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August 29, 2007

College Bomb Threats? (Updated)

Just want to put this on your radar. It's probably just first-week pranks, but I just received the following notice from my school's administration (I have altered it slightly since I have an Ace-mentality about privacy).

You may have seen or heard that a number of colleges and universities have received bomb threats via email, none of which have yet to be determined as credible. This morning, the [undergraduate college] also received an email bomb threat. At this time there is no indication that this is a credible threat, however, we take any threat to the University community seriously. Law enforcement authorities have been alerted and we are taking appropriate steps to insure the safety of campus.

As always, please be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious packages or persons to the department of Public Safety.

I looked through the news, but couldn't find much on the referenced "number of colleges" which also received threats. If you know of some, feel free to put them in the comments.

Aside from the mere fact of the bomb threat, I want to mention that I appreciate the university notifying us of the threat, even if its credibility is undetermined. Back at my undergrad (a different school) there was a minor scandal when it was revealed that the university had received a threat of violence and chose not to notify staff, students, and faculty. Moreover, it was policy to withhold that information until the credibility of the threat had been determined.

Update: More poking around has revealed that at least two schools have been evacuated because of emailed bomb threats in the last few days.

The local FOX affiliate in Cleveland reports that the University of Auburn's College of Engineering Akron's Science and Engineering Center was evacuated for a few hours this morning.

Also, Cornell's business school was evacuated because of an emailed threat yesterday. (Spaz in the comments note that the article has it wrong; the evacuation occurred yesterday, despite the article's use of "today" with today's date.)

No bomb was discovered at either location.

Update 2: Here's a report from the University of Iowa. Apparently, this is UI's third such threat and the university is getting tired of evacuating every time. UI's Director of Public Safety says:

Officials will not continue to evacuate buildings if authorities keep receiving threats on a daily basis, he said.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 01:50 PM

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