What are SVP Signs?
The Vestibule Program, established by NTID in 1969, started as a one year general education core (math, science, English, social studies) required of all students. Vestibule was meant to prepare the wide range of deaf students coming from all over the U.S. for later studies at RIT. The sign for “Vestibule” in the first year was a letter “V” on one hand tapping the pinky finger of the opposite hand.
By 1970-71, there was growing demand for NTID to increase certificate, diploma, and associate degree programs, as well as support bachelor’s degree students; and the idea of a full year of vestibule became a Summer Vestibule Program (SVP). For a few weeks each summer, this orientation would ease entering students’ transition into college life.
This change also meant that entering students had a variety of degrees to choose from, and would be graduating at different times. “Class of XXXX” had little meaning at NTID, but the students identified strongly with their fellow SVP members—and they got creative. From that time on, each entering SVP group has developed their own distinctive vestibule sign...one of NTID’s earliest traditions as a college.
There are four rules for the selection of each entering class’s SVP sign:
The sign must be selected by the previous year's cohort.
The sign must use the “V” handshape.
The sign cannot duplicate any other class’s SVP sign; each class sign must be unique.
No inappropriate signs are allowed.