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301.2 Missing Student

Date Adopted: 1/21/2010
Date Revised: 9/27/2017
Date Last Reviewed:  6/28/2023
References: Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008
Issuing Office: Student Affairs
Approved By: Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance

  1. Policy

    The University of Montana Western takes student safety very seriously. To this end, the following policy and procedure has been established to assist in locating Montana Western students living in college-owned or on-campus housing who, based on the facts and circumstances known to Montana Western, are determined to be missing.

  2. Purpose

    The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures for the University’s response to report a missing student, as required by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.

  3. Procedures

    1. At the beginning of each academic year, Montana Western will inform all students residing in on-campus housing that the University will notify either a parent or an individual selected by the student no more than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing. This information will include the following:
      1. Students have the option of identifying an individual to be contacted by Montana Western no later than 24 hours after the time the student has been determined to be missing. Students can register this confidential contact information through Bulldog Life.
      2. Montana Western will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency no later than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing.
      3. If Montana Western or law enforcement personnel has been notified and makes a determination that a student who is the subject of a missing person report has been missing for more than 24 hours and has not returned to campus, Montana Western will initiate the emergency contact procedures in accordance with the student’s designation.
      4. In addition, if the student is under 18 years of age, and not an emancipated individual, Montana Western is required to notify a custodial parent or guardian no later than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing.
    2. Montana Western will comply with the following notification procedure for a missing student who resides in on-campus housing:
      1. All reports will be submitted to the Dean of Students or Bulldog Life Office.
      2. Once the Dean of Students Office or the Bulldog Life Office receives a missing student report, the following offices will be notified:
        1. Bulldog Life Office or Dean of Students Office
        2. Provost/Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs
      3. Any official law enforcement missing person report relating to this student shall be referred immediately to the Dean of Students.
      4. If the Dean of Students Office, after investigating the official report, determines the student has been missing for more than 24 hours, Montana Western will contact the individual identified by the student, the custodial parent or legal guardian if the student is under 18 and not emancipated, or local law enforcement if these do not apply.
      5. Upon notification from any entity that any student may be missing, Montana Western may use any of the following resources to assist in locating the student. These resources may be used in any order and combination.
        1. Check student’s room and talk with roommate and/or friends on the floor.
        2. Search public areas on campus.
        3. Issue an ID picture to assist in identifying the missing student.
        4. May contact known friends, family or faculty members for last sighting or additional contact information.
        5. Access vehicle registration information for vehicle location.
        6. ITS may be asked to look up email logs for last login and use of Montana Western email and WebCT system.
        7. If there is any indication of foul play, the local law enforcement will immediately be contacted for assistance.
  4. Authority

    Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008

  5. Responsibility

    Dean of Students, Provost/Vice Chancellor Academic and Student Affairs, Senior Director of Auxiliary Services