Policy 20 – Lost and Found

The policies found on the website of the Secretariat are compulsory rules for the university community. The authoritative copies of the policies are held by the Secretariat and bear the seal of the University. The online version accessible through the website of the Secretariat is available for information purposes only. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the authoritative copy held by the Secretariat , the authoritative copy shall prevail. Please contact the Secretariat for assistance if necessary.

Established: 27 October 1965
Revised: 23 February 2015
Mandatory Review Date: 23 February 2020
Supersedes: N/A
Class: G
Responsible/Originating Department: Police Services
Executive Contact: Director of Police Services

Related Policies, Guidelines & Procedures: N/A

1. Introduction

As University of Waterloo campuses increase in size, number and population, locations are required where lost articles can be turned in and kept until their rightful owner claims them or they are disposed of by the University in accordance with this policy.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all University employees, students and visitors, who have lost or have come into possession of any lost articles on a University campus.

3. Legal framework

In addition to the abovementioned “Related Policies, Guidelines & Procedures,” if any, the policy will be construed in accordance with the following legal provisions:

  • Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46;
  • Police Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.15; and
  • The University of Waterloo Act, 1972, S.O., 1972, c. 200.

If any of these legal provisions are modified, abrogated, superseded, or added to, the policy will be interpreted in accordance with the new legal framework.

4. Purpose

This policy outlines the principles and processes involved in the collection, return and disposal of lost articles by the University.

5. Principles

University employees, students and visitors are expected to behave in good faith and in compliance with the law when dealing with lost articles on campus.

6. Definitions

In this policy, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

“lost and found counter” means a location, other than Police Services, for turning in lost articles. See Appendix A for locations;

“lost articles” includes low-value articles, valuable articles, and stolen or suspected stolen articles;

“low-value articles” include, but are not limited to, eyeglasses, shoes and clothes; and

“valuable articles” include, but are not limited to, money, cell phones, computers, banking cards, credit cards, identification documents, jewelry and bicycles.

7. Finding lost articles

Low-value articles may be turned in at the closest lost and found counter. Valuable articles and stolen or suspected stolen articles should be turned in (or reported, in the case of large or potentially dangerous articles) to Police Services as soon as possible. If a valuable article is turned in to a lost and found counter, it should be forwarded to Police Services as soon as practicable.

8. Storage and disposal of lost articles

Persons seeking the return of lost articles should contact either the lost and found counters in the areas they have recently visited or Police Services.

Lost articles will normally be retained for a minimum period of:

  • for low-value articles: 30 days
  • for valuable articles:
    • 30 days for bicycles and motor vehicles
    • 60 days for all other valuable articles

unless they are claimed by the owner before the end of the relevant retention period. At the end of the relevant retention period, the lost articles will be disposed of in the manner deemed most appropriate, which may include recycling, discarding, selling, or donating the article to students or registered charities.

9. Return of property to finder

Notwithstanding the above, a finder of jewelry or money may make a written request to Police Services for the found property to be returned to the finder where the original owner is not identified. The written request must be received by Police Services prior to the end of the 60-day retention period.

Appendix A

Lost and found counters

The following is a non-exhaustive list of organizational units/buildings that house lost and found counters. You may also wish to check the front desk of the office closest to where you believe you lost an item, as that office may keep items temporarily before transferring them to a lost and found counter or Police Services. This list is provided for convenience only and is subject to change at any time.

Centre for Extended Learning
Columbia Icefield
Co-operative Education & Career Action
Counselling Services
Dana Porter Library
Davis Centre Library
Food Services
Organizational & Human Development
Pharmacy Library
Physical Activities Complex
School of Architecture
School of Optometry and Vision Science
Student Life Centre
Student Success Office