Guidelines for Responding to Requests for Confidential or Sensitive Information

Front office staff or faculty who receive inquiries from visitors about campus community members or requests for specific information about campus facilities should follow these response guidelines outlined below.

PLU Students, Staff & Faculty

Information on individual PLU community members should not be shared with visitors/callers. Although a vast majority of these inquiries are harmless or routine in nature, there have been incidents of unwanted persons attempting to locate community members who do not want to be contacted or identified by these individuals.

For the safety of the community member it is important for PLU staff and faculty to maintain the privacy of the individual’s location or status. In some cases, visitors should be directed to specific departments for assistance.

Inquiries about individual PLU community members may happen by phone or in person. Our response to these inquiries should be consistent and considerate of the privacy and safety of our community members.

For staff and faculty inquiries by phone, check the PLU website for the PLU member’s office phone. If they are listed on our website you can provide the office number or transfer the call when possible. If the member is not on the website but you are aware the person is still a member of the PLU community, do not reveal any information. Tell the caller that the person is not listed on our directory. Some community members have their information removed from our website for personal reasons. You should then email the person to make them aware of the inquiry.

For in-person inquiries you can direct the person to contact the respective department’s office. You can provide directions to the building and/or phone number for the department but do not provide directions to the staff or faculty member’s individual office. A courtesy call to the department to advise them of the visitor and the nature of the inquiry would be appropriate.

Inquiries about individual PLU students should be referred to the Office of Student Life (x7200). PLU staff members should not confirm whether a student is active or where they reside even if the caller states they are family or a friend. The Office of Student Life will follow up with the student and pass on the message of the inquiry. It will be up to the student to contact the caller.

Campus Departments or Facilities

General inquiries about what programs are offered at PLU are acceptable to answer. Questions about security measures, chemical storage, or specialized science equipment should be directed to the respective departments and not addressed by general staff members.

Suggested Response: “I am not familiar with the specifics of that area but I can refer you to that department for answers.”

You can provide directions or contact information for the department’s main office. Follow up with a call to that office and advise them that a visitor was inquiring and may be heading to that department.

If you feel the contact was suspicious in nature contact Campus Safety to provide a description of the individual and the nature of the visit.

Individuals Calling for Background Checks

PLU is routinely visited by background investigators from various governmental and accreditation agencies. Many jobs require the individual to pass a background check, especially when the position involves a license, is related to law enforcement, or military service. These are routine checks to verify prior employment or a student’s educational status and prior conduct.

  • Inquiries about students should be directed to the office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (x7462)
  • Inquiries about staff or faculty should be directed to Human Resources Department (x7185)

Do not try to verify the status of the individual yourself. These offices routinely address these requests.

After making the referral, a courtesy call to the respective department advising of the incoming visitor is appropriate.

Law Enforcement Inquiries

Most law enforcement agencies will contact Campus Safety directly for assistance. If an officer/agent comes directly to your office you can direct them to the Campus Safety department at PLU (x7441). You can inform the officer/agent that the Director of Campus Safety is a law enforcement officer and that the Director can aid with the investigation.

Note: PLU will not provide immigration information on students outside of the International Student Services program. A court order will be required for PLU to share immigration information on general students. Any requests for immigration information should be sent to the Director of Campus Safety who will then consult with the VP for Student Life and PLU’s legal counsel.

If an officer/agent contacts you to discuss an active investigation where you are a witness, victim or otherwise involved, you do not need to refer them to Campus Safety. You will be speaking to the officer as an individual and not a representative of PLU. If you have questions about your situation the Director of Campus Safety is available for consultation.

Wellness Check

If the person is reporting a concern about a student they should be referred to Campus Safety (x7441) for follow up. Campus Safety will not reveal information about the student but will take the information and conduct wellness checks on students when appropriate.

Campus safety procedures for a wellness check are conducted under the direction of a Campus Safety Officer. Following are the steps to take to perform a wellness check:

  • For residential students the on-duty Residential Director (RD) will be contacted and advised of the report to coordinate the wellness check.
  • For non-residential students the caller will be advised to contact the police agency where the student is residing. Information on the student and the concern should be gathered and an incident report generated by Campus Safety staff.
  • During normal business hours the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities should be notified of the situation.
  • During after hours, the Student Life Administrator on Duty should be notified of the situation.

Office of Student Rights and Responsibility (SR&R) or the Administrative Representative on Duty will handle any follow up communication with the reporting person (i.e., family or friend). Campus Safety or faculty should not be reporting information back to the caller unless directed by SR&R or Administrative Representative on Duty.

Vendor & Contractor Access

PLU utilizes contractors and vendors across campus. Construction and other mechanical work is coordinated through Facilities Management. Facilities will provide Construction Alerts to affected areas to provide advanced notice of any disruption to the workplace and the presence of non-PLU individuals.

Contractors and service vendors who are on campus for long durations of time may be issued temporary access cards. This process is coordinated with the Access Administrator and Campus Safety. In these scenarios’ contractors will come to Campus Safety each day and checkout keys/access cards for the workspace.

These workers are not issued individual visitor passes that are visible on their person. If a PLU staff or faculty member has a concern about the presence of a suspected contractor/vendor they can call Facilities Management (x7380) to confirm that the individuals should be present in the space. For afterhours inquiries contact Campus Safety (x7441).