Multiple bomb threats compelled several Ivy League universities to evacuate their campuses on Friday and Sunday.
Brown, Cornell, and Columbia universities reported the incidents to the police and instructed students to stay off-campus until investigations were complete. ABC News also reported that a similar threat targeted Yale on Friday, forcing the university and nearby businesses to cease operations.
Law enforcement officials cleared the vicinity during each incident, later giving each school the go ahead to resume normal activities after determining the bomb threats were unfounded. It remains unclear whether the incidents are related, and no arrests have been made.
Investigating Bomb Threats
Columbia University in New York City disclosed on Twitter that the New York Police Department (NYPD) arrived at around 2:30 pm to sweep the campus. After two hours, the school was told by the NYPD that the threats were baseless and that students and staff could return.
On Sunday, November 7, at approximately 2:30 p.m., #ColumbiaUniversity Public Safety issued a campus-wide emergency alert after receiving bomb threats at University buildings. NYPD is investigating. Avoid the area until further notice.
— Columbia University (@Columbia) November 7, 2021
Cornell University in Ithaca, NY reported receiving a phone call saying that bombs had been planted in four of its buildings. Police officers soon arrived to set up a safety perimeter and determined that the threats were also a hoax. Around 7:30 pm, Cornell announced on Twitter that police had completed their search and that it would be reopening its campus.
“We are relieved to report that this threat appears to have been a hoax. A cruel hoax; but, thankfully, just a hoax,” school representatives said in a statement.
Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island also received a bomb threat over the phone. Similar to the other Ivy League schools, police found that there was no genuine threat and allowed students and staff to return to campus a few hours later.
“Buildings that had been evacuated are now reopened, and university operations have resumed as normal,” the school reported.