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Harvard Bomb Threat Prompts Building Evacuations

Dec 16, 11:56 AM EST

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Four buildings on Harvard University's campus near Boston were evacuated Monday after campus police received an unconfirmed report that explosives may have been placed inside, interrupting final exams.

Three of the evacuated buildings - one a dorm, and two classroom buildings - border Harvard Yard, and the other is the science center at the Ivy League school in Cambridge. Many of the students who had to leave went to another campus building, according to the school's paper, The Harvard Crimson.

Both school and city police were investigating, along with officers from other agencies.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the buildings have been evacuated while the report is investigated," the school said in a statement. "Harvard's focus is on the safety of our students, faculty and staff."

The mood on campus was calm as students streamed out of Harvard Yard on a frigid morning with temperatures in the 20s. The gates around the yard were closed and people were allowed to leave but not enter unless they had school IDs.

Juniors Alexander Ryjik of Alexandria, Va., and Diego Abrahao of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., said their professor was handing out exam booklets for their Politics of American Education class shortly after 9 a.m. when the alert went out that they had to leave Emerson Hall.

"I have a good guess somebody called it in so they wouldn't have to take an exam," Ryjik said. "It's frustrating because now the exam will have to be postponed."

Sophomore Santiago Pardo said by phone that he and his roommate were keeping close tabs on the situation from their dorm, Adams House, which is not near Harvard Yard.

"We feel safe," he said. "We're not scared."

The school tweeted that it would let students know as soon as possible whether afternoon exams would be given as scheduled.

Last month, another Ivy League school, Yale University in Connecticut, was locked down for nearly six hours while authorities investigated a phone call saying an armed man was heading to shoot it up, a warning they later said was likely a hoax.

And in February, someone called in a hoax about a gunman on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, another elite school about two miles from Harvard. The university said the gunman was a staff member looking for revenge after the suicide of an Internet activist accused of illegally using MIT computers.

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bmagee5087 December 16 2013 at 1:31 PM

Just thinking....they banned guns from campus. Ban bomb scares too!!

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geeman108 December 16 2013 at 2:56 PM

The words " Abundance of caution" seems to be used virtually every day. What it really means is We don't think any more. Has there been any incidents involving any school connected to a bomb threat where there was a bomb found after a warning. Shootings are another story.

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1 reply
Kate geeman108 December 16 2013 at 3:06 PM

Are you suggesting that the school should ignore a threat and just allow all it's students and staff to take the risk that it's a genuine threat? Nobody in their right mind would do that.

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vickyd0912 December 16 2013 at 2:56 PM

It's so funny that this happens during finals. I knew as soon as the news came on with this, what it really was, fake to get out of finals. Whoever did this was such a scumbag, after the bombings here this year, how can you make a play on our heightened security and scare people like that because you don't want to take a test!!!

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Gregg December 16 2013 at 2:55 PM

Liberals running wild again like they did in the 60's and 70's. Where is William Ayers?

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2 replies
Mary Gregg December 16 2013 at 3:06 PM

He's hanging out with Obama.

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Kate Gregg December 16 2013 at 3:13 PM

What is it about a bomb threat makes you instantly decide there are liberals involved? You've got an incredibly selective memory if you instantly ignore recent history-- the Boston Marathon-- and jump back over 50 years to conclude that this threat had to be the work of liberals.

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bmagee5087 December 16 2013 at 1:30 PM


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Kate December 16 2013 at 3:04 PM

It really bites for these students that it is entirely possible someone called in a hoax, to avoid having to take an exam they were not prepared for.

It's a far cry from funny, and it definitely isn't cool. Grow up!

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Craig December 16 2013 at 1:04 PM

Has anyone come to understand what is going on with university shootings and bomb threats? Is it an attack on individuals or the system? Lets think about the system. Think about the cost for one. break the total cost of tuition for a semester and the cost of the books and divide that by the number of clases one might attend per semester. then multiply that by the number of students in a class. My estimate is 35 dollars per class for the individual and between 1500 and three thousand for the entire class. NOw multiply that by the entire number of classes per day, then by days in the semester. Really does one need to pay that much for a seat listening to a lecture? No wonder why University presidents are making millions and students are frustrated and choaked by debt. NOt to mention the un-likelyhood of getting a job in their field in the end.

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3 replies
netecutli December 16 2013 at 12:50 PM

Some people would do anything to get our of finals.

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CAMERON December 16 2013 at 2:19 PM

I hope they find who called this bomb threat in.

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1 reply
Kate CAMERON December 16 2013 at 3:24 PM

You and me both, and I hope they throw the book at him or her.

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AMedicGary December 16 2013 at 12:41 PM

no doubt, a hoax call by a student who needed more time to study for the final exam.

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