University and System Policies

Acceptable Use of IT Resources (VSC Policy)

Drug Free Policy

As a recipient of federal aid and federal grants, the University must certify under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 that it will take certain steps to provide a drug-free workplace. The possession, use, consumption, sale, dispensing, distribution or manufacture of alcohol or controlled substances is prohibited on University property, while conducting University business or as a part of University activities, except on occasions when the consumption of alcoholic beverages in a social setting is authorized and sponsored by the University.

Students and employees who violate this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, consistent with federal, state, and local law, which may include counseling, mandatory participation in an appropriate rehabilitation program, suspension or dismissal from University Housing or the University in general, unpaid suspension from employment, loss of the privilege of operating a University vehicle, and/or termination of employment and referral for prosecution.

Vermont State University prohibits the unlawful possession, use, distribution, or manufacture of illegal drugs, controlled substances and alcohol by employees and students on University property, in any University owned or leased facility, or as part of any University employment or activity. Improper possession, sale, distribution, and use of controlled substances, including but not limited to prescription drugs, is prohibited. Possession of drug paraphernalia is also prohibited.

Alcohol Policies

Vermont State University is committed to sustaining an academic environment that respects individual freedom; promotes the health, safety, and well-being of all members of the community; and is free from the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Misuse and abuse of alcohol, and the use of illicit drugs, constitutes a threat to that wellbeing and so compromises the educational mission of the University.

The University alcohol policy applies equally to all Vermont State University students, employees, and guests during the time they are on campus or at campus events. Alcohol consumption is only permitted in appropriate residential spaces (see Permissible Alcohol Use below), or in the case of specifically approved events or functions where alcohol is available as part of the refreshments by a licensed seller. Consumption of alcohol in public areas of the University is prohibited.

Substance-Free Residence Hall Areas

No possession or use of alcohol is permitted in substance-free designated areas, regardless of the student’s age. It is the student’s responsibility to know whether or not they are on a substance-free designated floor. There are signs on the hall doors of all substance-free floors.

Cannabis Policy

Though cannabis sale and use are legal within the State of Vermont, it is strictly prohibited at the University. Cannabis is still considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance under federal law, and the University must prevent its possession, use, or distribution by students and employees due to the funding the University receives from the U.S. government.

Permissible Alcohol Use

Only students over 21 years of age may possess or consume alcohol. They must be in a private residence hall space, not a lounge, hallway, or lobby.

Those of legal drinking age may not possess alcoholic beverages in the residence hall room of an underage student who is not their roommate.

Responsible alcohol consumption requires that a person’s actions are not disruptive, damaging, or threatening to themselves, others, or anyone’s property. When alcohol use is permitted, it is always a privilege, never a right.

Allowable Quantities

Each resident, who is twenty-one or older, is allowed to possess one of the following:

Type of AlcoholETOH%Volume by Common Container/Packaging
Beer/Malt5-7%12 oz x 24 (cans/bottles)
Wine12%750 mL x 4 (bottles/box)
Liquor40% (80 proof)750 mL x 1 (bottle)

Students are not permitted to possess or use common sources of alcohol or devices intended for the rapid consumption of alcohol including, but not limited to: funnels; kegs; alcohol misting devices. Such items may be considered aggravating circumstances when considering appropriate sanctions.

Host Liability

When a guest who has consumed alcohol on the host’s premises does harm to themself, to a third party, or University or individual property, the host can be held liable. If the host supplies alcohol to a guest, then the host will be held responsible for injuries or damage to the guest or to third parties caused by the guest’s alcohol-influenced actions. If the host supplies alcohol to a minor, the host will also be responsible and liable for supplying alcohol to a minor, which is in violation of Vermont State Law.

Consumption and/or Possession of Alcohol by a Minor

Under Vermont State law, no one under 21 years of age is permitted to be in possession of any type of alcohol container. There are serious penalties for anyone under the age of twenty-one who purchases or attempts to purchase alcohol by misrepresenting their age or by falsifying identification. Minors may not be present in a room where alcohol is being consumed, even if the minor is not drinking and others in the room are of legal drinking age.

Drinking, Substance Abuse, and Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is against the law. Possession of open containers in motor vehicles on campus property is prohibited. Violators are subject to disciplinary action and will be referred to the Vermont State Police. Documented conviction of DUI charges may result in loss of campus vehicle privileges.

Substance Abuse

All community members are encouraged to become informed about substance abuse and its harmful effects. It is a serious problem that may require professional assistance and treatment. Students in need of assistance can seek information and confidential guidance at the Dean of Students. Staff in this office can also make referrals to outside agencies within the community.

If a student is worried about a friend, and this concern affects living habits, they are encouraged to seek help, both personally and for the other person while maintaining confidentiality.


Vermont State University considers the safety and well-being of our student body a priority. The University recognizes that there may be assistance needed for alcohol or other drug-related medical or safety emergencies and the potential for student conduct action or discipline could act as a deterrent to seeking help for themselves or others.

Vermont State University may offer immunity from disciplinary action that reporting students or the intoxicated/impaired individual may have committed. The University may, alternatively, consider educational opportunities in such cases.

Amnesty does not apply for subsequent alcohol or other drug-related medical or safety emergencies. This policy also does not grant amnesty from criminal, civil, or legal consequences for violations of Federal, State, or Local law. The University reserves the right to take disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis.

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) (VSC Policy 312)

Hazing (VSC Policy 313


As part of our commitment to health and wellness promotion and to be in compliance with the Vermont State law, students are required to complete and return an Immunization Record and a Health Form. Students will not be permitted to register for future academic classes or participate in a varsity sport until the immunization record is completed and received at the University. Exemptions for immunization requirements may only be granted for medical or religious reasons. For additional information on Vermont’s immunization laws, vaccine requirements, exemption forms, and related information, visit the Vermont Department of Health website or call the immunization program at 800.464.4343, ext. 7638.

Medical Leave

Voluntary Medical or Mental Health Leave

Should a student have a medical or mental health condition that prevents them from continuing academic work, the student may submit a request for a medical withdrawal to the Director of Health and Wellness. This request must be accompanied by supporting clinical documentation indicating that the student’s medical or mental health condition is preventing the student from actively engaging in coursework (as opposed to a condition which makes being a student difficult or inconvenient).

The Director of Health and Wellness is expected to consult with appropriate Health and Wellness and/or Residence Life staff before ruling on the request. Appeals will be heard by the Dean of Students. The student will not be required to reapply in order to return to the University unless otherwise indicated by the Director of Health & Wellness. If the leave is approved, the student’s transcript will reflect withdrawals (Ws) for the semester and the student will be refunded or have their bill reduced as appropriate on a prorated basis determined by the approved exit date.

Involuntary Medical or Mental Health Leave

An involuntary leave of absence may be required if a student’s threatening, self-destructive, or disruptive behavior is determined to be the result of a medical or mental health condition and the student has refused to cooperate with efforts by the student’s health care provider(s), the Associate Dean of Students, and/or Wellness Center to address the behavior.

After a review of all of the pertinent factors, such as: the nature of the student’s conduct; the nature, duration and severity of the risk; the likelihood of potential injury; and whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures will mitigate the risk*, a decision to place a student on an involuntary leave of absence for medical or mental health-related reasons will be made by the Dean of Students in consultation with the appropriate Health and Wellness staff and the Associate Dean of Students, with input provided by the student’s current and/or former health care providers (if made available by the student).

Students will be notified in a meeting with the Associate Dean of Students and in writing that they have been placed on involuntary leave. The student may appeal this decision to the Dean of Students.

*Reasonable modifications do not include changes that would fundamentally alter the academic program or unduly burden the University’s resources or staffing capabilities or, with respect to the required level of care or monitoring, which would exceed the standard of care that VTSU can be expected to provide.

Extended Class Absence

On occasion, students may have a medical, psychological, or psychiatric condition resulting in the need to leave school and/or miss class for a limited, defined period of time. In such instances, students are responsible for maintaining satisfactory academic progress and are expected to contact instructors to make arrangements to stay current in their courses. The instructor has the discretion to determine whether such absences are excused for the purposes of course requirements.

Re-enrollment Requirements

Following a voluntary or involuntary medical or mental health leave, or an extended class absence, the University will require students to comply with a treatment plan during their time away prior to returning to the University. The student must also submit documentation from their care provider(s) to VTSU Health and Wellness staff that outlines or demonstrates that the circumstances that led to their leave have been satisfactorily addressed, that they are ready to resume their studies and return to residential living if applicable.

The University will provide to the student and/or their care provider(s) the necessary paperwork to complete. In addition, students may be required to meet with a VTSU staff member to grant permission to consult with their care provider in order to obtain a professional assessment about the student’s stability and readiness to re-engage in the academic and social areas of college life.

In all such cases, the decision whether to allow a student to re-enroll will not be made until documentation and consultation, if warranted, with the Wellness Center has been completed. This decision will be made by the Dean of Students or designee.

Tobacco Use Reduction and Prevention (VSC Policy)

VSC Policy 311 (see also Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking VSC Policy 311-A)  


Emotional Support Animal (ESA) requests require approval by Disability Services. The approval process should be completed prior to moving on campus and can take between two and four weeks. To request an ESA, contact Disability Services at 

Students with a Service Animal should communicate with Disability Services in advance if the student plans to reside on campus so that roommate arrangements can be made.  

No dogs or other animals, with the exception of aquarium fish, service or emotional support animals for people with disabilities, and animals housed in academic buildings for scientific research, are allowed in University buildings. Any dogs on campus must be on a leash and may not be left unattended, in a vehicle, or tied up.

Protection of Minors and Mandatory Reporting of Abuse and Neglect (VSC Policy 316)

Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking

VSC Policy 311-A (see also Non-discrimination and Prevention of Harassment and Related Unprofessional Conduct VSC Policy 311)

Social Media Posting

Vermont State University encourages and supports the use of social media by individual departments and programs. Social media accounts are meant to drive engagement between students, alumni, faculty, staff, prospective students, friends, and fans of the University. We expect all users of social media accounts representing Vermont State University to operate according to university policies, social media guidelines, and best practices.

All University departments and programs with social media accounts are required to obtain approval and register their accounts with the Marketing Department and provide administrative access or login credentials. Violations of social media guidelines could result in offending posts being removed, college-affiliated accounts being suspended or terminated, and conduct issues being referred to the Dean of Students.

Student Housing

Vermont State University welcomes all students to live on campus regardless of academic level or learning modality. Most residence halls require students to participate in a campus dining plan at some level. It is a condition of admission that all traditional aged (< 23), full-time, undergraduate, matriculated students enrolled in-person and in-person-plus academic programs live in a University residence hall and purchase a meal plan until they have earned 60 credits. Residents of the Williston campus or any campus apartments are not required to purchase a meal plan. Some scholarships require students to live on campus through to degree completion. VTSU adheres to a policy requiring first- and second-year students to live on campus because participation in the social, cultural, and recreational opportunities of campus life enhances the formal learning that takes place within the academic community.

Residential contracts are binding for the entire academic year. Flexibility does exist for students looking to move from one campus to another between semesters. New students seeking to live on campus will submit a housing contract as part of the enrollment process and current students will participate in the room selection process each spring semester to secure a room on campus for the fall semester. If you require housing accommodation, please contact Disability Services.

Students who meet one or more of these conditions may be automatically exempt from the Student Housing policy:

  • Commute from their parent/guardian home within 30 miles of the campus location
  • Are age 23 or will turn 23 on or before the start of the spring semester
  • Are married or partners of a civil union
  • Are a parent with custody of their child(ren)
  • Have already lived on a college campus for four semesters
  • Have completed 60 or more credits
  • Are completing an internship, teaching practicum, or assistantship outside the area. The internship, teaching practicum, or assistantship must meet these criteria:
    • Necessary to fulfill graduation requirements
    • Occurs off-site 30 or more miles from your home campus
    • Requires 480 or more hours for the semester
    • The internship, teaching practicum, or assistantship must appear on the student’s schedule for the semester in which the exemption is requested.

Students should contact the Residence Life Office if they have questions or are seeking a waiver from the requirement to live on campus.

Weapons and Dangerous Items

Vermont State University (VTSU) prohibits the possession of weapons, replicas and facsimiles of weapons, or dangerous items at any of its 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 three (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.

The use of a chemical irritant (e.g., pepper spray) will not be a violation of 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 is not allowed to be stored or possessed in university-owned, leased, and controlled buildings. 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.

For purposes of this policy, Vermont State University locations shall include all the lands, buildings, and facilities owned, leased, or controlled by Vermont State University. In addition, this policy applies to participants representing VTSU in a VTSU-related activity, even if not at a VTSU location. In the event 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 on a case-by-case basis 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.