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Every student who resides in on-campus housing shall have the option to identify a confidential individual to be contacted by the University in the event that the student is determined missing in accordance with the procedures outlined below. Only authorized campus officials and law enforcement officers in furtherance of a missing person investigation may have access to this information.
Reason for Policy
In accordance with Section 485 of the Higher Education Act (HEA), every institution of higher education that provides on-campus housing must provide a missing student notification policy for those students residing in on-campus housing.
Departments or Persons to Whom a Report should be made
The organization or persons to which individuals should report a student as missing includes: Residential Assistants, Office of Residential Life and Housing, Office of Student Affairs, and the Department of Institutional Safety.
During the first floor meeting of the fall semester, RAs will cover confidential contact information with students. During the first week of the spring semester, the RA will meet with all new students to provide missing person policy information. Students must return the missing persons contact form to the Office of Residential Life where it will be kept in their housing file. Students can change the form at any time, and the old form will be shredded. The form will be kept in the student’s housing file until the end of the academic year.
Determining if a Student is Missing
If a student is reported missing to a Residential Life and Housing staff member, the staff member should be sure to obtain the reporting person’s name, relationship to the student, and contact information where the reporting person can be reliably reached. If Residential Life and Housing determines at any point that there is a credible threat to the well-being of the student reported as missing, the University of Missouri Police Department will be contacted immediately. The Office of Residential Life will then proceed to contact known student friends/relationships, beginning with roommates/suitemates, and the missing student’s resident assistant. The Office of Residential Life will also use direct and indirect methods of leaving messages for the student to make contact immediately. The purpose at this point is to determine if the student is truly missing or has simply failed to make the desired contact with the reporting person. If the student is located or is determined not to be missing, the student should be advised to contact the reporting person. If pursuing known contacts has not yielded confirmation that the student is not missing, the Director of Residential Life will contact the Office of Student Affairs, reporting all obtained information, and follow verbal notification with an Incident Report (IR). The Director of Residential Life may then authorize one or more of the following measures to determine recent activity by the student reported as missing:
- Building card access report
- Meal plan utilization
- Class attendance
- In-plain-sight examination of room to see signs of recent use or planned departure
If the results of these activity measures suggest that the student is indeed missing and unaccounted for, the Director of Residential Life, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, or designee will immediately notify the Director of Institutional Safety and request law enforcement investigation. The Director of Institutional Safety is responsible for notification of the missing student’s identified contact if the student has been missing for more than 24 hours. If the student is under 18 years of age and not an emancipated individual (by court order, no longer under the control or responsibility of parents), the Director of Safety and Transportation shall immediately contact the custodial parent or guardian.
Procedure for Notification of a Missing Student
If campus security officials determine that a student for whom a missing person report has been filed has been missing for more than 24 hours, then within the next 24 hours, they must:
- Notify the individual identified by the student to be contacted in this circumstance,
- If the student is under 18 years old, notify a parent or guardian, and
- Notify law enforcement.
Entities Affected by this Policy
Office of Student Affairs, Residential Life and Housing, Department of Institutional Safety.
Line of Authority
Contact Person in that Office: Director of Residential Life and Housing, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Director of Institutional Safety