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Missing Student Notification Policy

In 2010, new federal guidelines (Higher Education Act Reauthorization with Higher Education Opportunity Act – 2008 Section 485(j)) required all colleges and universities with on-campus student housing to enact policies and procedures to handle reports of missing students. The intent of the law is to minimize delays and confusion during the initial investigation.

Students are given the opportunity during each semester’s registration process to designate an individual or individuals to be contacted by the College no more than 24 hours after the time the student is determined to be missing. If there is reason to believe that a student is missing, all possible efforts will be made to locate the student and to determine the student’s state of health and well-being. The efforts to locate the student will be a collaborative effort between Blinn College Division of Student Services, Blinn College Housing Department, Blinn College Police, fellow students, family, and friends.

Missing Persons

Missing Persons – A person residing on the campus of Blinn College has the option of listing a confidential name to be notified in the event they are reported missing, and this name is separate from their emergency contact information. ShouId a student decline to list a separate name, the person listed as the emergency contact will be notified in the event the resident is reported missing. The notification is made to Residence Life staff; the appropriate Residence Life Area Coordinator should be immediately notified to assess the situation.

If the notification is made to the Blinn College Police Department, officers should immediately notify the Residence Life Office and work together to get the appropriate Residence Life Area Coordinator to assess the situation. The Blinn College Police Department and/or Residence Life personnel will notify the designated contact person within 24 hours of the individual being reported missing. If a student is under 18 years of age and not emancipated, the College must notify a custodial parent or guardian within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing, in addition to notifying any additional contact person designated by the student. All Missing Persons shall be reported to the Blinn College Police Department immediately. If a student is reported as missing for a full 24 hours, the Blinn College Police Department and Residence Life Personnel will initiate their Missing Persons Notification Procedures. The Blinn College Police Department and Residence Life may initiate the procedures prior to the 24-hour requirement. When a missing person report is made regarding a student residing in the Residence Life Program, the following protocol wiII be enacted:

Assess the Situation: (Residence Life Hall Directors or Assistant Hall Directors)

A. Search the room and building for the individual. If not located, proceed to Step B.

B. What are the circumstances that led one to report a missing person?

C. What was the emotional state of the missing individual?

D. What are the missing person's normal habits?

E. How long has the individual been missing?

F. When was the last time the person was seen?

G. Who were they with at the time?

H. What was the last known destination?

I. What type of transportation did he/she have?

J. Description of missing individual:

  1. Age and build (a photograph is most useful).
  2. Clothes they were wearing when last seen.
  3. Facial hair, glasses, color and length of hair, etc.
  4. Other unusual or identifying characteristics (tattoos, braces, scars, etc.).

Actions to be Taken:

A. Residence Life Hall Directors or Assistant Hall Directors

  1. Notify Director of Residence Life.
  2. Notify the Blinn College Police Department.
  3. Notify missing person listed on the housing application. If the student did not designate an individual to be contacted in the event of a missing person report, notify the person listed as their emergency contact.

B. Director of Residence Life (or designee)

  1. Gather information collected by the Hall Director or Assistant Hall Director.
  2. Turn collected information over to the Blinn College Police Department.
  3. Assist the Blinn College Police Department as requested.

C. Blinn College Police Department

  1. VP for Finance and Administration (VP will contact Administrative hierarchy per policy) and VP for Student Services.
  3. Area law enforcement agencies.