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Missing Student Policy

This policy, with accompanying procedures, is designed to guide a collaborative response if a student living in college-owned, on-campus housing, who based on the facts and circumstances known to the College, is determined to be missing. A student will be deemed missing when he or she is absent from the College for more than 24 hours without any known reason.

Anyone who believes a residential student to be missing should immediately report their concern to Campus Security which will investigate each report and make a determination whether the student is missing.

Each residential student will have the opportunity to identify an individual to be contacted by the College in case the student is determined to be missing. The College will notify this individual within 24 hours of the official determination that the student is missing. This emergency contact information will be registered confidentially and will be accessible only to authorized campus officials. This confidential information will be disclosed to law enforcement officials only in the furtherance of a missing person investigation.

If a missing student is a minor under the age of 18, the College is required to notify the parent or guardian of the missing student no later than 24 hours after the determination by Campus Security that the student is missing. This is in addition to the notification of the emergency contact identified by the minor student.

Campus Security will notify the Elizabethtown Borough Police Department no later than 24 hours after it determines any student is missing.


  1. The Campus Security Officer receiving the report will collect and document the following information at the time of the report:
    • The name and relationship of the person making the report.
    • The date, time and location the missing student was last seen.
    • The general routine or habits of the suspected missing student (e.g.-visiting friends who live off-campus, working a job away from campus) including any recent changes in behavior or demeanor.
    • The missing student’s cell phone number (if known by the reporter).
  2. On receipt of a missing student report, Campus Security will contact the Area Coordinator on Duty and the Dean of Students in order to update them on the situation and to receive additional consultation. The Dean of Students will ascertain if/when other members of the Emergency Management Response Group need to be contacted.
  3. Campus Security and others involved in a missing student investigation may use any or all of the following resources to assist in locating the student:
    • Go to the student’s residence hall room
    • Talk to the student’s RA, roommate, and floor mates to see if anyone can confirm the missing student’s whereabouts and/or confirm the date, time and location the student was last seen.
    • Secure a current photo of the student
    • Call and text the student’s cell phone
    • Send the student an e-mail
    • Check all possible locations mentioned by the parties above including, but not limited to, library, residence hall lounges, student commons, fitness center, etc. Residence Life staff may be asked to assist in order to expedite the search process.
    • Contact or call any other on-campus or off-campus friends or contacts that are made known. This could include checking a student‘s social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.
    • Ascertain the student’s car make, model and license plate number. Campus Security will check college parking lots for the presence of the student’s vehicle.
  4. The ITS department may be asked to obtain email logs in order to determine the last log in and/or access of the Elizabethtown College network.
  5. Once all information is collected and documented and the Dean of Students (or her designee) is consulted, Campus Security may contact the local police to report the information. (Note: If in the course of gathering information as described above, foul play is evident or strongly indicated, the police can be contacted immediately.) If it is necessary to contact the local or state authorities, police procedure and protocol will be followed by the College.

(Portions adapted with permission from Wilson College.)

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