Bomb threats at Ivy League campuses Cornell, Columbia, Brown prompt evacuations
Multiple Ivy League college campuses were evacuated on Sunday following reports of bomb threats, days after several Ohio universities received similar threats.
Cornell, Columbia, and Brown Universities all issued emergency alerts after receiving bomb threats Sunday afternoon. They each evacuated buildings and cautioned students to stay away from campus.
In Ithaca, New York, Cornell police cordoned off the center of campus on Sunday after receiving a call that bombs were placed in four buildings. In New York City, Columbia University police issued a campus-wide emergency alert after receiving bomb threats at university buildings at about 2:30 p.m.
James Brennan, a 25-year-old Cornell law student from the Town of Greece, said he was relaxing in his Ithaca apartment when the first alert came. He and other law students joined an online group chat, trying to sort out fiction — there were initial erroneous rumors of an active shooting incident — from fact, he said in a telephone interview Sunday.
Eventually, the campus alerts clarified the threat, Brennan said. He said the law school is not particularly active on a Sunday, but “does get a few people in there.”
Cornell lifted the warning at about 7:30 p.m., stating on Twitter that “law enforcement has concluded search of the Ithaca campus; no credible threats were found. It is safe to resume all normal activities.”
Columbia issued a statement following an investigation Sunday.
“Today’s bomb threats were deemed not credible by the NYPD and the campus buildings have been cleared for reoccupancy,” the university announced on Twitter. “We thank those individuals affected for their patience and cooperation in evacuating.”
Brown University officials in Providence, Rhode Island, sent a text alert to students that said police were investigating “multiple buildings on campus involving a bomb threat.” Later in the day, Brown also decided the threats were not legitimate.
In New Haven, Connecticut, on Friday afternoon, a non-emergency communications line received a call alerting authorities to a bomb that referenced specific locations around the Yale campus, according to the Hartford Courant.
On Saturday, Ohio University received a similar threat. University police determined that it wasn’t credible, and also said in a tweet that the source of the threat is “the same as several other false bomb threats recently made to other universities across the country.”