Missing Persons Policy

As required under federal law, GSAS will immediately refer to the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) any missing person’s report involving a student who lives in on-campus housing. If any member of the Harvard community has reason to believe that a student who resides in on-campus housing is missing, they should immediately notify HUPD at 617-495-1212. If HUPD determines that the student has been missing for more than 24 hours, then within the 24 hours following this determination, GSAS or HUPD will:

  • notify an appropriate external law enforcement agency, unless the local law enforcement agency made the determination that the student is missing;
  • contact anyone the student has identified as a missing person contact (see below);
  • notify others at the University, as appropriate, about the student’s disappearance.

Designating a Missing Person Contact

Students residing in on-campus housing may designate a confidential missing person contact in the Personal Info tab of my.harvard. Harvard will communicate with the confidential missing person contact in the event that the student is missing for more than 24 hours. Students are not required to designate a separate individual for this purpose and if they choose not to do so, then Harvard will treat the general emergency contact as the missing person contact.

  • The confidential missing person contact information will only be accessed by authorized campus officials and by law enforcement in the course of an investigation.
  • If a non-emancipated student under 18 years of age has been missing for more than 24 hours, GSAS or HUPD will contact that student’s custodial parent or guardian in addition to the contact person designated by the student.