Campus Safety Policies

STUDENT HANDBOOK: Policies and Procedures

The Bennington College Office of Campus Safety is located in the small red building at the entrance of the main campus, opposite the Barn. The office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Campus Safety (ext. 4250)
  • Emergencies (ext. 767, SOS)
  • Non-emergencies (ext. 4250 or “0”)
  • From off campus (802) 447-4250

Campus Safety officers have full authority granted by the College to enforce the rules and regulations as outlined in this Student Handbook. They are not commissioned police officers. Campus Safety officers also have the authority to report violations of state laws, including but not limited to those regulating underage drinking and the use of illegal and controlled substances, all of which are also violations of College disciplinary rules. Campus Safety officers have the authority to detain individuals on campus and to request identification and may contact the Bennington Police Department if suspected criminal activity is observed or reported or if an individual is not authorized to be on campus. The Office of Campus Safety maintains a positive working relationship with the Town of Bennington Police, which assists Campus Safety when requested, but does not conduct routine patrols of College-owned property.

Students are responsible for locking all windows and doors in their rooms, and should report unknown individuals or suspicious activity of any kind to the Office of Campus Safety. Day and overnight guests are allowed in student houses but are limited to 6 days per month. All students must register their guest(s) with Campus Safety, at which time a pass is issued, with the guest required to leave an ID. This ID is returned when the guest pass is surrendered and the guest departs campus. Note: Students are responsible for the conduct of their guest(s) at all times.

Safety Programs

Campus Safety programs are coordinated by the Office of Campus Safety. Campus Safety officers are trained in first aid, AED, CPR, blood-borne pathogens, and fire safety.

Programs and seminars for students are normally offered each term regarding such issues as fire safety, personal safety, and protection of personal property. Students are informed of Campus Safety services and of on-and-off campus resources for help, including counseling services, health services, and rape crisis services.

Campus Safety officers conduct a combination of foot and vehicle patrols, but they cannot cover every room of every building around the clock. All members of the College community must be security conscious. If students witness crimes, suspicious activities, or a medical emergency, they should dial ext. 767 (SOS) immediately and be prepared to provide as much information as possible. Doors, windows, locks, lights, or unsafe conditions in need of repair should be reported immediately to Campus Safety. A College Safety Committee periodically reviews matters pertaining to safety on campus and welcomes suggestions from students.

Bennington College Emergency Response Plan

The Bennington College Emergency Response Plan is designed to provide a systematic and comprehensive response to a wide range of emergency conditions that might occur on campus. This emergency response plan outlines the procedures necessary to respond to a crisis and to attend to the physical, structural, or technical repairs needed to restore the facilities to optimal functioning. The primary goal of the plan is to respond to any crisis (short term or long term) that affects the safety of the College community.

The Emergency Response Plan calls for a team approach with all emergencies reported to Campus Safety. Depending on the nature of the emergency, Campus Safety may investigate the emergency, activate the Emergency Response Plan, or immediately activate the on-call system. Campus Safety officers are first responders. The on-call administrator determines the level of emergency and activates the Emergency Response Team as necessary.


The College uses Send Word Now, an emergency notification system that notifies students, faculty, and staff via phone, email, pagers, etc. of campus emergencies. Campus Safety also activates the College’s emergency siren.

Campus Safety should be called immediately in the event of accident, illness, or other emergencies. The emergency number is ext. 767 (SOS); this is an emergency number only and should not be dialed for any other reason. The caller should state the nature of the emergency, the location of the emergency, and the caller’s name, and should not hang up until advised to do so by the Campus Safety officer.

24/7 Access—Dial 767 (SOS) for Emergencies. Campus Safety can activate, depending on the situation, the following on-call resources:

  • On-call Student Life staff member
  • On-call College physician
  • On-call Psychological Services counselor
  • On-call Campus Safety supervisor

Missing Persons Notification Policy

Any individual who believes that a currently enrolled student who resides on campus has been missing for more than 24 hours should immediately report this to Campus Safety at extension 767 (SOS).

Following receipt of this notification, Campus Safety will investigate the report, contact the Office of the Provost and Dean, and determine whether the student is missing and has been missing for more than 24 hours.

If Campus Safety makes a determination that the student is missing and has been missing for more than 24 hours, then within 24 hours after making such determination:

  1. Campus Safety will inform the appropriate law enforcement agency.
  2. The Dean of Students or designee will inform the person shown by the College’s records to have been designated by the student as the student’s contact in case of a missing person report with respect to that student.

If the missing student is under the age of 18 and not an emancipated individual, the College will contact the student’s parent or legal guardian immediately after the determination by Campus Safety.

Note: Each term it is required that each student acknowledge and/or update the missing person contact information to designate a person to be contacted in the event of a missing person report.