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Missing Persons Policy

Campus Safety Home

Saint Mary’s University
Missing Person Policy
Higher Education Opportunity Act 2008

If a member of the University Community has reason to believe that a student is missing, whether or not the student resides on campus, 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 Saint Mary’s University Campus Safety, Student Life & Development and local law enforcement.

All reports of missing or suspected resident students should be reported to Saint Mary’s University Campus Safety
(507-457-1703). In an effort to avoid jurisdictional conflicts when an off-campus, and/or commuter student is reported missing Saint Mary’s University will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency having jurisdiction. Saint Mary’s University will assist law enforcement authorities with these investigations as required.

All residential students will have the opportunity to designate an individual or individuals to be emergency contacts, who will be notified by the University no more than 24 hours from the time the student is determined to be missing.

PROCEDURE

If a member of the University Community has reason to believe that a student is missing, whether or not the student resides on campus, all possible efforts are made to locate the student to determine his or her state of health and well-being through the collaboration of Winona State University Security and Office of Student Life & Development. If the student is an on-campus resident, Campus Safety will secure authorization to make a welfare entry into the student’s room. If an off-campus student resident is reported missing the University will informally enlist the aid of the appropriate law enforcement agency having jurisdiction.

Concurrently University 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 campus will be made. When and where appropriate a referral will be made to the Wellness Center, Student Life & Development and/or Saint Mary’s Health Services.

If not located, notification of the family within 24 hours of receiving the initial report is made to determine if they know of the whereabouts of the student. 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. Saint Mary’s Campus Safety will cooperate, aid and assist the primary investigative agency in all ways prescribed by law.

Additionally, when a report of a missing student is received by the University the following procedure will take place where and when applicable.

  1. When a report of a missing person is received by Saint Mary’s University Campus Safety, the member taking the initial report will gather all relevant information to include but not limited to the identity of the reporting party (including contact information), identity and description of the missing student, circumstances surrounding the disappearance, location last seen, and any other information determined to be relevant to the investigation.
  2. The member of Campus Safety receiving the report will immediately report the incident to the on-duty supervisor and/or Director of Campus Safety. A determination will then be made as to contacting other University Officials and/or Departments (i.e. Student Life & Development, Dean of Students, Residence Life, etc.).
  3. The Director of Campus Safety (or designee) will coordinate the investigation to determine the whereabouts of the missing student. This will include but is not limited to: conducting a follow-up investigations, checking class schedules, keying the students residence hall room, contacting roommates, friends, acquaintances, contacting law enforcement if appropriate, contacting known employers, etc.
  4. Campus Safety will contact other University Offices that may include the following; Student Life & Development, Finance and Administration, Registrar, etc. In addition notification will be made to the Vice-President for Student Development and the Dean of Students.
  5. If the student resides off campus Saint Mary’s University may notify the appropriate law enforcement agency and/or encourage the missing student’s parent, guardian and/or friend to contact law enforcement to make the appropriate notification to the agency with jurisdiction over the missing person. In these matters Saint Mary’s University will provide whatever assistance necessary and required by the law enforcement agency to facilitate locating the missing student.
  6. If not located, notification of the family within 24 hours of receiving the initial report is made to determine if they know of the whereabouts of the student. 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. The University will cooperate, aid and assist the primary investigative agency in all ways prescribed by law.
  7. 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 by the University to the Wellness Center, Office of Student Development, Dean of Students or other department that can provide assistance to the student.
  8. In the event the student is under 18 years of age or is not emancipated, the University shall make notification to the custodial parent or guardian immediately.
  9. Additionally, the University may take any measure necessary (not previously mentioned in this policy) to determine the whereabouts of a missing student in conformance with applicable laws.