On March 21, a call claiming that there was a bomb on “Kilcawley campus” was made. The following day, two more calls with similar warnings were made: a bomb on YSU’s campus. Three calls made in two days, and 48 hours of students going to classes, unaware of the threats made against the university. No evacuations were enacted; YSU Police decided there was “no immediate threat.”
No immediate threat?
Violence on college campuses and even in high schools is an unfortunate reality in today’s society. With incidents like the one that took place at Virginia Tech in 2007, the importance of safety to students should be top priority. While the threats at YSU turned out to be empty, was there really a way to know for sure within a span of two days that they couldn’t be credible? One especially troubling issue was that the caller was not apprehended until the second day of making those threatening phone calls.
Most students said they were unaware of the threats against the university until an email was sent out to faculty, staff and students. This email was sent once university police had already resolved the situation. The email reported that the caller had been arrested, a caller many didn’t know existed at the time.
Maybe a full evacuation of a campus is a bit much. Most college campuses, like Case Western Reserve University, have procedures that include a search of the buildings mentioned in a bomb threat before deciding on a full building evacuation.
YSU police officers do a great job of keeping the campus as safe as they possibly can. The on-campus crime rate remains low in most areas and only reaches the triple digits in categories like larceny and theft. Even those have dropped from the 200s in 2005 to the 100s in more recent years.
Bomb threats are relatively rare on YSU’s campus. However, at least telling the students of this threat so that they could make an informed decision of whether they wished to leave may have been a better idea.