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Staying Safe at Northern Vermont University

Welcome to Northern Vermont University!

The Northern Vermont University campus communities are beautiful and peaceful. In order to keep it that way, we all must help keep our community safe by looking out for each other and caring about the well-being of everyone around us. This page outlines some common-sense things each of us can do to make sure that our campuses remain safe and healthy environments in which to learn and grow.

Northern Vermont University Medical Amnesty/Good Samaritan Policy

It is in the best interest of the NVU community that student health and safety emergencies are immediately reported to a university official. To encourage reporting health and safety concerns related to alcohol or drug use, sexual misconduct, sexual assault, or sexual harassment, NVU offers immunity from disciplinary action for lesser policy violations that students reporting may have committed. The university will consider educational opportunities or counseling referrals in such cases.

Key Phone Numbers

Add these numbers to your contacts:

Public Safety: 802.635.1205
Residence Life Hall Advisor on Duty: 802.730.3439
Dean of Students/Residence Life Office: 802.635.1200

Public Safety: 802.626.6452
Student Life Staff Member on Call: 802.274.3152
Dean of Students/Residence Life Office: 802.626.6418

Report strangers — and strange behavior — to Public Safety or Residence Life staff. Trust your instincts: If someone or something doesn’t feel right, say something. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.

NVU is an open, welcoming community. One thing we absolutely do NOT welcome is any expression of hate or bias based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ability or any other characteristic. If you experience or witness any form of bullying or harassment immediately report it to a staff member in the Public Safety or Dean of Students/Residence Life Office.
Report community concerns or safety hazards — including car accidents, water leaks, slippery floors and theft — to Public Safety.

In Your Residence Hall and Room

  • Your room door automatically locks when closed. Preventing your door from fully closing puts yourself and your stuff at risk.
  • Never give your student ID to anyone.
  • Make sure you know who’s on the other side of the door before you open it. Look through the peephole in the door to check who’s there.
  • If a stranger asks you to let him/her in to visit a friend, offer to contact their friend instead or refer them to Public Safety to gain entrance into the building.

In Parking Lots

  • Park as close to your destination as possible.
  • Use the buddy system (have a friend or another person you trust with you), especially when it’s dark. Call Public Safety to request an escort to your car.
  • Keep valuables out of your car or at least out of sight. For added security, our Public Safety officer on duty patrols the parking lots on a regular basis.

Protect Your Stuff

  • Email yourself and a trusted family member or friend a list of all valuables you brought with you to NVU (and there shouldn’t be many!) with model and serial numbers.
  • Mark or engrave your items with your initials or something similar.
  • Keep any valuables in your room (computers, money, etc.) out of sight and secured.
  • Consider a lock or tracker for your laptop.
  • If you use a lockbox for smaller items, padlock the box itself and tuck it away.
  • Write your name in small print in the binding area on the same page in each textbook. That way you can always identify your book if it’s stolen and recovered.
  • Never leave your backpack, purse, book bag, etc. unattended.
  • Always lock your bike. Bike racks are located throughout campus.

Minimize Risks

  • If a stranger contacts you by phone, email or text, don’t engage, and NEVER provide personal information. If repeated contact is made or you feel stalked or harassed, record the dates and times, save copies of texts/emails, and contact Public Safety immediately.
  • Tell someone if you’ll be working in an isolated classroom or lab. Make sure a friend or your RA knows where you are and when you’re expected back.
  • Use main walkways and paths within the campus quad to get from one place to another.
  • Think you’re being followed? Head toward crowds, lights and occupied buildings.
  • Know the locations of emergency phones on campus.
  • Program emergency contact numbers into your cell phone.

Avoid Identity Theft

Don’t use your Social Security Number or student ID number as a password, and don’t give it to unauthorized people or leave it in the open. Someone could use it to access your personal information, college records and much more. Report Cyber Stalking If you receive threatening or insulting emails or texts save them and notify Public Safety. Someone stalking you online or in a chat room? Ditto. Don’t Share Files Illegally This is a risky practice that can have major ramifications. At a minimum, you’re likely to lose your network privileges at NVU; at a maximum, you’ll face stiff fines and legal consequences.

Social Media Safety

  • Never provide personal information, especially your up-to-the-minute location, on Facebook, or other social- media sites.
  • Posted information is public and permanent information. What are you putting out there for others to know about you?
  • Guard your reputation. What impressions do your posts or pictures give about you? Remember: Anything you post remains on the Internet forever, and employers regularly screen applicants by viewing their online histories.

Many accidents and assaults happen when people are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The following are facts that apply to everyone, even you. Don’t ignore them!

  • Response time is slower whenever alcohol or drugs are involved. If you or a friend is hurt, will you know what to do? Will you be able to get help in time? Remember that Public Safety and Res Life staff are always available to help you or your friend.
  • Prescription drugs can lead to accidental overdoses and even death — especially if combined with alcohol.
  • Know your limits. Keep track of how many drinks you’ve had, and be aware of your friends behavior. If one of you feels extremely tired or more drunk than you should, leave the party or situation immediately and find help.
  • DUI: Just say NO when it comes to getting into a car with an impaired driver — and never drive impaired yourself. Have a designated-driver plan in place before going out with friends.
  • If a friend is seriously ill, intoxicated, or appears drugged, call for help.
  • Never leave a seriously intoxicated person to “sleep it off.” Call Public Safety or the Residential Life staff on duty or 911. Don’t risk your friend’s life by trying to protect him or her!
  • If someone is seriously injured, call 911 and seek immediate medical help, then call Public Safety for further assistance.
  • Listen to trained personnel, do what they say, and stay calm.

Whatever your gender, it’s possible to be a victim of dating violence, attempted sexual assault or stalking. Here are some tips to minimize risk:

  • Avoid being alone with someone you’ve just met.
  • Intentional sexual acts without consent of the other person is sexual misconduct. Sometimes these situations occur when alcohol or other drugs impair the ability of a person to give consent, or have personal control. Impaired people cannot give consent and impairment is not an excuse for committing sexual misconduct.
  • If you’re out with friends, make sure everyone’s accounted for before leaving to return home. And before going out, make a pact with your friends that you will arrive and return together.
  • If you want to exit a situation immediately and are concerned about frightening or upsetting someone, it’s okay to lie. You are never obligated to remain in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, pressured, or threatened. You also can lie in order to help a friend leave a situation that you think may be unsafe.
  • NVU is committed to taking action against those who violate these policies. If you see something, say or do something.
  • Be direct, distract the behavior, detach from the situation. Report it immediately to any NVU staff member.

Contact NVU Title IX and Policy 311 contacts. 

How to Avoid Date-Rape Drugs

  •  Know that ANY beverage is susceptible to a date-rape drug, not just alcoholic ones.
  • Never leave a drink unattended, especially at a party or bar. If you leave it for even a second, pour it out and get a new one.
  • Never accept a drink from a stranger.
  • Never drink anything that you do not open yourself, do not see poured (except from a waiter) or comes from a common source, such as a punch bowl.
  • Be alert for a strange taste or different color. Some drugs can make a drink taste slightly bitter or give a drink a bluish tint.
  • When you go out, go in a group — ideally a group of three or more. Look out for each
  • other and be aware if someone in your group starts slurring their speech or acting groggy.
  • If you think you’ve been drugged, seek help immediately and get to a safe place.
  • Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, get away. Call Public Safety — or 911. You can then contact a friend for additional support.

In Your Residence Hall

Refer to the evacuation map on the inside of your suite or room door and make sure you know the evacuation route.
Locate the fire alarms, fire extinguishers and emergency phones in your residence hall and outside throughout campus.


NVU-Johnson Public Safety: 802.635.1205 | NVU-Lyndon Public Safety:  802.626.6452
NVU-Johnson Hall Advisor on Duty: 802.730.3439 | Student Life Staff Member on Call: 802.274.3152
Police/Ambulance:  911

NVU uses a mass text and phone alert system, to quickly and efficiently communicate information about school closings, weather advisories and emergency situations on or  around campus.This is a free service, but depending on your plan, your cell carrier may charge a nominal fee for text messages you receive. Information on how to register for the text alert system will be shared soon.

These messages will be sent via text message:

  • These are the three standard emergency messages you may receive from NVU’s emergency text-alert system and what they mean. Depending on the circumstances, these commands may be accompanied by information specific to the situation.
  • “Evacuate Building.”
  • Leave the building and report to the designated place of refuge designated in the text/email
  • “Evacuate Campus.”
  • Leave campus and report to the designated place of refuge designated in the text/email
  • “Shelter in Place.”
  • Pull blinds, turn out lights.
  • Barricade the door with desks, tables, etc.
  • Lock door if possible.
  • Silence cell phones!
  • Stay calm, stay quiet and await further instructions.

In the event of an active shooter or other immediate threat in your vicinity on campus, take these steps, as recommended
by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security:


  • If possible to leave safely: RUN and get to a safe place, and alert others in the vicinity to do the same. As soon as you are safe, call 911. Stay quiet, turn out lights, lock the door and await instructions.
  • If not possible to leave: HIDE. Call 911. Pull blinds, turn out lights and lock the door if possible. Barricade the door with desks, tables, etc. Silence your cell phone. Position yourself away from windows and doors. Stay quiet and await instructions.
  • If the threat is imminent and the other 2 options aren’t possible: FIGHT. Improvise weapons from chairs, water bottles, fire extinguishers or anything else easily accessible. Commit to your actions.