The following policies and procedures concerning missing students have been established by Davidson College in compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008.

Most missing person reports in the college environment result from students changing their routines without informing roommates and/or friends of the change. For purposes of this policy, a student will be considered missing, if a roommate, classmate, faculty member, staff member, friend, family member or other campus person has not seen or heard from the person in a reasonable amount of time. In general a reasonable amount of time is 24 hours or more but may vary with the time of day and information available regarding the missing person's daily schedule, habits, and reliability. Individuals will also be considered missing immediately if their absence has occurred under circumstances that are suspicious or cause concerns for their safety, such as if a student has expressed suicidal thoughts or may be in a life threatening situation.

Designation of Emergency Contact Information

Students age 18 and above and emancipated minors*

Students will be given an opportunity to designate an individual to be contacted by the college after the time that the student is determined to be missing. The name of this contact person will be confidential and may be different than the designated emergency contact. The designation will remain in effect until changed or revoked by the student.

* Emancipated minors are those students under the age of 18 who have been legally granted adult status.

Students under the age of 18 and not emancipated

If a student under the age of 18 is determined to be missing, the college is required by Federal Law to notify a custodial parent or guardian no more than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing.

Missing Student Procedure

  1. Any individual at Davidson who has information that a residential student may be a missing person must notify the Davidson College Campus Police immediately at 704-894-2178 (office) or 704-609-0344 (duty cell phone).
  2. Campus Police will begin an immediate investigation and gather all essential information about the missing student from the reporting person, from the student's acquaintances and from college personnel and official college information sources. Such information will include, but not be limited to, the following:
    • A physical description of the missing person, including the clothes that were last worn
    • Student's cell phone number (if known)
    • Where the student might be, who the student might be with, vehicle description
    • Information about the physical and emotional well being of the student
    • A class schedule, when last attended class
    • Last time the student used his/her CatCard
  3. Appropriate campus staff, including the President's Office, the Dean of Students Office, the Residence Life Office, and the Student Health and Counseling Center and others deemed appropriate by the Dean, will be notified to aid in the search and location of the student. Contact with the student will be attempted using the following means:
    • Calling the student's cell phone
    • E-mailing the student
    • Entering into the student's residence hall room
    • Talking to roommates, hall mates, and other friends
  4. A person shall be determined to be missing if: (i) search efforts are unsuccessful in locating the student in a reasonable amount of time; OR (ii) it is apparent immediately that the student is a missing person (e.g. witnessed abduction); OR (iii) it has been determined that the student has been missing for more than 24 hours. Not later than 24 hours after determining the student to be missing, Campus Police will notify other law enforcement agencies to report the student as a missing person.
  5. No later than 24 hours after determining that a student is missing, the Dean of Students or his/her designee will notify the confidential contact previously identified by the student (for students 18 and over) or the custodial parent/guardian (for students under the age of 18) and advise that the student is believed to be missing.