The Right Choice for Your Success

Approval Date: 11/08/10
Revised: 5/31/11
Approved By: President

Missing Student Policy

A student will be considered missing if a roommate, classmate, faculty member, residence hall staff member, family member, friend, or other member of the campus community has not seen the person for a reasonable amount of time. A reasonable amount of time may vary with the time of day and information available regarding the missing person’s daily schedule, habits, punctuality and reliability. Most missing person reports in the university environment are the result of a student changing his/her routine without informing roommate(s), family and/or friends of the change.

Individuals will be considered missing immediately if the absence has occurred under circumstances that are suspicious or cause concerns for the student’s safety. If the initial report that a person is missing is made to a University department other than the Office of Public Safety, the person receiving the report shall ensure that the Office of Public Safety is contacted immediately.

In the event another student, employee or other person believes a student who resides on campus is missing, the Office of Public Safety should be contacted as soon as possible. If the student is living off-campus, the local law enforcement agency should be contacted. OPS will contact any law enforcement agency they feel would be beneficial to the investigation. Any student less than 18 years of age and not emancipated who is suspected to be missing should be aware that his/her parent or guardian will be notified.


At the beginning of each academic year, residential students will be asked to voluntarily provide emergency contact information in the event the student is reported missing while enrolled at WIU. This emergency information will be maintained by University Housing and Dining Services (UHDS) and will be updated annually. Upon notification from any entity that a student may be missing, University officials may use any or all of the following procedures or resources to assist in locating the student.

  1. Call the student’s room.
  2. Conduct a safety check of the student’s room.
  3. Talk to the student’s Resident Assistant (RA), roommate, and floor mates to see if anyone can confirm the missing student’s whereabouts and/or confirm the date, time and location the student was last seen.
  4. Call and text the student’s cell phone and/or e-mail the student.
  5. Check all possible locations mentioned by parties above.
  6. Check social networking sites.
  7. Ascertain student’s car make and license plate. Parking Services Attendants (PSA) will check University parking lots.
  8. Technology staff may be asked to obtain meal card use, e-mail logs or access logs to the WIU computer system.

Office of Public Safety officers will not be limited to the above. The Office of Public Safety will follow guidelines as written in Illinois General Assembly HB0194, Public Act 09S-0192. If the Office of Public Safety investigation determines that the student has been missing for more than 24 hours, the student’s confidential or emergency contact will be notified. If the emergency and confidential contacts cannot be reached, the student’s parents or legal guardian will be contacted. This policy does not preclude implementing these procedures in less than 24 hours if necessary.