Missing Person Protocol
The University believes that the personal and physical safety of the University community is a shared responsibility. In accordance with federal, state and local law, the following protocol has been established to outline the University response procedures in the event University officials receive a report that a person residing in on-campus housing is missing.
The Missing Person Protocol will be:
- Shared with residents via email from Carolina Housing at the start of each academic year.
- Available for students to view on the Carolina Housing website, as well as the Office of the Dean of Students website.
- Shared with all students who reserve a room at the Institute of Marine Sciences dormitory.
All residential students will be afforded the option to register confidential contact information. All residents have the ability to register contact information via the Carolina Housing or IMS dormitory application. As a part of the application, students are:
- Advised that such confidential contact information will be accessible only to authorized campus personnel and will not be disclosed to outside individuals or entities except for disclosure to outside law enforcement personnel in furtherance of a missing person investigation.
- Advised that if they are a residential student under 18 years of age and not an emancipated individual, the University will notify the custodial parent or guardian within 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing, in addition to notifying the student’s registered confidential contact, if different.
- Informed to contact the following individuals and/or campus departments to report that a student has been missing for 24 hours:
- Resident Advisor – Carolina Housing.
- Community Director – Carolina Housing.
- UNC Police or Morehead City Police as appropriate.
- Office of the Dean of Students.
- Alerted that the report of a missing person will be referred immediately to the appropriate police agency. All other applicable University offices, including but not limited to the Office of the Dean of Students, Carolina Housing and Counseling and Wellness Services, will be notified within less than 24 hours and as applicable when a student is reported missing.
- Notified that once the University, through appropriate investigative protocols listed below, determines that a student is missing, the University’s designee will, within 24 hours, contact the individual identified by the student, the custodial parent or legal guardian if the student is under 18 and not emancipated and/or local law enforcement, as well as other appropriate community agencies when applicable.
Upon notification from any entity that a student may be missing, even if before the 24-hour notification timeframe, the University may use any of the following resources to assist in locating the student. These resources will be used in any order and in any combination as deemed appropriate by University officials:
- Initiate a “wellness” check on a student. In accordance with approved guidelines, the appropriate staff will be dispatched to the residential room to establish contact with the individual or verify that the individual is not currently available in their assigned space.
- Reach out to known friends, other students living in the same location and family members in an effort to glean additional information on the student’s potential location and other applicable information.
- Assign a liaison to ensure that family members are provided with information and support.
- Access class information and contact academic departments and faculty members to ascertain information on last physical sighting of the student as well as any other relevant information.
- Search on-campus public locations, including but not limited to dining facilities, libraries, recreation areas, etc.
- Access the residence hall/apartment electronic key database to determine time and use of most recent entry points of the student using their key fob.
- UNC Police will follow General Order 4-6R1 which outlines the investigative protocol procedures they would follow in a case of a missing person.
- The University may request the following technology-based information:
- Access email logs to verify last log in and use of University email system.
- Ensure that use of student accounts/passwords is monitored.
- Obtain and examine Internet service provider and e-mail records.
- Monitor social media sites for activity.
- If there is any indication of criminal activity, the University will involve the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
- In conjunction with the University’s Executive Committee, prepare, update and disseminate informational bulletins to outside agencies, the University community and the public, if necessary and appropriate.