue 254-2010
  • Vermont State Police 254-2382
  • Women’s Freedom Center 254-6954
  • Poison Control Center 1 (802) 658-3456
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1 (800) 273-8255
  • SIT Resident Advisor * 0 (from any SIT campus phone) **

* SIT Resident Advisors (RAs) are available Monday through Friday from 5:00PM to 8:30AM and 24 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday. Contact them for help in an urgent situation, or if you are unsure about what to do in 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
  • Black Mountain Residence Hall
  • Dickinson Residence Hall
  • Bolton Residence Hall
  • Janeway Residence Hall

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 that a serious situation or emergency arises either on campus or in the immediate area of the campus that in the judgment of either the Dean or Assistant Dean of Students in consultation with the Provost, 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, voice mail or telephone notification, e-mail, posted on the Institution website, 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 Campus Life or Student Affairs Offices.  All reports received will be responded to in the appropriate manner. Anyone with knowledge of a crime or possible crime should contact the Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Campus Life at 258.3361.

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 and Assistant Dean of Students are responsible to obtain, review and report all the needed 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. To whom Crimes should be Reported
While SIT does not have a full-time security officer or staff, the Clery Act requires that the following persons: Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Campus Life, the Dean of Students and the Director of Facilities Management 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. 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. Members of the Student Campus-Life Advisory Board, Student Affairs personnel, and Resident Assistants are called upon to assist as needed with policy / program design and execution
  • 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
  • With the assistance of the Provost's Office, preparing an annual report of crime statistics
  • Conducting a formal, monthly (3rd week of each month) lighting & safety audit
  • Ensuring that all student and employee vehicles are registered with proper vehicle identification
  • Communicating campus emergency evacuation procedures in September, February, and June of each year

    The Chief Campus Security Authorities also receive reports from other designated “Campus Security Authorities” (CSA).  CSA’s 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 are listed as follows:
    • Academic Deans
    • Student Affairs Deans
    • Residence Life Staff including Resident Assistants
    • Director of International Student Services
    • Human Resources Professional Staff

E. Professional Counselors
Professional Counseling staff, when acting as such, is not considered to be “Campus Security Authorities” and are not required to report crimes to be included in the annual report of crime statistics.   As part of the 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 which they become aware.  This can be done without identifying any of the individuals involved if they want to remain anonymous but it makes of the member of the campus community aware of the crime.

The Clery Act defines counselors as follows:

Professional Counselor: an employee of an institution who 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 student affairs counseling and disability support service area.

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Help Yourself be Safer by Following These 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 [either the RA on duty ("0" from any SIT campus phone) or 911 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 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, and then call a resident advisor immediately.
  • 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 at home ... 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 the RA on duty ("0" from any SIT campus phone), or 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.

Educational Programs

  • SIT periodically offers self-defense instruction. Participation is open to students, faculty, and staff.
  • An annual comprehensive training that addresses gender issues, cross-cultural relationships, sexual harassment and sexual assault is offered each fall at SIT. Participation is voluntary.

Students living on-campus receive information about SIT's campus security procedures and practices from their RAs during the first two weeks of the academic year. Similarly, off-campus students are required to attend a security briefing led by the Assistant Dean of Students/Director of Campus Life at the beginning of the academic year. Participants attending one of SIT's short-term programs who reside on-campus more than one week receive a modified version of the RA's campus security procedures and practices briefing. New faculty and staff receive this same information during an orientation briefing; security reminders are sent as needed, at least annually.

Philosophy
SIT's mission includes the promotion of understanding among people from different parts of the world. In performance of its 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 School'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 following is a partial list of actions that the School considers impermissible:

  • Violation of safety practices or negligence that might cause injury or death to any person on campus or at any event sponsored by SIT or World Learning.
  • Creating excessive noise, disturbing the peace, sexual or other harassment of any kind, violation of individual rights or privacy, or disruption of lawful activities of others.
    (Note that Sexual harassment complaints are handled in accordance with the School's Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures.)
  • Deliberately or carelessly damaging the property of others on SIT premises or at sponsored events on campus.
  • Deliberately or carelessly damaging or stealing SIT or World Learning property.
  • Tampering with or misusing fire alarms, fire-fighting equipment, or other emergency equipment or reporting mechanisms on campus.
  • Theft of property from any other person on campus.
  • Unauthorized entry or use of campus facilities; unauthorized possession, use, or duplication of keys to campus facilities.
  • Possession or use, including the threat of use, of a weapon or other hazardous materials on campus, such as, but not limited to, a firearm, knife, pellet gun, or firecracker.
  • Smoking in prohibited areas.
  • Violation of local, state, or federal laws, including, but not limited to, those that relate to the use of alcohol and drugs on campus.
  • Failure to comply with the reasonable directions of campus officials acting in the performance of their duties.
  • Violations of all approved SIT policies and regulations as published in the Student Handbook, Catalog, or other official SIT publications, including infringements of SIT's Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism Policy and World Learning's Appropriate Use Policy.
  • Any conduct which the School determines to be contrary to the interests of the SIT and World Learning community in preserving an environment of mutual learning, mutual enjoyment, and mutual respect.