200.6 - Missing Student Notification

University Group Policy #200.6

Policy Statement

WSSU takes student safety very seriously. As such, this policy is established in compliance with Section 488 of the Higher Education Act of 2008, to assist in locating any WSSU student, who based on facts and circumstances known to WSSU are determined to be missing for 24 hours. The following policy and procedures applies to any student living in on campus housing, or in alternative housing managed by the University, which may be located off-campus.

Guidelines

Residential Student Information

At the beginning of each academic year, a residential student will have the option and will be asked to provide emergency contact information for an individual who would be contacted by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs not later than 24 hours after the time that the student has been reported to be missing. A student can register this confidential contact information through the Director of Housing and Residence Life Office. In addition, each student must verify permanent and/or local address prior to registering for classes each semester; this process will occur through the University’s BANNER system.

Notwithstanding, any residential student under 18 years of age must provide the Department of Housing and Residence Life with accurate emergency contact information. This is not optional and failure to do so will preclude the student from registering. The University will cancel the registration of any student under 18 years of age who fails to provide emergency contact information as required by this policy. If such student is not an emancipated individual, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will only notify the custodial parent or guardian within 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing.

The Department of Campus Police and Public Safety will begin its investigation no later than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing. The Department of Campus Police and Public Safety will notify the National Crime Information Center’s (hereinafter referred to as “NCIC”) Missing Person File and the Division of Criminal Information (hereinafter referred to as “DCI”).

If the Department of Campus Police and Public Safety makes a determination that a student is missing, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will initiate the emergency contact procedure in accordance with the student’s designation.

Notification Procedures

Any reports of a missing student by residence life staff are to be referred immediately to the Department of Campus Police & Public Safety. If student is determined to be missing, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will contact the individual identified by the student or contact the custodial parent or legal guardian for unemancipated students under the age of 18.

Roles and Responsibilities

Department of Police and Public Safety

The Department of Campus Police & Public Safety, upon notification of a missing student, will conduct a thorough investigation in the manner it deems fit, including but not limited to conducting a thorough investigation and obtain all necessary information as follows:

  • securing a description of the person, clothing, who they may be with or where they may be, vehicle description and the physical and mental well being of the individual
  • a quick and thorough search of the campus buildings and parking lots using the student’s class schedule
  • checking access card logs to determine the last time the ID card was used as well as any surveillance video
  • requesting assistance from Resident Assistants or others to assist in a search on campus
  • issuing an ID card photograph to assist in the identification of the missing student
  • Contacting NCIC and DCI after a search has been conducted with negative results

Campus Communications

In all cases of a missing student, the University and Media Relations will provide information to the media that is designed to obtain public assistance in the search for any missing student. The local law enforcement agency will consult with WSSU Media Relations Office and the Chief of Police or designee. Any media requests to the University will be directed to WSSU Media Relations.

Applicability

This policy applies University wide.


Responsible Division: Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs

Authority: Board of Trustees

History:

  • Adopted: March 19, 2010