Morning threats clear out four academic buildings

The Pitt News Staff | April 5, 2012    

Pitt received four more bomb threats Thursday morning, bringing the total count for the semester… Pitt received four more bomb threats Thursday morning, bringing the total count for the semester to 23.

Pitt sent out an Emergency Notification System alert around 10:05 a.m. notifying the campus of the four simultaneous threats at the Cathedral of Learning, Chevron Science Center, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium and Posvar Hall. These four threats bring this week’s count to 16.

The buildings were evacuated, and the threats were all cleared by 12:20 p.m. However, access to the Chevron Science Center was restricted. People had to enter through the University Drive entrance and were required to show Pitt identification when entering the building.

Jay Auses, assistant chair in the department of chemistry, stood inside Chevron as two Pitt police officers checked the IDs of everyone entering the building. He said that although the police were not swiping or scanning the IDs, that might come in the future.

Taylor Lutz, a freshman dietetics and nutrition major, said her professor postponed her Chemistry 2 exam until next Tuesday after receiving emails from students saying they were leaving the campus.

Lutz said that putting the police at the front door was “smart.”

“This is the next step in taking precautions,” Lutz said. “I don’t know what they’ll do next.”

Freshman Kaley Hayes, another student inside of Chevron, said police standing at the front door is not necessarily what will end the threats.

“[It’s] a temporary fix to make people feel better, but it’s not what needs to happen,” Hayes said, adding that the police must catch the perpetrator(s).

Jerome Cochran, Pitt’s executive vice chancellor and general counsel, is responsible for leading and coordinating emergency response efforts, including the decision to send out an ENS notification. While standing outside the Cathedral after the evacuation, he said the threats were sent to a reporter at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Pitt police chief Tim Delaney said that Wednesday’s threats for the Cathedral of Learning, Posvar Hall and Litchfield Tower C were sent in emails to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporters.

On Wednesday the campus received seven threats, six of which came in groups of three.

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