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Answers sparse on Ohio State Newark bomb threat

Officials have yet to release details on last week’s Ohio State Newark campus bomb threat.
The campus was closed for most of the day Oct. 9, but officials have said the case is still under investigation.
Denny Hollern, public safety director at OSU-Newark told The Lantern last Thursday he cannot reveal how officials were notified, and that police found no evidence of suspicious packages or devices on campus.
“All the academic buildings on our campus along with a couple support buildings were checked,” Hollern said. “Student Life pretty much took care of their own with the dormitory. So everything was checked.”
Bomb-sniffing dogs from the Columbus Division Police, OSU Police and the Muskingum County Sheriff’s office were all on the scene Oct. 9.
On the day of the threat, students, professors and staff members were notified of the threat via Buckeye Alert System and the Newark campus alert system, and all employees received the notice through voice mail.
Signs were also posted on the doors of each campus building and an alert on the university’s website advised everyone to evacuate in a “calm and orderly manner.”
Hollern said all building were evacuated wihtin “several minutes” and as soon as faculty were notified. However some students said their knowledge of the threat wasn’t as timely.
Although OSU’s emergency management sent out a tweet at 9:22 a.m. announcing the Newark campus would be closed until further notice, Mahad Abid, a first-year in biology at OSU-Newark, said Monday he received a Buckeye alert email at about 10:21 a.m. alerting him of the bomb threat.
A few minutes later, Abid said his geography professor received a phone call telling him to evacuate the building.
“We saw cop cars just coming and coming, asking questions,” Abid said. “I don’t know how serious it was, but I thought it was a joke. Like someone was prank calling, so I didn’t take it seriously.”
Abid said it took him 35 minutes to leave campus because of the heavy traffic on campus.
Brittany Lloyd, a first-year at OSU-Newark, said she was frightened when she first heard of the threat on Oct. 9.
“I was in Warner Library just doing some math,” Lloyd said in an email. “It was around 10:30 (a.m.) when a lady came running upstairs yelling,’There’s a bomb threat, you guys need to evacuate now.'”
Students and faculty at OSU’s Columbus campus were not notified of the threat because OSU public safety policy says “they were not deemed to be in immediate danger and therefore no notification is needed.”
Despite the policy, some students at OSU’s Columbus campus were upset they did not receive an email notifying them of the threat.
“We should have been notified here because we’re all OSU students and any threat to an OSU community is a concern to us,” said Tyler Bonta, a second-year in criminal psychology at OSU’s Columbus campus Thursday.
While the evacuation was taking place in Newark, students, staff and volunteers on the Columbus campus were preparing for a visit from President Barack Obama later that day.
Normal campus operations resumed at 5:30 p.m.

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