On the morning of Sept. 14, University of Texas at Austin received a phone call from a person claiming to be connected with the Islamic militant group, Al Qaeda. The man on the phone claimed to have placed bombs all around the campus and said they would go off in 90 minutes.
Almost an hour later, the school began to evacuate its students, faculty and staff.
North Dakota State University and Hiram College in Ohio also received bomb threats, and immediately evacuated faculty, staff and students. After hours of searching, no bombs were discovered at either school, and the schools reopened.
Who knows what was really going on? Were the threats serious? Could the calls have been a well-orchestrated prank by a group of friends who all attend these colleges?
Either way, it was a good thing the schools didn’t take a chance and ignore the threats completely. If it was indeed a prank, then shame on those who thought this would be a funny joke amid all the violence currently going on in United States embassies around the world.
While we have to question the logic behind UT Austin’s waiting almost an hour to evacuate its faculty, staff and students, it is a good thing they did eventually.
UT Austin’s emergency system, similar to Wesleyan’s Emergency Message System [WEMS], sent out text messages and emails to warn students, faculty and staff of the emergency.
While the threats were false, schools should always take these threats very seriously. It would be unfortunate for students, faculty and staff at any institution of higher learning to lose their lives because the campus president thought a bomb threat was a joke.