12.023: Student Emergency Contact Information




May 31, 2023

Initiated by:

Debra M. Benton | University Registrar 

Endorsed by:

Elizabeth Sayrs | Executive Vice President and Provost 

Approved by:

Hugh Sherman | President 

Signatures and dates on archival copy
  1. Overview 

    It is imperative that the University can contact an individual designated by the student in the event of an individual student emergency. Students are required to update or confirm their emergency contacts each semester. 

    This policy serves to outline the procedures for the collection, maintenance, and utilization of student emergency contact details at Ohio University. It encompasses the circumstances in which these contact details will be utilized, the decision making process behind their use, and the authorized individuals who will initiate contact. The overarching goal is to provide clarity, and ensure prompt and well-informed action in emergency situations, benefiting students, staff, and emergency contacts alike. 

    A student is herein defined to mean any person who is officially enrolled and participating in classes delivered by Ohio University by any modality. 

  2. Emergency Contact Update Requirement 

    All students are required to report their emergency contact(s) name and phone number in the student information system. The student is required to confirm or update their emergency contact(s) name and phone number each semester of enrollment. Students additionally may update their emergency contact(s) name, relationship, phone number, and email address at any time. One contact must be identified as the primary contact. It is the responsibility of the student to make their emergency contact(s) aware and collect permission to list them and provide contact information to the university.

    This information is stored in the student information system in accordance with the Ohio University Website Policy Statement and applicable data privacy laws. 

  3. Use of Emergency Contact 

    Ohio University faculty and staff take the privacy of every student seriously. When there is a student welfare concern, professional judgement is used when deciding to reach out to the emergency contact provided by the student. The decision to make emergency contact is made on a case-by-case basis. 

    Emergency contact will be used as follows:

    1. Notify in the case of student death 

    2. Notify of specific emergency involving an individual student. 

  4. Oversight of communication to emergency contact(s)

    Emergency contact information is provided for an individual student upon request to appropriate university personnel due to the emergency situation. The dean of students office is typically the office to contact when a student is in crisis and requires access to this information in the student information system. The dean of students may consult with legal affairs, chief privacy officer, and others as appropriate when determining if an emergency contact should be contacted. 

    Emergency contact information may also be provided to other systems where this information is critical; requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the university registrar. 


Proposed revisions of this policy should be reviewed by: 

1. Vice President for Enrollment Management 

2. Vice President for University Communications and Marketing 

3. Vice Provost for Student Success

4. Vice Provost for OHIO online 

5. Chief Privacy Officer 

6. Dean of Students 

7. Chief of Ohio University Police Department 

8. Student Senate 

9. Graduate Student Senate