Samford University

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Student Handbook: Students' Rights and Responsibilities

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Search Policy

Samford University respects a student’s right to privacy and guards against arbitrary and unnecessary intrusion. If there is probable and reasonable cause to believe that health, safety or welfare activities are taking place that are detrimental to the university community, or if there is probable and reasonable cause to believe that contraband is present or activities are occurring that would constitute a value violation and inappropriate behavior, the university will use the following procedures in a search.

Searches must be approved in writing using a Samford University authorization form, except when verbal permission to search is given by the occupant of the room being searched. Only the Director of Public Safety or a supervisor, the Director of Residence Life, a Residence Life Coordinator, a Residence Manager, the Assistant Dean for Student Services and Values Advocate, the Assistant Dean for Campus Life, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, or the Vice President for Operations and Planning can authorize a search. A search will be conducted by at least two university employees, one or more of whom may be resident assistants. Reasonable effort will be made to make the search in the presence of an occupant of the room or the person who registered the vehicle on campus. In situations where it is deemed that a delay to obtain authorization constitutes a danger to individuals or property, or destruction or disposal of contraband, the room or vehicle will be entered and searched without authorization. Searches can be conducted without authorization when an official is in pursuit, the student gives permission or contraband is in plain view.

A list of objects/items taken as the result of a search will be signed by all individuals involved in the search and witnesses. A copy of the list will be left with an occupant of the room; or in the event no occupant was present during the search, a copy will be left in the room. Any occupant present during the search will be asked to sign the authorization form with a listing of objects/items being removed, not as an admission of guilt, but to confirm the items taken.
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