As final exams get underway Wednesday at Cal State Northridge, there will be an increased police presence at the school after the discovery of two threats of a mass shooting on campus in the past week.
CSUN police Chief Anne P. Glavin on Tuesday stressed that there was no imminent threat at the campus, which will remain open, but said there would be a stepped-up police presence.
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.
In light of the threats, the university announced “alternative format options” for fall semester final exams which begin on Wednesday.
“Because student anxiety is high, which will affect their performance on finals, I have directed all faculty who have examinations on Dec. 12 to provide alternative examination options for their students that would not require students to be physically present on campus Wednesday,” said CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison.
“Faculty will be communicating specifics of their plans with their students.”
For final exams on Thursday through next Tuesday, faculty will provide “alternative exam format options and accommodate students who are not comfortable coming to campus,” Harrison said.
“Students should contact their instructors to request alternative arrangements,” she said. “Any student requesting such an accommodation will not be subject to any instructor-imposed penalty.”
Glavin said 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. “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.”