Missing Student Policy
It is the policy of Glen Oaks Community College to investigate any report of a missing student who is attending classes at GOCC and who resides in on-campus housing.
A student will be deemed missing when reported absent from the College and/or the student housing building without any known cause and/or for a reasonable period of time. A reasonable period of time may vary based upon student’s routine and habits, punctuality, reliability, reports of suicidal thoughts, drug and alcohol use, or if the student might be in the company of individuals who could endanger the student’s welfare or place the student in a life threatening situation.
All reports of missing students must be directed to the Campus Security Officer at 269-294-4312; in these instances, the Campus Security Officer will take the lead in investigating each report and make a determination whether the student is missing in accordance with this policy. At that time, the Campus Security Officer will contact local law enforcement within 24 hours after the College receives a report that a student is missing.
All students have the option to identify an emergency contact person or persons who will be notified within 24 hours in the event a determination is made by local law enforcement that the student is missing. This contact information may be added through the Student Housing Office. It is the student’s responsibility to regularly update any changes to existing contact information through the Student Housing Office. This information will be registered confidentially. Only authorized campus officials and law enforcement officers may have access to this information.
If a missing student is under 18 years of age, and not an emancipated individual, the College will notify a custodial parent or guardian of the missing student no later than 24 hours after the determination by law enforcement that the student is missing.
The Devier Student Suites are configured for apartment-style living, and there is no formal procedure or prescribed timelines for monitoring whether students are present in their assigned student suites. Student welfare and safety is paramount to the College; however, the College recognizes and makes known its limitations in obtaining accurate and timely information on the whereabouts of students.
Any report of a missing student who reside in on-campus housing, from whatever source, must immediately be directed to the Campus Security Officer. When a student is reported missing, the Campus Security Officer will:
- Initiate an investigation to determine the validity of the missing person report, including gathering information such as a description, clothing, vehicle, physical and mental state, who the student may be with, and obtaining an up-to-date photograph.
- Inform the Vice President of Student Services.
- Make a determination as to the status of the missing student
- Notify local police or other appropriate law enforcement agencies within 24 hours after the College receives a report that the student is missing.
Upon determining the student is missing and upon notification by law enforcement, the Vice President of Student Services will:
- Notify the person(s) identified by the missing student as the emergency contact within 24 hours of making the determination that the student is missing. If the missing student is under the age of 18, and is not an emancipated individual, the Dean will notify the student’s custodial parent or guardian as contained in the records of the College within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing.
- Initiate whatever other action is deemed appropriate under the circumstances to be in the best interest of the missing student.
In cases of a missing student, the law enforcement agency conducting the investigation will typically provide information to the media. Law enforcement personnel are best suited to provide information to the media that is designed to elicit public assistance for a missing person. Glen Oaks Community College is available to provide consultation on communication with the investigating law enforcement agencies. Any media requests should be directed to Glen Oaks Community College and the Executive Director of Communications and Marketing.
In the case a commuter student is believed to be missing, reports should be directed to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Glen Oaks Community College will work in conjunction with law enforcement as needed.
If any provisions(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Glen Oaks Community College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provisions(s) to the extent required by law.
Presented to Board of Trustees and adopted– September 14, 2017.