Missing Student Notification Policy
In compliance with the Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 2008, the purpose of this policy is to provide the procedures for reporting, investigating and making emergency notifications regarding any resident student of Clark University who is reported and believed to be missing. A Clark resident student is presumed to be "missing" when the student's absence is inconsistent with the student's established patterns of behavior and the deviation cannot be readily explained. Before presuming that a person is missing, reasonable measures should be taken to determine whether or not the person is at their home or campus residence and whether or not anyone familiar with the person has seen or heard from the person recently or is aware of where they may be.
Any member of the Clark University community, including both employees and students, who is concerned that a member of the University community is missing should contact University Police, (508) 793-7575, or the Office of the Dean of Students, (508) 793-7423, as soon as it is determined that the individual is missing as defined above. The University will then determine the next appropriate course of action within the federal guidelines in place.
Every student (resident and non-resident) has their own student account and may enter or change, under personal information/address, a designated contact person at any time by updating their emergency contact information through CUWeb.
Only authorized campus officials, as part of their responsibilities, and law enforcement officers in furtherance of a missing person investigation, may have access to this information.
Reporting and Investigating Missing Persons
Any report of a missing student will be fully investigated by appropriate University personnel under the joint coordination of the Dean of Students Office and University Police. Further, the assistance of the Worcester Police Department, Massachusetts State Police, or other appropriate law enforcement agency, will be sought if such assistance is indicated and deemed necessary by the initial campus investigation.
When a student is reported missing, Clark University will/may:
- Involve both University Police and the Dean of Students Office in the report and share all relevant information.
- Initiate an investigation to determine where the student might be and if the student can be located.
- Make reasonable efforts to contact that student via phone, cell phone, email, and in person visit to the student's residence or room.
- Contact faculty, peers, roommates and other university members to determine the potential whereabouts of the student.
- If the student cannot be located and remains missing, Clark University will, according to the law, contact Worcester and/or Massachusetts State Police within 24 hours of the initial internal report.
- Notify the emergency contact or legal guardian (for students under the age of 18, unless emancipated) of the status of the investigation within 24 hours of the initial report unless the student has been contacted.
In situations that may indicate a serious threat to a student's wellbeing, Clark University may notify law enforcement agencies and emergency contact(s) immediately. Contact information will be kept confidential as appropriate.
The Dean of Students Office is required by law to inform the designated contact person of a missing student who resides in University property—or the custodial parent or guardian in the case of a minor—within 24 hours of receiving a missing person report.