Updated: Campus operations will resume as normal at 5:30 a.m., Thursday, April 17
by Cat Watson | Online Editor, Kelsey Davis | Editor-in-Chief, and Becky Sheehan | Intrigue Reporter
Apr 15, 2014 | 194867 views | 1 1 comments | 55 55 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An image of the alleged threat was posted on Instagram (Contributed by Justin Ferguson)
An image of the alleged threat was posted on Instagram (Contributed by Justin Ferguson)
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UPDATE: April 16, 2014 at 4:01 p.m.

Auburn University announced all campus operations will resume to normal as of 5:30 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, April 17.

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UPDATE: April 16, 2014 at 2:45 p.m.

Police still do not think the threat is credible.

“Based on what we’ve done in the past few weeks, there was nothing that ever came to light that indicated that there was something more than someone leaving a note on a bathroom wall,” said Auburn Police Chief Paul Register. “We have intended the entire time that today we would have extra officers on campus, and we will continue to do that until we can determine who left this message.”

The police were notified of the threat on Wednesday, March 26.

“We’ve interviewed numerous people,” Register said. “We’ve done investigations of any suspicious persons that we’ve been concerned, about, and thus far, nothing has risen to the level of giving any credibility to this at all. We’ve had no additional threats, no additional information, no additional intelligence.”

Register said the investigation did not go public because the police did not find anything that indicated that the threat was more than just something written on a bathroom wall.

Over the past couple days, Register said the police station has received several hundreds of phone calls from students and parents about the threat.

“I feel like because there was such an influx of concern by students and parents, I felt like the University decided it was best to give everybody peace of mind and that we are certainly taking this information seriously,” Register said. “There is no harm in any precaution. With this information, the University made a decision at whatever cost to make sure the students were safe.”

Police said anyone with information on the threat should contact the Auburn Police at 911 (emergency) or 334-501-3100 (non-emergency).

“The biggest thing is that we would ask anybody with any information that would be of a suspicious nature, whether that would be regarding this situation or if they in general see suspicious activity, and call us at the police station and let us make the determination of whether something is suspicious or not,” Register said.

Register said he would have been comfortable with having classes on Wednesday, April 16.

“I also think that tomorrow is another day, and people can go about it their business and know that we will be out there in numbers and they will be safe,” Register said.

Dining venues open despite class cancellations include:

- Plains to Plate, in Lupton Hall in the Quad: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

- Terrell, in the center of the Hill residence area: 8 a.m. - 1 a.m.

- Village View Dining Hall, next to the arena in the Village residence area: 7 a.m. - 1 a.m.

- South Donahue C-Store: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.


The Medical Clinic, Student Center, Recreation and Wellness Center and Student Counseling Services will be closed.

"Any buildings or venues that are open will be staffed with additional security," said Jon Waggoner, interim vice president for Student Affairs, in an email to the student body.

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UPDATE: April 16, 2014 at 9:17 a.m.

The University has released a statement about the class cancellation Wednesday, April 16.

“The Auburn University Department of Public Safety & Security and the Auburn Police learned of a threatening message posted in a campus restroom. While we have substantiated no immediate threat, we have canceled classes and suspended normal university operations today because the safety of our students, faculty and employees is our primary concern. Law enforcement officials are actively investigating and increasing security in and around campus. As more information becomes available, we will keep the Auburn family and community informed."

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UPDATE: April 16, 2014 at 7:38 a.m.

Classes canceled for Wednesday, April 16 due to continued student and parent anxiety. Police still do not think the threat is credible.

AU Alert sent out an email at 7:11 a.m. Wednesday, April 16, that said although classes are canceled police presence has and will still be around campus today.

Anyone with information on the threat should contact the Auburn Police at 911 (emergency) or 334-501-3100 (non-emergency).

Classes and normal operations will resume at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday, April 17.

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UPDATE: April 16, 2014 at 12:28 a.m.

The original message in the men's restroom of the Haley Center appears to have been scrapped away and painted over.

No other threatening messages have been found in restrooms of the Lowder building as of now.



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UPDATE: April 15, 2014 at 11:39 p.m.

Caleb Mason, senior in pre-med, who originally found the threat said, "I called the police in Auburn about it like three weeks ago when I saw it."

Mason then informed the campus security of the threats whereabouts and later sent a photo of the inscription to authorities per their request.

"I called campus security and told them and they said they were going to go check it out but then they couldn't find it where I told them it was," Mason said. "After that, they called me and asked me to send in the picture."

"So, I sent them the picture, and they told me to call the police. So I called the police, and they said they would look into it and I never heard back from them. I gave them my phone number and name." Mason said.

Authorities called Mason tonight asking for information regarding the situation.

"They said that they were going to be sending police to campus and taking care of it," Mason said.

The threat states, "To whom it may concern, April 16, 2014, I will unleash a rampage of biblical proportion across this tiny campus. You have been warned."

According to Mason, these frightening words are located "[In Haley] ... on the second floor in the third quadrant. It's that boys bathroom right outside the big auditorium. It's just written on the wall in there."

"I was kind of freaked out, but I don't have classes on Wednesday so I don't think I'll be coming," Mason said. "I think the picture going around shows that I posted it a day ago, but that was taken three weeks ago."



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UPDATE: April 15, 2014 at 11:13 p.m.

Caleb Mason, who posted the image on Instagram being circulated, said he found the written threat located in the men's restroom on the second floor of the Haley Center, third quadrant.

Correction: The threat was found in the third quadrant, not the second. The Plainsman apologizes for this error.


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UPDATE: April 15, 2014 at 11:13 p.m.

According to an AU Alert, "While no immediate threat has been substantiated, police presence has and will be increased in and around the campus of Auburn University."

Auburn Campus Safety officials declined to comment, but said Melvin Owens, director of campus safety, will be available tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. with further information.

The alleged threat was also mentioned in a Tweet earlier this year on March 26, 2014.



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UPDATE: April 15, 2014 at 10:31 p.m.

After word spread on social media of a threat allegedly written on a bathroom stall in a building on campus, authorities were notified and began to look into the situation.

At 9:52 p.m., Tuesday, April 15, 2014, Luke Sheehan, an Auburn graduate student made a call to the Auburn Police Division in regards to an alleged threat to Auburn's campus.

"Before I was able to get the words out of my mouth, the police said they were working on it." Sheehan said.

The APD is preparing to release a statement on the alleged threat shortly.

Anyone with additional information should contact the APD at 334-501-3110.

More updates to follow.



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Additional contributors include:

Cat Watson | Online Editor

Becky Sheehan | Intrigue Reporter

Becky Hardy | Campus Editor

Justin Ferguson | Sports Editor

Kelsey Davis | Editor-in-Chief

Raye May | Design Editor

Comments
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danielj85
|
April 16, 2014
To the person who wrote this note:

If you did intend to harm anybody, I hope you have seen how seriously Auburn responds to such threats and how quickly you would have been shut down. Please, there is no need for anybody to wind up hurt or dead, including yourself. Counseling is free for students - maybe somebody there can help you work out whatever is going on.

If you did not intend to harm anybody, you have crossed the line between making a tasteless joke and becoming a domestic terrorist. You used fear and the threat of violence to shut down a major American institution and caused numerous people to fear for their safety at Auburn. I hope that getting out of class for a day was worth having to live with that fact for the rest of your life.