The Catholic University of America

Missing Student Notification Policy

Approved by: President
History: Issued   -- October 29, 2010  
  Revised --  
  Additional History
Related Policies: Collection of Student Address Information; Parental Notification
Additional References:
Responsible Official      Associate VP for Student Life and Dean of Students tel. (202) 319-5619

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I.    Introduction

The purpose of the University's Missing Student Notification Policy is to outline the University’s response to a report of a missing student in accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and to inform residential students of the option to identify an individual to be contacted by the University within 24 hours after determining the student is missing. This policy is applicable to all students residing in University owned or leased housing. 

II.    Policy

Any member of the University community who has reason to believe that a student may be missing shall immediately contact the Department of Public Safety (DPS) at tel. 202-319-5111. If the initial report that a student may be missing is made to a department other than DPS, the individual receiving the report will ensure that DPS is immediately notified.

Upon initial notification of a potential missing student, DPS will initiate an investigation to determine the whereabouts of the missing student. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) will be notified if appropriate based on the determination of the initial investigation. In the event that the initial investigation determines that the student has been missing for longer than 24 hours, DPS will immediately contact MPD. DPS will also, and as needed, notify other law enforcement jurisdictions as applicable.

The Office of the Dean of Students (DOS) will utilize the emergency contact information stored in Cardinal Station when making notifications of a missing student. Students may update their emergency contact information at any time and are required to validate their emergency contact information prior to the start of both the Fall and Spring terms.

DOS will attempt to notify the emergency contact as soon as possible after a determination has been made that a student is missing. Under all circumstances, this notification will occur within 24 hours after determining a student as missing. In the event that the missing student is under the age of 18 and not an emancipated individual, notification will be made to the student’s parent or legal guardian in addition to any listed emergency contact, even if the parents have not been listed as an emergency contact.

The University may contact other individuals, including the student's parents or legal guardian, if deemed necessary, to prevent harm to a student or others, necessary to the investigation or otherwise appropriate under the circumstances.

III.   Confidentiality

All contact information will be registered confidentially. Contact information will only be accessible to authorized campus officials. It will not be disclosed, except to law enforcement personnel in furtherance of a missing person investigation.