Cal State Northridge Wednesday was largely empty of students, who were given off-campus final exam options by the university in response to the discovery of two letters within a week threatening a mass shooting at the school.
“It’s pretty much a ghost town out there,” CSUN spokeswoman Carmen Ramos Chandler told City News Service at mid-morning.
An expletive-filled handwritten note found Monday night that threatened a shooting at the campus does not appear to have been written by the same person who scrawled a similar threat on the wall of a campus bathroom last week, according to CSUN police Chief Anne P. Glavin. School officials made the decision Tuesday that the campus would remain open during the remainder of the semester, but said there would be a stepped-up police presence.
In a statement released Tuesday night, CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison said: “While law enforcement does not believe there is an imminent threat to campus, I recognize the extreme stress and anxiety the recent threats of violence have caused our community. To further ease the anxiety students are understandably experiencing that may affect exam performance, finals on Wednesday, December 12, will only be offered in alternative formats.
“For final exams on Thursday, December 13, through Tuesday, December 18, faculty will provide alternative exam format options and accommodate students who are not comfortable coming to campus,” she said. “Students should contact their instructors to request alternative arrangements. Any student requesting such an accommodation will not be subject to any instructor-imposed penalty.”
Harrison said employees concerned about reporting to work should contact their supervisors.
Glavin said Tuesday that the CSUN Police Department was notified of the latest threat at 10:44 p.m. Monday “by a CSUN student that he had found the note, which is circulating on social media, on the floor of a classroom in Redwood Hall.”
“He immediately got in touch with us when he found it — turned it in to us — which is exactly what we would hope to have happen,” Glavin said. “And we have been investigating that ever since.”
The letter said: “I am writing this to inform the people of CSUN that I will kill everyone on the 12 of December 2018. I am aware that I will probably (be) shot and killed, but before that happens, I’m killing as many (expletive) as I possibly can.”
The person who wrote the letter said a student at Northridge Academy High School, which is adjacent to CSUN, would carry out a mass shooting at that school the same day.
“He’s gonna give bullys (sic) what they deserve, death,” the letter said.
The writer went on to say that police won’t be able to protect students and staff.
“The teachers and proffesors (sic) are surely going to (expletive) die for making students depressed and giving us (expletive) work that will never serve us good in life. You (expletive) are gonna bleed to death.”
Glavin said school police were being assisted by the Los Angeles Police Department in the investigation.
“At this time, I can tell you … there is no what I would call an imminent threat,” Glavin said Tuesday. “I am not at a place where I am going to say that the latest handwritten note is either credible or not credible — and that is part of what we are looking at.”
The increased police presence on campus will continue throughout finals week, officials said.
Last Wednesday, a shooting threat and swastika were found scrawled in a toilet in Sierra Hall. The threat read: “Mass shooting in Sierra Hall 12/12/18,” with the swastika below. Sierra Hall is home to the school’s Psychology Department.
“We have not taken our eyes off the appearance of swastikas and hate language in our men’s restrooms,” Harrison said following that discovery.
“We will continue to forcefully and emphatically denounce these cowardly acts of anti-Semitic, racist hate wherever they occur,” she said. “Sadly, the world in which we live requires we take threats of violence and expressions of hate seriously — even when there is no evidence to suggest that the threatened acts are likely to materialize.”
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