Safety and Security
A Community Responsibility
Your safety and wellness are our top priorities. Sterling offers a unique living and learning experience in many ways, and the rural nature of our campus dictates a different kind of safety and security. First and foremost, we take care of each other. Sterling has no security officers. Since there are no local off-campus law enforcement services, there is no direct monitoring of off-campus criminal activity. Members of the Sterling community work hard to take care of themselves and each other. Students monitor their residences and shared spaces for cleanliness, safety, appropriate behavior, and uninvited visitors. Weekly community meetings and House Meetings are two forums for discussing security problems and encouraging students to be responsible for the health and safety of their community.
All members of the Sterling community are encouraged to report emergencies and suspicious and criminal activities.
- In an emergency, dial 911 and notify the nearest Community Advisor, faculty, or staff member.
- Report incident to the Dean of Students directly and through an Incident Report or Community Accountability Report.
- Non-emergency injuries should be reported to the Wellness Center.
- Suspicious activity should be reported to the nearest Community Advisor, faculty, or staff member.
If you are the victim of a crime and do not want to pursue action within the College or the criminal justice system, you may still want to consider making a confidential report. With your permission, the Dean of Students can file a report on the details of the incident without revealing your identity. The purpose of a confidential report is to comply with your wish to keep the matter confidential, while taking steps to ensure the future safety of yourself and others. With such information, the College can keep an accurate record of the number of incidents involving students, determine where there is a pattern of crime with regard to a particular location, method, or assailant, and alert the campus community to potential danger. Reports filed in this manner are counted and disclosed in the annual crimes statistics for the institution.
The guiding philosophy and approach to student conduct and wellbeing at Sterling College is one that encourages compassion, care, and reflection, focusing on student development through individual growth and accountability for behavior.
Our goal is to support students as they become the people they want to be in the world. We are committed to providing the tools, resources, and support for students to make informed decisions about their lives and their interactions within the community.
The processes we use to address harm are designed to support accountability, relationship, and growth, and to balance the rights of the individual with that of the health and safety of the community.
Behavior that threatens or compromises the physical or mental health, security, privacy, property, or learning experience of other members of the community will not be tolerated.
Please use this form as one method of communicating concerns about behaviors that negatively impact individuals or the community.
To the extent possible, your identity will remain confidential. The College is obligated to respond to all safety concerns.
In an effort to provide members of the campus community with information about campus crime and crime-related problems, Sterling College reports crimes using the definitions as described in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting program. Additionally, officials of the College with significant responsibility for students and campus activities are required by federal law to notify the Department of Public Safety of crimes that are defined under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.
- Criminal Offenses—Criminal Homicide, including: a) Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter, and b) Negligent Manslaughter; Sex Offenses including: a) Forcible, and b) Non-forcible; Robbery; Aggravated Assault; Burglary; Motor Vehicle Theft; and Arson.
- Hate Crimes—Any of the above-mentioned offenses, and any incidents of Larceny-Theft, Simple Assault, Intimidation, or Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property that were motivated by bias; and
- Arrests and Referrals for Disciplinary Action for Weapons—Carrying, Possessing, etc., Drug Abuse Violations and Liquor Law Violations.
The Dean of Students and Risk Management Committee review all crimes for manifest evidence that the victim was intentionally selected because of the victim’s actual or perceived race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender presentation, ethnicity, or disability. Any student, faculty member or employee who is the victim of a bias-motivated incident or hate crime is encouraged to file a report immediately. The College takes all reports seriously and will thoroughly investigate every incident and work with local law enforcement agencies whenever necessary.
The following statistics are provided in accordance with Title II of the Federal Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act. The listed criminal offenses were reported to the Dean of Students, the President of the College, and local police.
To report a crime or any suspicious activity or person seen loitering uninvited on campus, notify a Community Advisor, staff or faculty on-site.
To report sexual assault, harassment, or misconduct:
Favor Ellis, Dean of Student Life, Title IX Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org, 802-586-7711 x127
Maxine Kelly, Title IX Coordinator: email@example.com, 802-586-7711 x104
Drug and Alcohol Policy
By enrolling in Sterling College, or by accepting employment, individuals agree to abide by college substance abuse standards and certify awareness of this policy. Possession, use, or distribution of illegal drugs (including alcohol for those less than 21 years of age) is prohibited on the Sterling College campus. This policy includes being under the influence of such substances while on campus or participating in college-sponsored activities (such as classes, meetings, presentations, social events, etc.). Abuse of legal substances (including alcohol for those 21 years and older) which results in destructive behaviors will be addressed by the Dean of Students as a violation of the first guideline for Community Behavior. Supplying underage drinkers with alcohol is considered a serious offense by the State of Vermont and by Sterling College.
Students must abide by the drug and alcohol policy. Read the drug and alcohol policy in the Student Handbook:
In the event of an emergency, treat any injuries with first aid to the extent that you are qualified. All Community Advisors and Student Life staff at Sterling College are trained in First Aid, and/or are trained as Wilderness First Responders.
If an injury appears to require immediate medical attention, call 911 to connect to the following resources:
- State Police (Derby), Fire (Craftsbury), or Ambulance (Hardwick): or
- Call the Poison Control Center 1-877-658-3456 (a toll-free number)
Favor Ellis, Dean of Student Life: firstname.lastname@example.org, (802) 586-7711 x149
Contact a Community Advisor and the Dean of Students for any emergency (medical, psychological, any situation which you feel requires professional intervention).
For contact after hours, call the College Pager: (802) 290-9931
In the event of an immediate or ongoing threat to the safety of the students, employees or campus, the community will be notified immediately through e-mail, announcements, and the Sterling College web site. Students should take responsibility for regularly checking their e-mail and attending all community meetings. In order to receive campus-wide email announcements, students must have a College email account, which is obtained prior to registration.
Missing Student Policy
Sterling College will actively investigate any report of a missing student who is enrolled at the College. If a member of the Sterling community has reason to believe that a student is missing, all possible efforts are made to locate the student to determine their state of health and well-being. This effort is coordinated by the Dean of Students, in collaboration with the Residential Life team and the missing student’s family and friends.
If not located within 24 hours, appropriate family members, associates, or a College official will make an official missing person report with local law enforcement. Sterling College will cooperate with, aid, and assist the primary investigative agency in all ways prescribed by law.
Community Behavioral Guidelines
Each student at Sterling deserves to have a positive learning experience. We consider two guidelines to be critical to our functioning as an educational community. Students who do not abide by these guidelines will experience consequences that may include dismissal from the College. Behavior that threatens the physical or mental health, security, privacy, property or learning experience of other members of the community will not be tolerated.
Read our Student Handbook for full community behavior guidelines: