Missing Student Policy/Investigation
This online policy
content is provided as a resource for the students, faculty, staff, and
administration of Dickinson College. Content is subject to change. Please
contact the appropriate person or office to obtain the most current
As a requirement of the Higher Education Opportunity Act and
in an effort to assist in ensuring the safety of our residential students,
Dickinson College has established a missing student notification policy that
requires the college to alert an emergency contact designated by the student
and/or the student’s parents as well as local law enforcement if the student
has been missing for more than 24 hours.
All students signing into the gateway for the first time
are prompted to provide the name and phone number of
an emergency contact person for this purpose. This information is accessible to
authorized campus officials who have the responsibility of notification and law
enforcement officers in furtherance of a missing person investigation. The
following procedures apply to all notifications:
- If a member of the college
community becomes aware that a student is missing, they should immediately
notify the Department of Public Safety at 717-245-1111, whether or not the
student resides on campus. Public Safety will then notify the Dean On-Call, the
Chief of Public Safety and other appropriate personnel to initiate actions to
locate the student. All possible efforts will be made to locate the student to
determine his or her state of health and well-being through the collaboration
of Public Safety and the Office of Campus Life. If the student is an on campus
resident, Public Safety, working with Campus Life personnel, may make an entry
into the student’s room to check on their welfare. If the student is an
off-campus resident, Public Safety will informally enlist the aid of the
neighboring police agency having jurisdiction.
- Concurrently, college officials
will endeavor to determine the student’s whereabouts through contact with
friends, associates, and/or employers of the student. Whether or not the
student has been attending classes, labs, recitals, and scheduled organizational
or academic meetings, or appearing for scheduled work shifts, will be
established. If located, verification of the student’s state of health and
intention of returning to the campus is made. When and where appropriate, a
referral will be made to the Health Center.
- If not located, notification of
the emergency contact and local law enforcement within 24 hours of receiving
the initial report will be made to determine if they know the whereabouts of
the student. The notification of the emergency contact will be made by the Dean
of Students of his/her designee. If the student is an off-campus resident,
appropriate family members or associates are encouraged to make an official
missing person report to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction.
- Local law enforcement will be
notified in all cases even if the student has not provided an emergency contact
and the college will provide the necessary information to assist in locating
the missing student.
- If the missing student is under
the age of 18 and is not an emancipated individual, Public Safety will notify
the student’s parent or legal guardian also.
If the circumstances related to a student’s disappearance
appear to be related to foul play, i.e., kidnapping or other criminal acts,
then the appropriate notifications and actions will be initiated immediately.
Individuals who are concerned about someone who has not been
missing for 24 hours but has failed to return to his/her residence are also
encouraged to contact Public Safety.
Public Safety will cooperate, aid, and assist the primary
investigative agency in all ways prescribed by law. If the student is an
on-campus resident, Public Safety will open an official investigation and
retain status as the primary investigative unit. Upon closure of the missing
person investigation, all parties previously contacted will be advised of the
status of the case.