Investigation of Missing Resident Students

For purposes of this policy, the term a Missing Student shall refer to any student of The Jewish Theological Seminary who resides in a JTS residence hall (Brush, Mathilde Schechter, and Goldsmith), and who has not been seen by friends or associates for a reasonable length of time (but in no event longer than 24 hours), whose whereabouts have been questioned, and whose absence has been brought to the attention of any member of the residence hall staff or a staff member in the Office of Residence Life. JTS will initiate the following procedure once advised that a student is missing, with no reasonable explanation for his/her absence.

  1. All reports of suspected missing, resident students are to be made to the director of Residence Life or, in his/her absence or unavailability, the dean of Student Life, who will contact a member of the residence hall staff, including residence advisors. Counsel and the student's dean are to be apprised as soon as possible.
  2. The director of Residence Life or the dean of Student Life, or a member of their staff, will immediately make inquiries of roommates/suite mates, other residents of the housing, and any other known associates. These inquiries shall include a review to ascertain if the student is attending classes. The chief of security will be contacted in order for security personnel to conduct a search of the JTS premises, including the Library. The student’s dean, or, in his/her absence or unavailability, the director of Residence Life or the dean of Student Life, after consulting with counsel and the director of Security, will then promptly contact the resident student’s emergency contact.* This individual will be apprised of the situation, and asked whether he or she has any knowledge of the individual’s whereabouts. If they do not, counsel or the director of Security will then promptly contact the New York City Police Department, who will initiate an investigation and search based upon their departmental policy and procedures. JTS will cooperate fully with the investigation, and will assist the authorities in identifying parties needed for questioning. The student’s dean or his/her designee will stay in contact with the student’s emergency contact. If the student is less than 18 years of age, the parent or guardian will be notified if the parent or guardian is not the emergency contact.
  3. If foul play is suspected, at any time, in connection with the whereabouts of the suspected missing resident student, counsel or the director of Security will notify the New York City Police Department immediately, to begin an investigation in accordance with their policy and procedures. The procedures similar to those to be followed in the event of a missing student will be followed in this instance, as well.
  4. The New York City Police Department has a standard operating procedure in place to respond to missing persons. The local precinct Commander has agreed that the New York City Police Department will address such a situation promptly, and in accordance with the New York City Police Department Patrol Guide.

*Each student living in an on campus student housing facility must register a confidential contact person to be notified in the event that a student is determined to be missing. Only authorized campus officials and law enforcement officers in furtherance of a missing person investigation may have access to this information.

Implemented April, 2000
Amended October, 2010