FOC – Residential Housing Missing Student Notification Policy and Procedures
Campus Policy on Reporting Missing Residential Students
The establishment of procedures for the college’s response to missing residential students, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008 applies to all students who reside in any on-campus housing. For purposes of this policy, a student may be considered to be a “missing person” if the person’s absence is contrary to his/her usual pattern of behavior; or some unusual or unexplained circumstance may have caused the absence. Such circumstance could include, but is not limited to:
- suspicion that the missing person may be the victim of foul play;
- past expression of suicidal thoughts;
- is or may be drug dependent;
- has been with or is acquainted with persons who may endanger the student’s welfare.
Procedures for Designation of Emergency Contact Information
- Students age 18 and above and emancipated minors
The residence hall director shall maintain up to date emergency contact information for all on-campus residential students and shall be aware of and comply with the requirements of the procedures for reporting missing residential students as required in HEOA. The contact information will be registered confidentially, and will be accessible only to authorized campus officials, and may not be disclosed, except to law enforcement personnel in furtherance of a missing person investigation;
- Students under the age 18
In the event a residential student who is not emancipated is determined to be missing, the college is required to notify a custodial parent or guardian immediately, but not more than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing in accordance with the procedures set forth below. The residence hall director shall maintain up to date emergency contact information for all on-campus residential students and shall be aware of and comply with the requirements of the procedures for reporting missing residential students as required in HEOA.
Official Notification Procedures for Missing Residential Students
- Any individual on campus who has information that a residential student may be missing should notify Campus Police, the Dean of Students, the Associate Dean of Students or the Residence Hall Director immediately. If not reported directly to Campus Police, any missing student report shall be referred immediately to the SPC Campus Police department.
- Campus Police will gather all essential information about the residential student from the reporting person and from the student’s acquaintances (physical description, clothes last worn, where student might be, who student might be with, vehicle description, information about the physical and mental wellbeing of the student, an up-to-date photograph, class schedule, etc.). Appropriate campus staff will be notified to aid in the search for the student. The Dean of Students shall be notified immediately after the report is received.
- If the above actions are unsuccessful in locating the residential student or it is immediately apparent that the student is actually missing (e.g., witnessed abduction, signs of foul play), the Campus Police will initiate a missing person report and take charge of the investigation.
- Within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing, Campus Police or the Dean of Students will notify the emergency contact person and, in the case of students under the age of 18, the custodial parent/guardian, that the student is believed to be missing.
- If the student is under 18 years of age and not emancipated, in addition to notifying any additional contact person designated, the custodial parent or guardian will be notified within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing; and
- The institution will notify the local law enforcement agency within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing, unless the local law enforcement agency was the entity that made the determination that the student is missing. This shall occur regardless of whether the student has identified a contact person, is above the age of 18, or is an emancipated minor.
Campus Communications about Missing Residential Students
- Information regarding missing residential students will be initiated and verified by campus law enforcement and pertinent information disseminated through the College’s Office of Marketing and Recruitment, unless other arrangements are warranted. All inquiries to the College regarding missing students, or information provided to any individual at the College about a missing student, shall be referred to the College’s Office of Marketing and Recruitment, who may refer such inquiries and information back to campus law enforcement personnel.
- Once a report of a missing person is received, should the circumstances surrounding the missing person indicate other members of the campus community are in danger, the Chief of Police may disseminate a campus wide “timely warning” .
20 U.S.C. 1092(j); 34 C.F.R. 668.46(h)