Missing Students Policy

It is the policy of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, through the collaboration of the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Public Safety, to investigate any report of a missing student who resides in the Residence Hall and is enrolled and attending classes at Cooper Union. This policy establishes the guidelines for cooperation among members of The Cooper Union whose intention is to locate and assist students who are reported missing.   

The Cooper Union is committed to fostering and maintaining a safe and secure environment for its students. The purpose of this policy is to support this commitment, by establishing an official notification policy along with rules and procedures to be followed in the event a student of Cooper Union is missing or believed to be missing.

This policy applies to all Cooper Union students who are currently enrolled and attending classes (i.e., are not on leave or pursuing full-time study abroad or at another institution) and who reside on campus in the Residence Hall. 

A student is considered missing when he or she is reported absent from any of the campus buildings of Cooper Union for a reasonable length of time and for unknown reasons or under circumstances indicating unaccountable or involuntary disappearance. Cooper Union faculty, staff, and Residence Life staff upon being informed or becoming aware of a Cooper Union student who is missing must notify the Director of Public Safety immediately. Reports of missing students should be made by contacting the Office of Public Safety at 212-353-4375 or notifying a guard. If following a preliminary investigation the Office of Public Safety determines the student is in fact missing, it must, after consultation with the Dean of Student Affairs, designate a campus official to contact the missing student’s emergency contact. This notification must be initiated no later than 24 hours after the time the resident student is determined to missing. The Director of Public Safety will investigate each report and make a determination whether the students is missing in accordance with this policy.  There are no minimum time limits that must be observed before accepting a report of a missing student.   

Each student 18 years of age and older has the option to identify a confidential contact person or persons who will be notified within 24 hours in the event that a determination is made by the Director of Public Safety that the student is missing. This contact information may be added through “Colleague”, the portal to Cooper Union’s student information system. Only authorized campus officials and law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties during a missing person investigation may have access to this information.

If a missing student is under 18 years of age, and not an emancipated individual, the college will notify a custodial parent or guardian of the missing student not later than 24 hours after the determination by the Director of Public Safety that the student is missing.

Cooper Union’s Office of Public Safety will contact the New York City Police Department no later than 24 hours after it determines that a student is missing.

There are a variety of Cooper Union student housing options and staff assignments in the Residence Hall. The Residence Hall is designed for apartment –style living, and there are no formal protocols or defined timelines for monitoring whether students are present in their assigned student housing. The safety and welfare of all its students are a primary concern for The Cooper Union and the college is dedicated to providing all the necessary measures to insure that atmosphere, however, The Cooper Union recognizes and acknowledges its limitations in obtaining accurate and timely information on the whereabouts of students.  

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.