STU-003: Missing Student Notifications for Students Residing in On-Grounds Housing

Date: 03/01/2010 Status: Final
Last Revised: 08/19/2015
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Applies To: Academic Division.
Table of Contents:

Policy Statement
Procedures

Reason for Policy:

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) requires the University to establish a missing student notification policy and related procedures for students living in On-Grounds student housing.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Emancipated Individual:

    A person less than 18 years of age who has been declared by a court to be independent of his or her parents.

  • Student (1):

    A person enrolled in one or more courses at the University of Virginia.

Policy Statement:

The University of Virginia will provide every student living in On-Grounds student housing the opportunity and means to identify a missing person contact to be used if a student is reported missing. Missing student contact information provided will be registered confidentially, accessible only to authorized University officials and may not be disclosed except to law enforcement personnel in furtherance of a missing person investigation.

In accordance with the procedures established under this policy, within 24 hours after a student living in On-Grounds student housing has been reported missing and the student is not known to have returned to University Grounds or otherwise been located, the Dean of Students or his/her designee will notify the individual the student has designated as his/her missing person contact. If the missing student is under 18 years of age and not an emancipated individual, the Dean of Students or his/her designee also will notify the student’s custodial parent or guardian.

The University Police Department shall investigate all reports of missing students and will notify and cooperate with other law enforcement agencies, as necessary, to further the investigation.

Procedures:

Any individual who believes a student living in On-Grounds student housing may be missing should immediately contact the University Police Department (UPD) at 2304 Ivy Road Charlottesville, Va. 22903 or by phone at (434) 924-7166. The University Police Department will notify the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) upon receipt of a missing student report. When receiving such report, both ODOS and UPD will attempt to determine whether the student is, in fact, missing. Among other steps that may be taken depending on the circumstances:

  • ODOS will attempt to contact the student through all reasonable and available means.
  • UPD will investigate the validity of the missing person report and manage the information according to its established investigative standards.
  • UPD may notify appropriate University personnel and seek their aid in the investigation (e.g., ODOS Residence Life staff, Counseling and Psychological Services staff, etc.).
  • UPD will notify local law enforcement agencies within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing, unless the local law enforcement agency was the entity that made the determination that the student is missing.

If, within 24 hours of the report, UPD is unable to locate the missing student and the student is not known to have returned to University Grounds or otherwise located, UPD will notify ODOS and ODOS shall take the following action(s):

  • The Dean of Students or his/her designee will promptly notify the individual the student has designated as his/her missing person contact and document the date and time of the notification.
  • If the missing student is under 18 years of age and not an emancipated individual, the Dean of Students or his/her designee also will notify the student’s custodial parent or guardian and document the date and time of the notification.

UPD and ODOS will coordinate their efforts to locate the missing student. The Dean of Students will notify the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer and update him/her on the status of the investigation as appropriate.

When the missing student is located, the Dean of Students or his/her designee will contact the student to offer any appropriate support, as well the emergency contacts and/or parents to confirm the student has been located.

If the initial investigation is unsuccessful in locating the missing student, UPD will continue to investigate according to established police procedures. The Dean of Students will decide what further action, if any, should be taken by ODOS.

Major Category: Students and Student Programs
Next Scheduled Review: 08/17/2018
Approved by, Date: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, 03/01/2010
Revision History: Updated 8/19/15, 8/27/13.