As mandated by the Higher Education Opportunity Act, Spring Arbor University is required to establish a missing student notification policy for students who reside in on-campus housing. All students who reside in on-campus housing have:
- The option to identify an individual that the school can contact no later than 24 hours after the time the student is determined missing according to the school’s official notification procedures;
- A way to register confidential contact information in the event the student is determined to be missing for more than 24 hours.
Only authorized school personnel and law enforcement officials will have access to this information.
Moreover, in the event a person is determined to be missing, the University must:
- For student under 18 years of age, notify a custodial parent or guardian no later than 24 hours after the time the student is determined to be missing according to the institution’s official procedures;
- Initiate the emergency contact procedures that the student designates if campus security or law enforcement personnel have been notified and have determined that the student has been missing for more than 24 hours and has not returned to campus.
When a student is suspected to be missing, it must be reported to a member of the Residence Life Staff. Staff will record the reporting person’s name, relationship to the missing student, and contact information where the reporting person can be reached on the Missing Person Report. In the event that RD/RA cannot be reached, Residence Life Staff will inform the Assistant Vice President of Student Development and Learning and Director of Campus Safety about the missing person report.
The RD/RA will refer to the Missing Student Checklist and contact the reporting student for further information. IF the RD/ RA determines at any point that there is credible threat to the well-being of the student reported as missing, the RD/ RA should call Director of Campus Safety and request law enforcement assistance.
In the meantime, RD/ RA should proceed to contact known friends and others in relationship with the student reported missing, beginning with roommates/suitemates. All direct and indirect methods of reaching the missing student should be exhausted and documented, and the missing student should be urged 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. The RD/ RA may also contact the reporting person and relay that the student is not missing and has been asked to contact the reporting person. Complete the checklist and forward it to the Director of Campus Safety.
If pursuing known contacts has not yielded confirmation of the student’s whereabouts, the RD/ RA should contact the Assistant Vice President for Student Development and Learning and Director of Campus Safety reporting all obtained information and follow verbal notification with a written incident report. The Assistant Vice President for Student Development and Learning may then authorize the following measures to determine activity of student reported missing:
- Mailbox activity;
- Class Attendance;
- In-plain view examination of room for 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 Assistant Vice President for Student Development and Learning will immediately notify the Director of Campus Safety who will then request law enforcement investigation. All information obtained about the missing student through the residence life investigation should be shared with Campus Safety and law enforcement representatives. The Assistant Vice President for Student Development and Learning or Campus Safety Director are responsible for notification of the missing student’s identified contact if the student has been determined to be missing. If the student is under 18 years of age, and not an emancipated individual, the custodial parent or guardian will immediately be contacted.