Salem College strives to maintain a safe and secure environment for its students. In support of this commitment, the College has established this missing student policy to be followed in the event that a residential College student is reported missing, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. The procedures in this policy apply 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 twenty-four 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.
Any concerned person who has information that a residential student may be missing must notify the Department of Public Safety as soon as possible so that an official determination may be made about whether or not the student is missing.
If a student is officially deemed missing, the Department of Public Safety will notify local police or other appropriate law enforcement, and the Dean of Students Office will notify the designated emergency contact for the missing student. The Department of Public Safety will work closely with local police or other law enforcement regarding any investigation. In collaboration with the Dean of Students Office and until the missing student is located, the Department of Public Safety will serve as the primary point of contact for the emergency contact identified by the missing student after notification of the situation by the Dean of Students Office.
Note: In order to avoid jurisdictional conflicts when a Fleer or off-campus 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.
Procedure for Designation of Confidential Emergency Contact Information
Residential students will have the opportunity annually to identify an individual or individuals to be contacted by the Dean of Students Office or designee within twenty-four hours after 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 authorized campus officials in furtherance of a missing student investigation. Salem College reserves the right to notify the parents of a student if the student has been determined to be missing.
For 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 within twenty-four hours after the student is determined to be missing.
Procedure for Official Notification for Missing Students
When a student is reported missing, the Department of Public Safety will:
Initiate an investigation to determine the validity of the missing student report;
Inform the Dean of Students Office;
Make a determination as to the status of the missing student; and
Notify local police or other appropriate law enforcement agencies within twenty-four hours after the College receives a report that a student is missing.
The Dean of Students Office, Residence Life, the Residential Coordinator On-Call, and other appropriate College staff will aid in the investigation process as directed by the Department of Public Safety.
Upon determination the student is missing by the Department of Public Safety, the Dean of Students Office will:
Notify the person(s) identified by the missing student as the confidential contact within 24 hours of making the determination that the student is missing;
If the missing student is under the age of 18, and not an emancipated individual, notify the student’s custodial parent or guardian as contained in the records of the College within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing;
Inform other College departments, such as the Registrar and Department Chair of the courses in which the student is enrolled, as needed; and
Initiate whatever other action is deemed by the College to be appropriate and in the best interest of the missing student under the circumstances.
Student Notification of Policy
This policy is contained in the Student Handbook, on the Salem College website at the Department of Public Safety webpages, and in the Annual Security Report published by the College.