Missing Student Policy

Scope
This policy applies to students who reside in campus housing, defined as Hillside Suites North, South, and West.

Purpose
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.

For purposes of this policy, a student will be considered missing, if a roommate, classmate, faculty member, family member, or other campus person has not seen the person in a reasonable amount of time. A reasonable amount of time may vary with the time of day and information available regarding the missing person’s daily schedule, habits, punctuality, and reliability. Individuals will also be considered missing immediately, if their absence has occurred under circumstances that are suspicious or cause concerns for their safety.

Procedures for designation of emergency contact information
a. Students age 18 and older and emancipated minors – Students will be given the opportunity during each semester registration process to designate an individual or individuals to be contacted by the college “in case of emergency.” In the event a student is reported missing, college personnel will attempt to contact his/her emergency designee no more than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing in accordance with the procedures set forth below. An emergency contact designee will remain in effect until changed or revoked by the student.
b. Students under the age of 18 – In the event a student who is not emancipated is determined to be missing pursuant to the procedures set forth below, the college is required to notify a custodial parent or guardian no more than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing in accordance with the procedures set forth below.

Official notification procedures for missing persons
a. Any individual on campus who has information that a residential student may be a missing person must contact a member of the residence life staff within that student’s residence hall as soon as possible. Residence life staff will then notify the vice president of student development. Note: If a commuter student is believed missing, the reporting person should immediately notify local law enforcement authorities. The campus safety office will assist outside agencies with these investigations as requested.
b. Residence life staff and the campus safety officer will gather information about the residential student from the reporting person and from the student’s acquaintances (description, clothes last worn, where student might be, who student might be with, vehicle description, information about the physical and mental well being 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.
c. If the above actions are unsuccessful in locating the student within four hours of the report or it is apparent immediately that the student is a missing person (e.g., witnessed abduction), the vice president of student development will contact the Jamestown Police Department to report the student as a missing person and the local law enforcement agency will take over the investigation.
d. No later than 24 hours after determining that a residential student is missing, the vice president of student development, or her designee, will notify the emergency contact (for students 18 and older) or the parent/guardian (for students under the age of 18) that the student is believed to be missing.

Campus communications about missing students
In all cases of a missing student, the law enforcement agency conducting the investigation will provide information to the media that is designed to obtain public assistance in the search for any missing student. The vice president of enrollment, marketing, and communications, or his designee, is available to provide consultation on communication with the investigating law enforcement agency. Any media requests to the college will be directed to the vice president of enrollment, marketing, and communications.