Threats on campus deemed not to be credible

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Vice President of University Relations Joel Malina sent the following statement to the Cornell community on November 7:

Just before 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon, Tompkins County 911 received an anonymous call from an individual claiming to be in one of our college buildings with automatic weapons, and that explosives had been placed in several other college buildings. . The Cornell University Police Department (CUPD) immediately began investigating and issuing real-time alerts urging students, faculty, staff, visitors and community members to evacuate the central campus and to avoid the area.

We are relieved to report that this threat appears to have been a hoax. A cruel hoax; but, luckily, just a hoax. The University has now resumed its normal activities.

The CUPD was assisted throughout the incident by the Ithaca Police Department, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, the Cortland Police Department, the SUNY Cortland Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York State Police. We greatly appreciate all of the police and staff, as well as the Cornell Emergency Services personnel, the Ithaca Fire Department and the Bang Ambulance, who responded to this potential crisis.

As Cornell investigated this threat, we learned that several other universities across the country had fallen victim to similar hoaxes. Cornell will work closely with local, state and federal investigators looking for links between these threats of campus violence.

Situations like these are scary and stressful. We urge all students, faculty and staff to use campus resources if you wish to speak about today’s events. We are also aware of the concern experienced by the larger campus community, made up of relatives and friends, as well as by our neighbors in the larger community of Ithaca. We thank everyone for remaining calm and heeding the warnings during this difficult and uncertain situation.


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