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Missing Student Policy

I. Justification and Statement of Policy

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.

II. Scope

This policy applies to students who live in campus housing.

III. Definitions
  1. Student: any person enrolled in any class or program of the College.

  2. Emancipated Individual: A person less than 18 years of age who has been declared by a court to be independent of his or her parents.

  3. Campus housing: All property owned and approved by the College for student housing, including fraternity and sorority owned housing.

IV. Policy

General Statement of Policy:

Anyone who believes a student to be missing should immediately report her/his concern to Ƶ & Marshall College's Department of Public Safety (DPS). This reporting is mandatory regarding a missing student who lives in on-campus student housing.

Other College officials receiving a missing student report must notify DPS immediately. 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 be considered missing immediately, if their absence has occurred under circumstances that are suspicious or cause concerns for their safety.

Missing persons emergency contact information:

Annually, the College will inform students who reside in on-campus student housing that they have the option to update their general emergency and missing person contacts, even if students provided contacts for the prior year. Students who move into on-campus student housing any time of the year, will be provided with the option to provide their general emergency and missing person contacts. The general emergency contact may be the same or different than the missing person contacts. Students are not required to designate a separate individual for this purpose and if they choose not to do so then the College will assume that they have chosen to treat their general emergency contact as their missing person contact. To protect confidentiality, general emergency contact information and missing student contact information are kept separate, even if the same person is listed for both purposes.

Students' contact information will be completely confidential, and the information will only be accessible to authorized campus officials and it will not be disclosed, except to law enforcement personnel in the furtherance of a missing person investigation.

Missing Person Reports:

Any individual on campus who has information that a student may be missing must notify the Department of Public Safety by reporting in person to 609 Old Main Dr., using one of the blue light emergency telephones on campus, calling 3939 from a campus telephone, or calling 717-358-3939. Individuals may also call 9-1-1 to file a report with Lancaster City Police or Manheim Township Police. The Department of Public Safety will assist outside agencies with these investigations as requested.

The Department of Public Safety will gather information about the student from the reporting person and any others that it deems necessary. This investigation may also consist of checking a student's key card access, class attendance, student residence, contacting the student's House Dean, contacting the student's missing student contact, along with other methods to determine the status of the student. Appropriate campus staff may be notified to aid in the search for the student.

If, within 24 hours of the report, the student is not located and is not known to have returned to campus or is otherwise located, the College will 1) notify the local law enforcement agency, unless the local law enforcement agency was the entity that made the determination that the student was missing; 2) enter a report into the National Crime Information Center database citing that the student is missing; and 3) notify the missing person emergency contact. If the student is under the age of 18 and is not an emancipated individual, the Department of Public Safety or the Lancaster City Police/Manheim Township Police will notify both the student's parent/guardian as well as any missing person emergency contact within 24 hours. The College can notify multiple contacts, granted that the student shared them, and may contact additional contacts in any order that the College deems appropriate. Even if a listed contact states that a student is not missing, the College will still contact any additional listed contacts until personal contact with the student is made by the College.

V. Related Documents and Forms

To register a contact, go to:
Choose: My Housing Self-Service, Housing Application

Policy Maintained by: Department of Public Safety, Associate Vice President 
Original Effective Date: September 26, 2022