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 in campus housing.
A Salem College residential student is “determined to be missing” when a missing person report investigation concludes that the student has been absent from the College for a period of 24 hours or longer without any known reason. The Chief of Public Safety, or designee, in conjunction with the Dean of Students, or designee, will make the official determination of whether a student is deemed missing.
Procedure for designation of confidential emergency contact information
All residential students have the opportunity annually to identify an individual or individuals to be contacted by the dean of students not later than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing in accordance with the procedures set forth below. A designation will remain in effect until changed or revoked by the student. This information is maintained confidentially and will be available only to the Public Safety Department, Dean of Students and the Director of Residence Life. The administration of the College reserves the right to notify the parents of a student under the age of 21 if she has been determined to be missing.
For those students under the age of 18 and not an emancipated individual, the College is required to notify the emergency contact as well as the custodial parent or guardian no more than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing.
Procedure for official notification for missing students
- Any concerned person who has information that a residential student may be a missing student must notify the public safety department or director of residence life as soon as possible so that an official determination may be made about whether or not the student is missing.
Note: In order to avoid jurisdictional conflicts when a Fleer or Day student is believed to be missing, the reporting person should immediately notify local law enforcement authorities. The public safety department will assist external authorities with these investigations as requested.
- The public safety department and residence life staff will gather all essential information about the residential student from the reporting person and from the student’s acquaintances. Appropriate campus staff will be notified to aid in the search for the student. Appropriate staff will include the residential coordinator on-call, the director of residence life and the dean of students.
- If the above actions are unsuccessful in locating the student within 24 hours, or it is apparent immediately that the student is a missing person (e.g. witnessed abduction) the student will be determined a missing student.
- Within 24 hours after a student is determined to be missing, (1) the Dean of Students, or designee, will notify the emergency contact per emergency contact process; and (2) the Chief of Public Safety, or designee, will notify the appropriate local law enforcement agencies for assistance. In addition, the administration of the College reserves the right to notify the parents of a student under the age of 21 if she has been determined to be missing.