Effective Date of Policy:
August 17, 2022
Daemen University takes student safety very seriously. To this end, the following policy and procedure has been established to assist in locating Daemen University students living in University on-campus housing who, based on the facts and circumstances known to the University, are determined to be missing. This policy has been established as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, referred to as the Clery Act. Nothing in this policy should indicate that the University has knowledge of, or the ability to track, students’ whereabouts and activities at all times. Students are responsible for their own care and travels.
Designation of a contact person(s)
Each year, every resident student has the option to identify a contact person(s) whom the University shall notify within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing. The contact person can be anyone and, if the student so elects, may be someone other than the person that the student has designated as their emergency contact person for other purposes. Resident students will be given a Missing Student Contact Registration Form which should be submitted to the Office of Housing and Residence Life located on the second floor of Wick Campus Center.
This contact information is considered confidential and will be maintained separately by the Office of Housing and Residence Life and will only be shared with the appropriate University officials involved in a missing persons investigation including, but not limited to, the Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students, as well as the President. The information may also be provided to the Daemen Office of Campus Safety and the Amherst Police should an investigation be conducted after a missing student report is made. Students may change or revoke their contact information through the Office of Housing and Residence Life. Residential students who are less than 18 years of age and not officially emancipated by their parents or guardian may designate a contact person; however, the student’s custodial parent or guardian will also be notified within 24 hours of a determination that the student is missing.
Notification procedures for missing resident students
It is understood that resident students will have opportunities during the academic year to take weekends away to visit family or friends. When students will be away from their on- campus residence, students should inform their roommate or Resident Assistant of their plans and expected date of return for emergency contact purposes. For purposes of this policy, a student may be considered to be a “missing student” if the person’s absence is contrary to their usual pattern of behavior and unusual circumstances may have caused the absence. Such circumstances could include a reasonable/reliable report or suspicion that the missing student may be endangered. Examples include, but are not limited to, possible victim foul play, expression of suicidal thoughts, possible alcohol or drug abuse, a life-threatening situation, or recent contact with persons who may endanger the student’s welfare.
Anyone who suspects that a residential student is missing should immediately notify a Resident Assistant (RA), Hall Director (HD), Assistant Director and/or the Director of Housing & Residence Life (839-8200). If a missing student report is received by a RA, HD, or Assistant Director should immediately be notified to coordinate the investigation. The DHRL will immediately notify the Office of Campus Safety and the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students.
Once such notice is received, the Office of Campus Safety and the Office of Housing and Residence Life will begin an investigation to include, but not limited to, the following:
- Call the student’s cell phone
- Send a residence life staff member to the student’s room.
- Contact roommate(s)
- Access student’s vehicle information to locate and distribute to local authorities if necessary
- Access student’s class schedule and seek information on last sighting or other contact information.
- Access reports to determine the last time a student used a meal card or accessed residence hall.
- If student works on-campus, contact supervisor for contact information
- Call student’s designated Missing Person Contact
- Request information from Information Technology about students last electronic sign in to Daemen’s network systems
- Office of Campus Safety may issue an ID picture to assist in identifying the missing student
- The Office of Campus Safety may search on-campus public locations (library, cafeteria, etc.)
Actions upon a determination that a student is missing
If the above investigatory steps are unsuccessful in locating the student who has been missing for 24 hours, or it is apparent sooner that the student may be endangered, the DHRL or designee, after consulting with the Office of Campus Safety, will take the following actions within 24 hours:
- Contact the Amherst Police Department and other law enforcement agencies as necessary and report the student as a missing person.
- Write and file a detailed report and share it with the police. Law enforcement will take charge of the investigation.
- Notify the designated contact person, if any, that the student is believed to be missing. For unemancipated students under the age of 18, the student’s parent/guardian will also be notified.
Campus communications about missing students
Notifications to the campus community will be coordinated by the Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives or Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students (or designee). Media communications will be coordinated by the Director of Institutional Communications. Information will not be released to the public unless authorized by the Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives or Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students (or designee). All media requests will be directed to the Director of Institutional Communications. The DHRL will act as the liaison between the University and law enforcement, writing follow-up reports as needed and keeping university officials apprised of the ongoing investigation.
Reports of commuter students who are missing will be referred to the Office of Campus Safety and Amherst Police Department for investigation
Purpose of Policy
To create and maintain an equitable environment where students have the optimal opportunity to succeed academically, personally, and professionally and where any and all Daemen University Community members feel safe, valued, and respected.
This policy’s virtual location is in the General University Policies section (Section 5) of the Student Handbook – https://www.daemen.edu/student-life/student-affairs/student-handbook/section-5-general-university-policies.