SS 9.01pr - Death/Missing Student : Procedures and Guidelines
Edmonds Community college will make every effort to respond appropriately and sensitively in the event of a death/missing student report of a currently enrolled student.
The Death/Missing Student Procedures and Guidelines will ensure a caring, professional, coordinated, and consistent response by the college administration.
Coordinating Office for Campus Response:
Information about a missing student or a student death should be immediately reported to the Office of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness (SSEP), by calling 425.754.0154. SSEP is responsible for confirming the student’s death/missing status through official and appropriate channels and communicating information about a student’s death/missing status to appropriate college personnel, and notifying the Office of the Vice President for Student Services. SSEP will keep the Office of the Vice President for Student Services abreast of the investigation who will then be responsible to notify the following: College President, Executive Vice President for Instruction, Vice President for College Relations, and the Vice President for International Education (in the case of an International student).
The following information is helpful to properly identify the student and to ensure the correct information is disseminated:
- Student’s official full name and address
- Student identification number
- Date of birth
- Date of death (and cause if appropriate) or date last seen/missing
In the case of a confirmed missing student:
- The missing student’s contact information will be registered confidentially, and this information will be accessible only to authorized campus officials and law enforcement and it may not be disclosed outside of a missing person investigation.
- If a student confirmed missing is under 18 years of age and not emancipated, the college will notify a custodial parent or guardian within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing, in addition to notifying any additional contact person designated by the student.
- The college will notify the local law enforcement agency within 24 hours of the determination that the student is missing, unless the local law enforcement agency was the entity that made the determination that the student is missing.
The Office of the Vice President for Student Services may consult with the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) for assistance, resources, etc., as needed.
Coordinating Office for Community and Media Response:
The Office of the Vice President for College Relations is responsible for communicating information about a student’s death/missing status to the campus community and to media if deemed appropriate.
The College President will send a letter of condolence on behalf of the college community. Additionally, this letter will outline official procedures taken by the college to close the student’s accounts and direct family members to other services and support offered by the College as appropriate.
Once notified of a student death, campus personnel in their respective areas will take the actions described below. All offices should remove the student’s name from any mailing lists (paper or electronic) that it maintains and withhold any future correspondence addressed to the student.
Office of the Vice President for Student Services
- Confirm the death by obtaining official documentation (death notice, obituary, death certificate, etc.).
- If the student has applied for graduation, the student’s dean will be contacted to determine if the awarding of a posthumous degree is warranted; if not, the application will be canceled.
- Notify instructors and cc: dean(s), notification will also include information about counseling response/resources if appropriate. The dean and/or department chair may notify other faculty as appropriate.
- Other college personnel will be notified, as appropriate, if the student was affiliated with a particular program, activity, or office on campus.
Notify the Office of the Vice President for Student Services.
Obtain official documentation (death notice, obituary, death certificate, etc.) if possible.
Drop the student from class(es) for current quarter and any subsequent quarter for which the student is registered.
Go to Unusual Action Screen (SM5003) and enter “DC” in left column; staff name and YRQ and enter. If student has been here before, notify Credentials Evaluators by printing out the Unusual Action Screen for their records. The color file id
date stamped and placed in the vault and kept for five (5) years.
Go to Student Records Screen (SM5001) in OPT-1 enter # instead of a G or blank; in OPT-3 CF is removed and a copy of the screen is printed out and placed in the color file.
If the student is currently enrolled and has paid tuition, work with Cashier to minus student out at 100% refund. Have Cashier process refund right away. If student is International, work with International Student Services Fiscal Team.
If there is a business hold, ask the Cashier’s Office to remove it (library, housing, financial aid, child care, etc.).
When Cashier is done with refund (if any), go to Registration Screen (SM700A) and remove address and type in DECEASED instead.
- Check transcript first to see when student last took a class with a grade.
- Go to SM6013 (Transcript Classes) and type in the YRQ code of last grade. Change a grade and put an “N” in lower right field in TRAN PRNT OPT field and hit return. Go back in and reinstate original grade.
- The next day, check SM6008 to make sure the address now reads “DECEASED:.
The Director of Financial Aid will notify appropriate federal and state agencies of the student’s death and cancel any aid awarded to the student for future terms. The financial aid office will notify the Cashier’s Office of any refunds due to the student’s estate. The Dean for Student Success: Entry and Enrollment Services will coordinate with Administrative Services on any outstanding tuition or debts to be written off.
Counseling and Resource Center
The Office of the Vice President for Student Services will coordinate efforts with the Director of Counseling to provide support and resources for members of the campus community, as appropriate (e.g., outreach to friends and/for family enrolled at the college and students taking courses in which the student was enrolled).
When informed of a missing student or student death, the dean and/or faculty member shall contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Services at (425) 640-1375 (after 5 pm or on weekends contact EdCC Security at (425) 754-0192).
Information Technology and eLearning
The Office of the Vice President for Student Services will notify the Director of Information Technology and the Director of eLearning to disable the student’s accounts, including email, Canvas, and computer labs.
All Housing personnel are expected to appropriately respond to, and immediately document, a residential missing/death report or notification (including telephone reports). Reports of missing persons (including runaways) must be handled without delay, and be given priority.
When a resident student is first reported as potentially missing, student staff (Resident Assistants or International Mentors) should consult with the on-call Coordinator for Residential Education (CRE) and/or professional staff to take prudent action to determine if this is a valid missing persons case. Actions may include:
- Call the contact number of the missing person on file (other than the home phone number.)
- Perform welfare check on the resident (should be conducted by professional staff).
- Speak with roommate(s), hall mate(s) or other known associates about the whereabouts of the potentially missing resident.
When performing these steps, staff must keep FERPA and other privacy considerations in mind. For example, if a parent calls to indicate that they have not heard from their son or daughter, the staff should not indicate that the resident does or does not live with us (if they are not sure and don’t have exact information).
However, they can take information and indicate that, if the student is in one of our
Housing facilities and can be located; a message will be relayed to the resident to contact the concerned party. Staff may mention privacy laws to alleviate issues about inability to release information.
After performing the above, the professional staff on-call needs to be informed of the actions that the staff has taken and the outcomes of those actions. Once a missing student status is determined, the CRE will then call Housing Director who will notify Lynnwood Police, the Office of the Vice President for Student Services, and Campus Security. Reports of an International missing persons should also be immediately reported to the International Student Services Office.
- Lynnwood Police should be notified immediately when the initial report comes in, even if the individual has been missing less than 24 hours.
- Lynnwood Police, following their missing persons protocol, will make the determination that the student is missing and initiate any needed investigation.
- When the professional staff determine that the college has been unaware of a resident’s whereabouts for 24 hours or more, Lynnwood Police must be updated, as well as other college officials.
- The student’s custodial parent or guardian will be notified.
Student Death that does not occur in the Residence Halls
- The Housing Director will inform the Office of the Vice President for Student Services and Campus Security of the death. Reports of an International student death should also be immediately reported to the International Student Services Office.
- The Housing Director will contact appropriate Housing personnel and will coordinate response to the student’s death.
- The Housing Director or designated personnel will contact Counseling and Resource Center to assist other residents who may be affected by the student’s death.
- The Housing Director will coordinate with the Office of the Vice President for Student Services and Security for the return of the deceased student’s property to family, etc.
Student Death that does occur in the Residence Halls
- The residence hall staff member immediately involved will call Lynnwood Police, Campus Security, and the on-call CRE, who will come to the scene of the emergency. The CRE will contact the Housing Director, who will notify the office of the Vice President for Student Services, and International Student Services (if the student is International).
- Caution must be taken not to disturb the scene until the circumstances of the death have been determined. Access to the scene should be limited to emergency response personnel only.
- If the death is discovered by the Campus Security or if the Campus Security are the first persons contacted, the officer involved should direct a Resident Assistant to contact the CRE on call.
- Lynnwood police will contact the appropriate emergency medical service to pronounce the death and transport the body and will seal the room and investigate the circumstances of the death.
- Housing Director, Vice President for Student Services (and other appropriate staff) along with police will decide how to contact next of kin to collect the deceased student’s personal belongings once the next of kin has been officially notified by the appropriate agency.
- Housing Director will notify the Counseling Center Director, who will come to campus if there are distressed students who need immediate attention. Friends, roommates, or observers of the incident may experience extreme emotional reactions and need to talk with someone. If a counselor is not available, Housing personnel will contact the Care Crisis Line at 425.258.HELP or 1.800.584.3578.
- If the roommates/apartment mates are not present at the time of the discovery, Housing personnel should try to locate the roommates/apartment mates and inform them of the death, and make arrangements for the roommates to move to another room if necessary.
- Follow-Up: Housing personnel and the Counseling Center staff will work together to identify persons who need assistance in dealing with the death.
When the property of the deceased student is removed from his/her room or apartment, the CRE, Campus Security and roommate(s) should be present during this process to assist the family and to help identify the deceased student’s property.
Campus Security, Safety and Emergency Preparedness
As the official liaison with police and federal and state law enforcement agencies, Campus Security is a first point of contact from law enforcement for missing students or student death reporting.
Public records requests must go through Human Resources. Human Resources will determine if the student is also a current employee of the college and initiate appropriate actions.
When informed of a missing student or student death that occurs during off campus sports games or during travel status, the Director of Athletics will contact Lynnwood Police (or applicable local police), Campus Security, and the Office of the Vice President for Student Services.
International Student Services (ISS)
Immediately upon being informed that an international student is missing, the staff member receiving that information will contact the Director of International Student Services, Vice President of International Education, the Office of Vice President for Student Service, and Campus Security. Contact will be made immediately with the Director of Housing, to determine if the student was living in a residence hall or homestay, and if so, coordinate the next steps. A quick determination will be made to assess what actions had been taken, and determine if all known sources in normal contact with the student had been reached for information. A call would also be made to coordinate actions with the Director of Safety and Security at EdCC, including notifying the Lynnwood (or appropriate) Police Department). If the student is a minor, the ISS staff would contact the Emergency Contact listed in the student’s file as well as locating the Medical Release Form in the student’s file, which would be provided to medical staff.
In the event of the death of an international student, the Vice President of International Education shall be notified, as well as the Director(s) of International Student Services, the Office of the Vice President for Student Services, and Campus Security. ISS staff will coordinate with campus security and US Government or foreign government consular offices to get official confirmation of the death and verify that official notice has been given to the deceased family or emergency contact by such governmental agencies. ISS will contact the student health insurance company to engage any repatriation of remains services. ISS will also be responsible for assisting with the coordination of family member visits to the US to handle remains and any requested memorial services.
Lastly, the Vice President and Directors of ISS will be assessing the emotional impact of the student death on the office staff and working with the Vice President of Human Resources, determine and coordinate professional grief counseling.
A study abroad student is any student who enrolls in the college’s study abroad options. These include short term abroad programs, student exchanges, volunteer/service learning abroad, and quarter long programs.
In the event of a missing student or student death abroad, the Associate Director for Global Engagement in ISS will be notified, as well as the Director of International Student Services (ISS), the Vice President of International Education, and Campus Security. In the event that the call is first received by Campus Security, they will immediately contact the Associate Director for Global Engagement, Director of International Student Services, and the Vice President of International Education, as well as the Vice President for Student Services, on their cell/home phone listed on the emergency campus contact list.
If a missing student or student death is reported, the following steps shall be taken by ISS staff:
- Gather information and create a log. Collect details pertaining to the reported missing/death such as the student’s full name and address, date of birth and SID (if available), phone number of the caller, date of death (and cause if appropriate) or date last seen/missing, and a brief description of the incident.
- Contact the program provider’s (host institution, or third-party provider) emergency liaison (if this is not the person who reported the incident) as appropriate to gather additional information.
- Call the US consulate or embassy in the country of the study abroad program. Contact numbers for overseas consulates/embassies can be found at http://www.usembassy.gov/ As a backup, OSAC (Bureau of Diplomatic Security in the US State Department) can also be contacted at 571-345-2000 or after hours at 212-309-5056.
- The missing student’s family may be contacted on a case-by-case basis after consultation with EdCC administrators.
In all cases involving a missing or deceased student, a decision will be made by the Director of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness (SSEP) in consultation with the Vice President for Student Services and/or Vice President of International Education, and the College President and Public Information Officer (PIO) regarding the activation of an Emergency Operations Center or limited Incident Response Team to coordinate the larger campus response and recovery.
RELATED POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
SS 9.0 - Notification of Death/Missing Student
CONTENT OWNER. The primary responsibility for this policy belongs to:
Vice President for Student Success
PRIMARY CONTENT CONTRIBUTOR (Director/Dean)
Vice President for Student Success
minor edits 2/26/2016
President’s Cabinet review 09/30/2015
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