Missing Student Policy

Missing Student Policy

If a member of the Howard University Community has reason to believe that a student is missing, whether or not the student resides on campus report it immediately to HU-DPS by calling 202.806.1100, or to the local police department. An investigation will include all possible efforts being made by HU-DPS, the Office of Enrollment Management, and the Office of Student Affairs to locate the student and determine her/his state of health and well-being.

For investigative purposes, all students have the option to identify an individual as a confidential contact by filling out a Missing Person Confidential Contact Information Form with Residence Life. In the event, they are the subject of a reported missing student, the individual identified as their Confidential Contact will be notified as a part of the on-going missing student's investigation. If the missing student is under the age of 18 and is not an emancipated individual, the HU-DPS will notify the student's parent or legal guardian immediately once it has been determined that the student is missing. During an investigation, if the student resides on-campus, HU-DPS will secure authorization from the Department of Residence Life officials to make a welfare entry into the student's room.

If the student is an off-campus resident, the HU-DPS officer will contact and enlist the aid of the local law enforcement agency. The investigating officer will attempt to determine the student's whereabouts by contacting friends, associates, professors, and the employer of the student to ascertain whether the student has been attending classes, labs, shown up for scheduled organizational/academic meetings, and work shifts, etc. If located, verify the student's state of health, well-being, and his/her intention of returning to the campus. When it is appropriate, forward a referral to the appropriate university official for further investigation. For an on-campus resident, if a missing student is under 18 years of age and not emancipated, his/her parent or legal guardian will be notified within 24 hours of receiving a missing student report. For all other on-campus residents' notification will be made to the Confidential Contact.

For students who reside off campus, the same notification protocol will apply, but the individual contacted would be encouraged to file a missing person report with the local law enforcement agency. HU-DPS will open an official investigation and work jointly with the local police department to locate a missing student. The Howard University Department of Public Safety will cooperate, aid, and assist local law enforcement agencies with the investigations, upon request, by what is prescribed by university regulations. At the conclusion of a missing student investigation, the HU-DPS's Investigative Section will conduct a follow-up with all parties contacted during the preliminary stage of the investigation and provide a status of the case.



Metropolitan Police Department 

Phone 202.576.6768 | Email missing.persons@dc.gov 


File a Missing Person Report