Missing Student Notification Process

Boston University provides students living in University housing on campus the opportunity to provide confidential contact information to the University. Students may identify their confidential contact by visiting the Student Link and clicking on the “Personal” tab and updating the “Address & Phone” information to identify a “Missing Person” contact. Students may identify someone other than their emergency contact to be notified in the event the student is determined to be missing and, if students designate someone other than an emergency contact, that individual and his or her contact information will be confidential. This person will be notified in the event the student is officially reported as missing. The Boston University Police Department (BUPD) will investigate every report of a missing BU student and initiate an investigation based on department policy.

If a student for whom a missing person report has been filed has been missing for more than 24 hours, then within the next 24 hours the BUPD will:

  • Begin search procedures.
  • Notify appropriate law enforcement officials in the Boston area with an administrative message, radio broadcast, or other similar measure.
  • Notify the individual identified by the student to be contacted in such circumstances.
  • If the student is under 18 years old and not emancipated, notify a parent or guardian.

Depending on different factors surrounding the investigation, certain police actions will occur sooner than 24 hours after confirmation of the original report. For example, when a person under 18 is reported missing, it is investigated as a missing child case and police will immediately make a computer entry into the National Crime Information Center missing persons database and initiate a search. Persons age 18 to 20 must be entered within two hours.

Students, employees, or other individuals who believe that a student living in on-campus housing has been missing for 24 hours may report it to any Residence Life staff member, Resident Assistants, Residential Safety, or to the BUPD at 617-353-2121.

All faculty, staff, or students who receive a report of a missing student should immediately report it to the BUPD.