Missing Students

This Missing Students Policy pertains to students in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and Sawyer Business School (SBS).

Employees, students or other individuals who have concerns that a student may be missing should report the concerns to Suffolk University Police (SUPD) at 617-573-8111.

A student may be deemed missing if it is reported to appropriate University officials that the student has been unreachable via personal contact, telephone, email, or other means of electronic communication for 24 hours or more.  Appropriate University officials include SUPD, resident assistants (RAs), Residence Life and Housing staff, Student Affairs staff, and International Student Services staff.

RAs are required to inform their supervisors immediately upon receiving a missing student report. Residence Life staff, Colleges Student Affairs staff, and International Student Services staff will immediately report notification of a missing student to SUPD.  SUPD will immediately inform Risk Management and Student Affairs of the report of a missing student.

SUPD will conduct an investigation in conjunction with appropriate University staff members to help determine whether or not the student is missing. In circumstances involving non-resident students, SUPD may approach local city and town police about performing a wellbeing check at the student’s address of record.

The Suffolk University Police and Security Department complies with Public Law 108-21, Title II, Section 204, which is more commonly known as “Suzanne’s Law.” This law amends Section 3701(a)of the Crime Control Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 5779(A)), so that there is no waiting period before a law enforcement agency initiates an investigation of a missing person under the age of 21 and reports the missing person to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) of the Department of Justice.  “Suzanne’s Law” is named after Suzanne Lyall, a State University of New York at Albany student who has been missing since 1998. Previously, police were only mandated to report missing persons under the age of 18. This law, which was signed by President Bush as part of the national “Amber Alert” bill on April 30, 2003, requires police to initiate prompt investigations into missing young people.

If it is determined by SUPD that a student has been missing for more than 24 hours then, within the next 24 hours, the Student Affairs Office will notify the individual identified by the student as the designated emergency contact that the student has been reported missing. Students have the option to identify a contact person or persons whom Student Affairs shall notify under such circumstances. This contact information will be registered confidentially and will only be accessible to “appropriate University officials” as described above, except that the contact information will be disclosed to law enforcement personnel in furtherance of a missing person investigation. In addition to notifying any contact person designated by the student, if a student is under 18 years of age and not emancipated, the Student Affairs Office must notify a custodial parent or guardian within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing.

Once it has been established that a Suffolk University student is missing, the Office of Public Affairs should be notified immediately. The Office of Public Affairs will work with the appropriate University administrator(s) to determine how to communicate with the press, the public, and the internal community about the developing situation.

SUPD will also notify local law enforcement within 24 hours of the determination that a student is missing, unless the local law enforcement agency was the entity that made the determination that the student is missing.