The purpose of this missing student 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 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 Public Safety department or assistant dean of students 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 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 or designee no later than twenty-four hours after the time 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 residence life. The administration of the College reserves the right to notify the parents of a student 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 twenty-four hours after the student is determined to be missing.
Procedure for Official Notification for Missing Students
1. 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. 33 Appropriate campus staff will be notified to aid in the search for the student. Appropriate staff will include the Residential Coordinator on-call, the assistant dean of students, and the dean of students.
2. If the above actions are unsuccessful in locating the student within twenty-four hours, or it is apparent immediately that the student is a missing person (e.g., witnessed abduction), the student will be determined to be a missing student.
3. Within twenty-four hours after a student is determined to be missing, (1) the dean of students or designee will notify the emergency contact per the 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 if she has been determined to be missing.