Rice University

Safety Info

Policy on Notification Regarding a Missing Residential Student

In the interest of student safety, and in order to comply with Section 488 of the Higher Education Act of 2008, Rice University and its police department establish the following policy and procedure regarding students residing in on-campus housing who have been determined to be missing.

At the beginning of each academic year, Rice will inform students residing in on-campus housing that Rice will, within 24 hours of a determination that an on-campus student is missing, notify either a parent or the contact person(s) previously designated by the student. At the beginning of each academic year, Rice will also inform students of the following:

If any person believes that a Rice student is missing, the person should make a report to the Rice University Police Department (RUPD).

Rice will initiate emergency contact procedures in accordance with the student’s designation if RUPD has been notified of, 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, or if a local law enforcement agency notifies Rice that it has determined a student residing on Rice’s campus to be missing.

Each student living in on-campus housing will be given the option of identifying a person or persons to be contacted by Rice not later than 24 hours after the time that the student is determined to be missing. Students can register this contact information confidentially through the Esther web site, and access to this information will be limited to authorized campus personnel, such as RUPD, the office of the Dean of Undergraduates, and the office of the Dean of Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Studies.

If a student is under 18 years of age, and not an emancipated individual, Rice is required to notify a custodial parent or guardian (in addition to any other contact person designated by the student) and the notification must occur not later than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing.

Regardless of whether the student has named a confidential contact person under this procedure, Rice will notify any appropriate local law enforcement agencies not later than 24 hours after the student is determined to be missing.

Rice will follow the notification procedure below for a missing student who resides in on-campus housing:

Once Rice receives a missing student report via RUPD, the office of the Dean of Undergraduates, the office of the Dean of Graduate Students, Housing & Dining, or another source, the following Rice offices will be notified:

  • RUPD
  • Dean of Undergraduates or Dean of Graduate Students, as appropriate
  • Housing & Dining Office
  • Risk Management Office

If, upon investigation of the official report, RUPD determines that the student has been missing for more than 24 hours, Rice will contact the following: (1) the person confidentially identified by such student, (2) the custodial parent or legal guardian if the student is under 18 years of age and not emancipated, and (3) any appropriate local law enforcement agencies.

Upon notification from any entity that any Rice student may be missing, Rice will use any of the following resources to assist in locating the student. These resources may be used in any order and combination:

RUPD, the Housing & Dining Office, office of the Dean of Undergraduates, and/or the office of the Dean of Graduate Students, any of which may be asked to assist in physically locating the student by accessing the student’s assigned room and talking with known associates.

RUPD may search on campus public locations to find the student (library, academic buildings, etc.).

RUPD may issue a community notice, including photographs of the student, to assist in locating the missing student.

The offices of the Dean of Undergraduates or Dean of Graduate Students may try to contact known friends, family, or faculty members for last sightings or additional contact information.

Academic departments may be contacted to seek information on last sighting or other contact information.

Security access card logs may be checked to determine last use of the missing student’s card and detect future uses of the card.

RUPD may access vehicle registration information for vehicle location and distribution to appropriate authorities.

Rice may use its information technology resources to examine email logs for last login and use of Rice email systems.

If there is any indication of foul play, any appropriate local police agencies will be immediately notified for assistance.

The Risk Management Office will notify the university’s insurance carrier and access resources available in situations involving missing persons.

As used in this policy, “on-campus housing” refers to any residential college, the Rice Graduate Student Apartments, and the Rice Village Graduate Apartments.