Macalester College Missing Student Policy and Procedures

In compliance with the “Higher Education Opportunity Act (2008)” Missing Student Notification Policy and Procedures, it is the policy of Macalester College to actively investigate any report made to Security about a missing resident who is enrolled at the College and residing in on-campus housing**. Each student will be notified of the Missing Student Policy and Procedures via the Student Handbook.

If a member of the College community has reason to believe that a student is missing, contact Security at (651) 696-6555 immediately. For the purposes of this policy, a student may be considered to be a “missing person” if the person’s absence is contrary to his/her usual pattern of behavior or unusual circumstances may have caused the absence. Such circumstances could include, but not be limited to, a report or suspicion that the missing person may be a victim of foul play, has expressed suicidal thoughts, is medication dependent, is in a life-threatening situation, or has been with persons who may endanger the student’s welfare. Most missing person reports in the college environment result from a student changing their routine without informing their roommates and/or friends of the change. Anyone who believes a student to be missing should report their concern to Campus Security or Residence Life / Dean of Students. Every report made to campus security will be followed up with an immediate investigation once a student has been missing for 24 hours. Depending on the circumstances presented to College officials, parents of a missing student will be notified. Note if the student is under the age of 18 the parents or guardian will be notified immediately. In the event that parental or guardian notification is necessary the Dean of Students or (or their designee) will place the call.

At the beginning of each academic semester, all students will be asked to provide, on a voluntary basis, emergency contact information in the event they are reported missing while enrolled at Macalester. This emergency information will be kept in the Banner 1600grand application and will be updated annually.


  1. The Macalester official receiving the report will collect and document the following information at the time of the report:
    a. The name and relationship of the person making the report.
    b. The date, time and location the missing student was last seen.
    c. The general routine or habits of the suspected missing student
    (e.g. – visiting friends who live off-campus, working a job away from campus) including any recent changes in behavior or demeanor.
    d. The missing student’s cell phone number (if known by the reporter).
  2. The Macalester College official receiving the report will contact the Director of Safety and Security and the Dean of Students in order to update them on the situation and to receive additional consultation. The Dean of Students will ascertain if/when other members of the Campus Response Team need to be contacted.
  3. Upon notification from any entity that a student may be missing, Macalester may use any or all of the following resources to assist in locating the student.
    a. Call the student’s room.
    b. Go to the student’s residence hall room,
    c. Talk to the student’s RA, roommate, and floor mates to see if anyone can confirm the missing student’s whereabouts and/or confirm the date, time and location the student was last seen.
    d. Secure a current student ID (from security and card services) or other photo of the student from a friend.
    e. Call and text the student’s cell phone and call any other numbers on record.
    f. Send the student an email.
    g. Check all possible locations mentioned by the parties above including, but not limited to, library, residence hall lounges, student commons, fitness center, etc. The Safety and Security Office and the Office of Residence Life may be asked to assist in order to expedite the search process.
    h. Contact any other on-campus or off-campus friends or contacts that are made known. This could include checking a student’s social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.
    i. Ascertain the student’s vehicle make, model and license plate number. A member of the Safety and Security Office will also check Macalester College parking lots for the presence of the student’s vehicle.
  4. The Macalester Information Technology Staff may be asked to obtain email logs in order to determine the last log in and/or access of the Macalester network.
  5. Once all information is collected and documented and the Dean of Students (or their designee) is consulted; Macalester staff may contact the local police to report the information. (Note: If in the course of gathering information as described above, foul play is evident or strongly indicated; the police will be contacted immediately.) If it is necessary to contact the local or state authorities, police procedure and protocol will be followed by the College.

**NOTE: In order to avoid jurisdictional conflicts when an off-campus/commuter student is believed to be missing, the reporting person should notify local law enforcement authorities and campus security. College staff will assist the policy with their investigation.

December 27, 2010

Keep Yourself Calm – Keep Others Calm

In an emergency, call 911 and Campus Security 651-696-6555. Give your campus location and describe the emergency situation.

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