Public Safety Policies

Public Safety Contact information

VTSU-Castleton Public Safety
Phone: 802.468.1215
Location: Hope House
Mailing Address:
268 South St. Castleton, VT 05735

VTSU-Johnson Public Safety
Phone: 802.635.1205
Location: Dewey Hall
Mailing Address:
337 College Hill Johnson, VT 05656

VTSU-Lyndon Public Safety
Phone: 802.626.6452
Location: ASAC 118
Mailing Address:
1001 College Rd. Lyndonville, VT 05851

VTSU-Randolph Public Safety
Phone: 802.728.1292
Location: 122 Admin Center
Mailing Address:
124 Admin Dr, Randolph, VT 05061

VTSU-Williston Public Safety
Phone: 802.728.1292
Location: Admin Building 200

Weapons, Including Firearms and Dangerous Items

Vermont State University (VTSU) prohibits the possession of weapons, replicas, facsimiles of weapons, or dangerous items on VTSU locations. Weapons or dangerous items include but are not limited to firearms, dirks, daggers (including “Vampire Straws”), ice picks, blackjacks, whips, metal knuckles, nunchaku, knives with a blade longer than 3 inches (except for lawful use in food preparation or consumption), razors with an unguarded blade, tasers, stun guns, instruments that expel a metallic projectile (such as a BB or a pellet), spot marker guns (commonly known as a “paintball guns”), compressed air, gas, or spring actuated (airsoft) guns, fireworks, or other explosive devices. It is also a violation of this policy to use any item (i.e., scissors, baseball bat) in a manner that could or does result in an act of violence or a threat of violence against another person.

Using a chemical irritant (e.g., pepper spray) will not violate this policy if used solely for self-defense. Certified Law Enforcement Officers may wear a firearm or other weapon at a VTSU location in accordance with appropriate federal, state, and local law and their department policy, rules, and regulations.

In addition to prohibited weapons, ammunition cannot be stored or possessed in university-owned, leased, and controlled buildings, and further, prohibited weapons, dangerous items, and ammunition may not be stored in any vehicles parked on property owned, leased, or controlled by Vermont State University.

If a federal, state, county, or local law or ordinance is more restrictive than this policy, those laws or ordinances shall apply.

Requests for an exemption from this policy for academic, athletic, recreational, theatrical, club, or conference purposes may be requested in writing to the Dean of Students for Vermont State University. Each request will be considered case-by-case and evaluated by the Dean of Students, Associate Deans of Students, and Associate Directors of Public Safety.

The Vermont State University Departments of Public Safety do not provide facilities for the storage of firearms.

Emergency Notifications to the Community

If it is confirmed that there is an emergency or dangerous situation that poses an immediate threat to the health or safety of some or all members of the university community, a university-wide or campus-specific warning will be issued. Public Safety will collaborate with appropriate offices to determine the content of the message and will use some or all the systems described below to communicate information to the community or the appropriate segment of the community if the threat is limited to a particular building or segment of the population. Considering the safety of the community, the University will promptly determine the content of the notification and initiate the notification system unless issuing a notification will, in the judgment of the Emergency Management Team, compromise the efforts to assist an individual or to contain, respond to, or otherwise mitigate the emergency.

Emergency Phones

The phones are there for you to use if you have been a victim of a crime, witnessed a crime, or feel threatened by any person (s) while on campus. Please use any emergency phone if you think an emergency exists. After pushing the button on the device, a call will be placed immediately to Public Safety. Public Safety will establish two-way communication with the caller. The caller can describe the emergency by talking into the device or if the caller cannot respond for any reason.

Castleton: The 22 Code Blue devices are for emergency purposes only. Please do not activate them for problems such as a car that won’t start, locked keys, information, etc. Public Safety can help you with those issues, but not by using emergency phones.

Johnson and Lyndon: Emergency or blue light phones are located throughout each campus. These phones can be used to call public safety. Phones are located at the entrances of residence halls and most academic buildings.

Randolph: Emergency phones are located near the residence halls and on the main walkways on the Randolph campus.

Motor Vehicle and Parking Policy

Motor vehicle regulation is essential for the safety of all members of the university community, visitors, and friends. The parking lots and roadways located on each campus are the property of the Vermont State University. They are Public Roadways as defined by Vermont State Law. The university reserves the right to make traffic regulations, post traffic signs, restrict the use of the roadways and lots, and collect fees for parking and violations of these regulations.

These regulations have been developed to provide the maximum benefit for all concerned. Those operating a motor vehicle on any university campus are expected to comply with the spirit as well as the letter of these regulations, and are reminded that use of the parking facilities is a privilege and not a right. A parking permit does not ensure the availability of a parking space, but it grants the privilege of parking in specified areas when available. Abuse of this privilege can result in not being allowed to operate or park a vehicle on university property.

The speed limit on university property is 15 miles per hour on all campus roadways and 10 miles per hour in all campus parking lots. Violations will result in a fine of up to $100 for each offense and careless driving may result in disciplinary action. Operating motor vehicles on campus walkways, lawns, or areas not specifically designed as roadways is prohibited and subject to a fine and all repair or replacement costs. Operators of motor vehicles must comply with all traffic signs (yield, stop, do not enter, etc.) or the direction of a Public Safety Officer. Failure to stop on approach of an emergency vehicle, or Public Safety vehicle displaying amber lights, will be subject to a fine.

Persons who own, possess, or operate a motor vehicle on the university property are responsible for knowing the regulations. Ignorance does not constitute a valid defense for failure to observe them or absolve violators from any penalties. The University does not assume any responsibility for damage to, theft from, or theft of any motor vehicle parked on university property. Vehicles brought to campus by guests must receive a visitor’s permit from the campus Public Safety Office.

Vehicle registrations are completed online. Once registration and payment are complete, permits will be mailed to the address provided.

Violations and Fee Amounts

No valid permit displayed$25
Parking in a fire lane$50
Parking in a faculty/staff lot$25
Parking in a space or area reserved for others$25
Failure to obey regulatory signs (Stop, Speed, etc.)$25
Occupying more than one space$25
Parking in a prohibited area$25
Parking in a handicapped space$75
Parking on a roadway$25
Parking or driving on the grass$25
Parking or driving on a sidewalk$25
Parking within the interior or grounds of campus$50
Violation of winter/sweeping parking ban$50
Vehicle removal charge (in addition to all towing charged)$50
Immobilization (boot) fee$50
Unsafe or negligent driving$100
Other violations$ Amounts vary

Note: It is possible to receive multiple violations at one time. Cases of reckless driving may result in an administrative hearing and sanctions determined by the university.

Fire Safety Guidelines

Any electrical device used on campus needs to be UL listed. 

The following, but not limited to, violate the fire safety code and therefore are prohibited: 

  • Smoking, vaping, or tobacco use on campus is prohibited. This includes private residential spaces.
  • Open flame or fire (i.e., candles or incense)
  • Halogen Lights
  • Decorative lights – unless they are LED
  • Live trees or wreaths
  • Additional furniture
  • Anything near, covering, or attached to the smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, or heat sensors
  • Items hanging from the ceiling or storing items near the ceiling that restrict the flow of air to the smoke detector or heat sensor (such as bulky items stored above wardrobes)
  • Toaster ovens, hot plates, electric frying pans, toasters, crock pots
  • Indoor grills
  • Space heaters
  • Blocking doorways or exits
  • Storage of flammable liquids
  • Tapestries not flat against a wall
  • Fireworks and explosives
  • Anything blocking or covering the room heater or using it as a shelf
  • Storage of bikes or any other items in residence hall corridors, stairwells, entryways, or bathrooms

Per legal standards, an unobstructed 3-foot pathway into your room must always be maintained. In addition, 70% of walls must be free of wall decorations.

Fire Safety

Each location maintains a fire alarm system, and fire alarm pull stations are strategically located in each building. Smoke, heat, and CO detectors are strategically located in the required locations. Emergency evacuation routes are posted in all residential hall suites and public areas. Anyone who discovers a fire on university property should activate an alarm (if available) and call 911 immediately before attempting to extinguish it. Under no circumstances should employees or students enter a hazardous area.

Tampering with or misusing any emergency equipment is a serious violation of campus policy and could result in a disciplinary hearing, a $500 fine, and loss of housing on campus. If a violation occurs in the residence halls and it cannot be determined who is individually responsible, a fine may be levied against the suite, floor, or building on which it occurred.

Fire Alarm Evacuation Procedures

Upon the activation of a fire alarm or notification that an emergency exists, the occupants of a building will evacuate promptly and in an orderly fashion. Individuals evacuating a building should help those who may require special assistance whenever possible. Building evacuees must gather in the designated areas of refuge noted on the posted evacuation plan, as outlined below.

Fire Drills

The Public Safety and Residential Departments will conduct fire drills in residence halls once per semester. Unannounced fire drills may be conducted in residence halls to ensure that evacuation and other safety measures are correctly observed. Students are required to vacate the building immediately once a fire alarm sounds. Entrances to buildings and fire lanes must be free of obstacles. All students are required to be 25 feet from the building entrance during an alarm. Assume that all alarms are emergencies. Your residence hall staff will review proper evacuation routes and procedures with you during the first week of each semester.

Student IDs and Keys

All students will be issued one student ID at no expense. This ID is valid for the entire time students are enrolled at the University. Residential students will use their IDs to access Residence Hall and individual rooms. IDs also serve as meal cards and library cards and are necessary for entry into the SHAPE facility at some locations. A student ID should always be on your person and never be loaned to anyone else. Students should report lost or stolen IDs immediately to Public Safety.

Students issued metal keys for University jobs or living assignments must abide by the key terms and conditions on the access request form. Keys shall not be loaned to others and must be returned immediately upon termination of university employment or loss of residential status. Keys lost or not returned to by the due date indicated on student paperwork will be billed to the student’s account.

Where applicable: If students need to find their student ID, they should visit the Public Safety Office during regular business hours to request a temporary access card. A temporary access card is valid for only seven days. A new ID must be purchased if a student’s ID is not found within that time.

Pedestrian safety

Pedestrians have the right of way on university walkways. Skateboarding is prohibited on university roadways and in university buildings. Also, benches, stairs, planters, railings, bridges, or other fixtures on university property for boarding or blading tricks are prohibited. Careless, negligent, or reckless biking or skating, including excessive speed, may result in disciplinary action. Offenders may be billed for damages associated with these activities.

Bicycles are allowed on university roadways but not in buildings, including residence halls.

Active Shooter

The University utilizes the RUN, HIDE, FIGHT process for responding to an active shooter. There are three basic options: RUN, HIDE, or FIGHT. Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life.

  • If possible, leave safely: RUN, get to a safe place and alert others nearby 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.
  • FIGHT if the threat is imminent and the other two options aren’t possible. Improvise weapons from chairs, water bottles, fire extinguishers, or anything easily accessible. Commit to your actions.

Timely Warnings

If a situation arises, either on or off-campus, that, in the judgment of the Director of Public Safety or other University Administrators, constitutes an ongoing or continuing threat, the Public Safety Department will issue a campus-wide timely warning. The warning may be issued through VTSU email systems to students, faculty, and staff or through postings in potentially affected buildings or residence halls. VTSU will withhold the names of victims when issuing timely warnings. If appropriate, all crime incidents should be reported promptly to the Department of Public Safety so that timely warnings to the community can be made. Reporting crimes promptly will also ensure that the report is included in VTSU’s annual security report, if appropriate. The appropriate local law enforcement office handles criminal activity occurring off-campus but adjacent to campus property.

Emergency Procedures

Follow these links to see the VTSU location emergency procedures:

Missing Student Protocol

In compliance with the Missing Student policy in the U.S. Department of Education’s Handbook for University Safety and Security Reporting, all residential students are asked to identify a contact person or persons the institution shall notify within 24 hours of determining that the student is missing. The missing student contact person can be anyone, including the same person identified as the student’s emergency contact person.

The missing student contact person’s name is confidential and will be accessible only to authorized University officials and may not be disclosed except to law enforcement personnel in furtherance of a missing person investigation.