Missing Person Policy/Procedure
Policy. The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for the College’s response to reports of missing students, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. This policy applies to students who reside on campus and are deemed missing or absent from the College for a period of more than 24 hours of time without any known reason or which may be contrary to usual patterns of behavior. Such circumstances could include, but are not limited to reports or suspicions of foul play, suicidal thought or actions, drug use, other life threatening situations, or where a student may be with persons who may endanger the welfare of the student.
All reports of missing students shall be directed to the appropriate law enforcement agency which will conduct an investigation to determine whether the student is missing in accordance with this policy. All on-campus students will have an emergency contact person. The emergency contact person will be notified no later than 24 hours from the time the student was determined to be missing by the College.
Procedure. Any and all reports of missing students shall be directed to the appropriate law enforcement agency. The College official receiving the report will document and collect the information at the time of the report:
- The name and relationship of the person making the report.
- The date, time and location the missing student was last seen.
- The general routine or habits of the suspected missing student (ex. visiting friends that may live off campus, working a job off campus) including any recent changes in behavior or demeanor.
The College official receiving the report will contact the Associate Dean of Student Affairs or designee in order to update him/her on the situation and to receive additional consultation. The Associate Dean of Student Affairs will ascertain if/when other members of the Cabinet or others that need to be contacted.
Upon notification from any official that a student is deemed to be missing, the College may use any or all of the following resources to resolve the location of the student.
- Call the student’s room
- Go to the student’s residence dorm room
- Talk to the student’s Resident Assistant, roommate, and cottage mates to see if anyone can confirm the missing student’s whereabouts and/or confirm the date, time, and/or location the student was last seen.
- Secure a current student ID or photo
- Contact the student’s phone or any other student’s contact numbers that are kept on record
- Send the student an email
- Check all possible locations mentioned by the parties above including, but not limited to, library, residence cottages and commons, activity center, etc. The office of the Resident Manager and Student Activities may be asked to assist in order to expedite the search process.
- Contact all on and off-campus friends or contacts that are made known. This could include checking a student’s social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Ascertain the student’s vehicle make, model, and license plate number, if applicable. A College official will also check the college parking lots for the presence of the student’s vehicle.
- Once all the information is gathered and documented and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) is consulted; College staff may contact the local law authorities to report the information. If given the information described above, foul play is evident or strongly indicated, the law authorities can be contacted immediately. If it is necessary to contact the law authorities, whether it be local or state, policy, procedure, and protocol will be followed by the College.