Missing students

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to convey the procedures of the University’s response to reports of on campus missing students, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.

Policy

Lynn University will investigate any report of a missing student residing in any of the on-campus residence halls and take appropriate action to ensure all notifications and actions comply with legal mandates. Campus Safety will notify law enforcement when a student is determined to be missing.

Definitions

Missing Student—a student is considered missing when a student residing in on-campus housing has been absent from Lynn University for more than 24 hours without any known reason.

Procedures/Guidelines

1. Registering Information

All students residing in on-campus housing are annually provided the option of identifying a contact person or persons whom the University will notify if the student is determined to be missing by the University or a local law enforcement agency. The contact information will be confidential, accessible only to authorized campus officials and law enforcement, and may not be disclosed except in a missing person investigation. For a person under the age of 18 (who is not emancipated), and for purposes of missing student notification, the person(s) to be contacted must be a custodial parent or guardian.

II. Reporting a Missing Student

Lynn University will investigate any report of a missing student residing in any of the on-campus residence halls and take appropriate action to ensure all notifications and actions comply with legal mandates. Campus Safety will notify law enforcement when a student is determined to be missing. For purposes of this Policy, a student is considered missing when a student residing in on-campus housing has been absent from Lynn University for more than 24 hours without any known reason.

If a student living in on-campus housing is determined to be missing, Campus Safety should be contacted immediately. The University will then initiate its notification and investigation procedures. There is no time period that will delay this notification procedure.

III. Investigation

Upon being notified of a missing student, Campus Safety will initiate an Incident Report and immediately investigate the report of a missing student utilizing established investigative procedures and appropriate University resources as necessary. Campus Safety will also notify the Boca Raton Police Department or other appropriate law enforcement agency within 24 hours if the student is determined to be missing.

Specifically, when a student who resides in on-campus housing is determined to have been missing for 24 hours, the University will:

  • Determine length of time since student was last seen or reporting parties last made contact;
  • Attempt to contact any person who may have information or has any type of relationship with the missing student, to include roommates, friends, instructors, Housing and Resident Life staff and teammates;
  • Inform University administration as information becomes available;
  • Determine if there are extenuating circumstances involved. If the investigation reveals any unusual activity or information, local law enforcement will be contacted immediately;
  • Notify the contact person if the student has designated one, within 24 hours;
  • Notify the student’s custodial parent or guardian and/or any other designated contact person within 24 hours if the student is under 18 years of age and is not emancipated;
  • Inform the local law enforcement agency that the student is missing within 24 hours; and
  • Cooperate with any investigating agency to assist in locating the missing person.

IV. Methods of Contacting a Reported Missing Student

University officials may work in cooperation and share records and information as appropriate to assess the status of a student reported as missing. Methods of attempting to locate a reported missing student include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Checking phone numbers and e-mail addresses provided as well as social networking sites;
  • Surveying the student’s room, including contacting those with whom the student may live;
  • Contacting friends, family members, known associates, faculty, and other campus community members;
  • Contacting extra jurisdictional law enforcement for assistance; and
  • Assessing the student’s use of campus resources, such as ID card access or computer network systems.

If contact is reestablished:

  • Local investigating agencies will be contacted with the appropriate information.
  • The emergency contact person will be contacted and advised of the situation.
  • University administration will be made aware of the situation as known to Campus Safety at the time of re-contact.

If contact is not reestablished:

  • Campus Safety will assist any group in all reasonable efforts to find the missing person.
  • University administration will be updated on the situation when information becomes available.

The family / contact person will be kept informed of the University’s information without disrupting any outside agency investigations.

To learn more about this policy or the supporting procedures, please contact Campus Safety.

Policy updated on: Sep. 25, 2018