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Missing Student Notification

Whitman College has established a policy and procedure for missing student notification. One of the following individuals or offices should be contacted if a student living in on-campus housing has been missing for at least 24 hours. Note that the following steps may also be taken, if circumstances warrant, for a student who has been missing for less than 24 hours.

  • Resident Assistant, Residence hall in which missing student resides, contact information varies
  • Resident Director, Residence hall in which missing student resides, contact information varies
  • Security Office, Technology Services Building, 416 E. Main St., 509-527-5777
  • Associate Dean-Campus Life, Memorial Building 130, 509-527-5297
  • Dean of Students, Memorial Building 325, 509-527-5158

Every residence hall student has the option to register a contact person to be notified by college officials if that student is determined to be missing. The list of contact persons will remain confidential and accessible only by the Dean of Students, Associate Dean for Campus Life, Director of Security, and law enforcement officers in accordance with a missing person investigation. Local law enforcement will be notified of all students determined to be missing, whether they have registered a contact person or not. The parent or guardian of a student under 18 years of age and not emancipated will be notified should that student be  determined to be missing.

When a student is thought to be missing, communication between appropriate campus officials is vital. If the student’s resident assistant or resident director is notified, she or he will immediately contact a security officer, the Dean of Students, or the Associate Dean for Campus Life. Once one of these individuals is contacted, the other two will be notified to ensure communication of all pertinent information. Upon notification of a missing student, the residence life staff (RA’s and RD’s) will be contacted to determine if the student’s whereabouts are known. The Dean of Students may also seek to determine the student’s whereabouts. If these steps do not locate the student, the Dean of Students may contact the student’s confidential contact person (if one is listed) or the student’s parent/guardian. If they are non-emancipated and under 18 years of age the parent/guardian will be called. The call will be to inform him or her of the student’s status and inquire about his/her whereabouts in the event that the contact person knows the location of the student. If the student is still missing after this notification, the Dean of Students may notify campus staff and faculty of the missing student through the campus email system and inquire if any employees of Whitman know where the student may be. If these steps do not locate the student, the Director of Security, with the authorization from the Dean of Students, will convene an investigation to try to locate the student. This investigation may include interviewing residents, peers, and other Whitman community members who may have information regarding the location of the missing student. Upon direction by the Dean of Students, the Director of Security may also notify local law enforcement of the missing student in accordance with the investigation.

If circumstance warrant, these steps may be followed if a student has been missing for less than 24 hours.

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