SA-27 Missing Student Policy

Overview
The College requires that every student who resides on campus, regardless of their age, must identify a contact strictly for missing person’s purposes. That person shall be the first contact person in the event that the student would be officially reported missing during his or her tenure at the College. This information will be maintained confidentially, and will only be provided to appropriate authorized campus officials. It will be disclosed to law enforcement personnel in furtherance of a missing person investigation. If any member of the campus community, family member or friend has reason to believe that a resident student’s absence is contrary to their normal behavior, the Campus Safety Office shall be notified immediately and will initiate an investigation.

Purpose 
The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for the College’s response of missing students, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. For the purposes of this policy a residential student will be considered missing if a roommate, classmate, faculty member, family member, or other campus person has reason to believe that a resident student’s absence is contrary to their behavior and has not been seen in a reasonable amount of time. A reasonable amount of time may vary with the time of day and information available regarding the missing person’s daily schedule, habits, and reliability. If a person’s absence has occurred under circumstances that are considered suspicious or there are concerns for their safety, the person shall be considered missing immediately

The College has 24 hours after receiving the report that the student is missing to initiate specific missing student notification procedures. However, the College can initiate their procedures for a missing student before 24 hours has passed.

When the student is under the age of 18 and not emancipated, the institution must notify a custodial parent or guardian within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing, in addition to notifying any additional contact person designated by the student. 

Reports of missing persons will be expeditiously investigated. The Green River College Campus Safety Office will be the lead investigative agency when in receipt of a missing person report, unless another law enforcement agency assumes primary responsibility. When possible, a liaison will be established to support the missing student’s family and to assist in the investigation.

Scope
This policy applies to students who reside in campus housing at Green River College main campus in Auburn which is the Campus Corner Apartments complex.

Definition

Policy and/or Procedure 
In compliance with the Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 2008, the purpose of this policy is to provide the procedures for reporting, investigating, and making missing student notifications of any residential student of Green River College believed to be missing. This Act requires institutions of higher education to establish a missing student
notification policy for students who reside in on-campus housing, including a process for students to register a confidential contact to be notified if they have been determined to be missing.

A person is presumed missing when their absence is inconsistent with their established patterns of behavior and the deviation cannot be readily explained. Before presuming that a person is missing, reasonable measures should be taken to determine that no one familiar with the person has seen or heard from the person for an unusual period of time or is aware of where they may be. At that point, they need to notify Campus Safety at 253-288-3350.

NOTE: Regarding any students or college staff who are non-Campus Corner Apartment residents, people should contact GRC Campus Safety, 253-288-3350, as soon as they have determined that the individual is missing.

Identifying an Emergency Contact Person
During Move-in Day at CCA, all students are asked to provide the Campus Corner Apartments’ Housing Office with the name and contact information of a person to be contacted in the event they become missing. This form is known as the Missing Student Contact form. The form is collected and kept in a confidential locked file cabinet in the CCA Housing Office and will only be released to appropriate authorized campus officials to assist in the missing student notification and investigation (and may not be disclosed, except to law enforcement personnel in furtherance of a missing person investigation). If the missing student did not provide missing person contact information then CCA will contact the person(s) the student listed as the point of contact or their Guarantor on their housing contract.

Each quarter students will be given the opportunity to update the information.

Reporting and Investigating Missing Persons
Persons can report students missing to one or all of the following individuals:

PositionContact Information
Director of Safety  253-288-3350 
Vice President of Student Affairs  253-288-3328 
Dean of Student Success & Retention  253-833-9111, ext. 2559 
Dean of Enrollment & Completion  253-833-9111, ext. 3307 
Dean of Campus Life  253-833-9111, ext. 6024 
Director of Housing  253-833-9111, ext. 3601 
Director of Judicial Affairs  253-833-9111, ext. 3397 

When any of the above are contacted, he/she then has the responsibility to immediately contact the Director of Campus Safety (or his designee) to initiate an investigation. The Director of Campus Safety will keep the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Director of Housing abreast of the process of the investigation. Please note that many times Residence hall staff, building directors, and other Student Affairs personnel may actually be the first contacts to whom students report other missing students. If that occurs, then, whoever was contacted needs to immediately contact the Director of Campus Safety. There is no waiting period for an individual to report a missing person. Campus Safety will investigate, following established protocol, all cases of missing persons that are brought to their attention. The Campus Safety Office will serve as the lead investigating agency unless superseded by a local law enforcement agency, a Prosecutor’s Office or State of Washington or Federal agency with appropriate jurisdiction.

In responding to a missing student report, the College may utilize one or more of the following procedures:

  • talk with the student’s friends
  • ask Housing personnel to assist in entering his/her room if staying in Campus Corner Apartments
  • provide a photograph to assist in identifying and locating the missing student
  • contact faculty, peers, and/or family regarding last sighting

Informing Designated Missing Person Contact or Appropriate Others

After investigating a missing person report, should Green River College Campus Safety determine that the student has
been missing for 24 hours, Green River College Campus Safety will notify:

  • the Auburn Police Department
  • the student’s missing person contact(s)
  • the student’s parent or legal guardian (if the person is under the age of 18 and is not an emancipated individual)
  • the appropriate Consulate in case the student is an international student (Campus Safety will work directly with the Director of International Housing or the International Program Extended Learning Dean to facilitate the connection with the Consulate)
  • Note: for students under the age of 21: Suzanne’s Law requires law enforcement to notify the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) when someone between the age of 18 and 21 is reported missing, as part of the national “Amber Alert” bill. NCIC is the United States’ central database for tracking crime-related information. The NCIC has been an information sharing tool since 1967. It is maintained by the Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and is interlinked with federal, tribal, state, and local agencies and offices.

Also, in cases where the student is under the age of 18 and where the missing student may be at risk, immediate contact may be necessary. Campus Safety will work closely with CCA staff to facilitate any communication needs with regards to notifications of others.

CCA Response Procedures
Campus Corner Apartments has, maintains, and regularly updates their response procedures for acting on any reports of missing residential students. These procedures are included in their operations manuals, and incorporated into the training of their resident assistants and any CCA housing staff.


Specific Authority

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-315—August 14, 2008). This act requires institutions that both participate in any federal higher education programs and maintain on-campus housing to establish a missing student notification policy for students who reside in on-campus housing and have been determined after an investigation by campus security officials to be missing for 24 hours. This is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education (ED).

34 CFR 668.46(b)(14) states that a policy is required for missing student notification procedures to include a list of titles of persons or organizations to which students employees or others should report that a student has been missing for 24 hours; to be immediately referred to the Campus Safety Office.

The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting, published 2011, pages 161-169

Law Implemented


History of Policy or Procedure
Draft: June 26, 2016
Adopted: August 18, 2016
Revised:
Reviewed by:
Contact: Dr. Deborah Casey, Vice President of Student Affairs, ext. 3328
Sponsor: Dr. Deborah Casey, Vice President of Student Affairs, ext. 3328