Missing Student Policies

Nineteen-year-old New York University sophomore Asher Vongtau left his friend’s dorm room about 12:30 a.m. on November second. His friends called Public Safety 24 hours later after no one had seen or heard from him. He was discovered more than 35 hours after his disappearance trapped between that building and a neighboring parking garage.

So, what would happen if your friend goes missing? Assistant Vice President for Residential Life Michael Malone says that students should first contact Public Safety, who’ll call the student’s ‘missing person contact’.

“Public safety becomes our center, and we try to get that contact there as soon as possible and let them run the investigation,” says Malone.

According to Malone, as soon as someone is considered missing, a preliminary search will begin.

“We do some simple things like check ID card access – like, where is the last place that person swiped… if we know their class schedule for the week, we’ll poke our head into classes and see if the person’s there, we’ll reach out to roommates, check social media, you know – sometimes people post on Facebook or Twitter, ‘Hey, going to Atlantic City for the weekend!’”

Malone also encourages students to make sure they’ve updated their emergency contact information in the self-service center because the person listed there is the first person ResLife and Public Safety will call.

“It’s in self-service, when you go into self-service center, you can update your contact information, which you should do regularly. Then there’s a place where you can update your emergency contact information, and missing person contact, which you can update at any time.”

The NYU student was hospitalized with a fractured skull, pelvis and arm, and contusions to his lung and spleen, but he is expected to be okay.