Cathedral of Learning receives fifth bomb threat this month

By Andrew Shull

At 10:14 a.m., a familiar alert went out through Pitt’s Emergency Alert system.

For the… At 10:14 a.m., a familiar alert went out through Pitt’s Emergency Alert system.

For the fifth time at the building this month, a general bomb threat had been received for the Cathedral of Learning.

Pitt police on scene said they were not able to comment, and Pitt spokesman John Fedele said that he did not have any further details on the threat.

By the time the ENS alert went out, the sidewalks around the Cathedral were mostly empty.

Three professors from the School of Social Work, Ray Engel, Mary Rauktis and Beth Mulvaney, all obeyed the now routine evacuation order— and they weren’t amused.

Engel said he was teaching a class in the computer lab that would fulfill a requirement for his class.

“I feel bad for my students,” Engel said. “I won’t be able to get another computer lab this semester.”

Mulvaney also expressed concern and said that her trip down 23 flights of stairs always reminds her of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

She said that she spoke to a student in a wheelchair who was instructed to stay where he was, instead of evacuating.

Rauktis also spoke about the possibility of the threats continuing during finals week. She said that she would have to re-evaluate what material would go on her final, and would have to make it either open book, or trust her students to complete a take home test.

Across the street from where the police K-9 units were mustered, the Pitt Pathfinders were holding an event for the University Honors College accepted students.

Rosie McKinley, the president of the Pathfinders, said that while tours had to be re-routed, they were using the bomb threats as an opportunity to tout the University’s emergency preparedness.

“It’s bad PR,” she said, “But we’re trying to put a good spin on it.”

McKinley also expressed her feelings as a frustrated student.

“We pay a lot of money to go to class,” she said.

Inside, accepted students and parents seemed unphased by the disruption.

Two accepted students, Caitlin Cloonan and Alyssa Giegerich, both said that visiting Pitt during a bomb threat wouldn’t deter them from coming to Pitt.

“It could happen anywhere,” Cloonan said.

Giegerich jumped in, also nonchalant about the affair.

“I would just hope it’s resolved by the time I come here next year,” she said.