On Tuesday, October 14th, my roommates and I were sitting in our apartment lounging around. We had all just come back from a long weekend spent back home for Columbus Day, and after lugging our stuff back into our rooms we were exhausted. We were all dreading classes the next day, and were all wishing that we could have just one more day off. Suddenly, our wishes came true, but under dire circumstances…
At about 10pm one of my friends was browsing on Facebook on her computer, and suddenly looked up in surprise. She said that the Assumption College Facebook page posted a status that there had been a bomb threat and that we should evacuate. We all laughed because we figured that it was some joke because we would have definitely received a phone call or something. After browsing on Facebook however, we realized that people were sharing the status and commenting on it. We began to worry that it could be true after all.
A few minutes later we all received an email stating that there had been a bomb threat and to stay where we were. Once this happened, we all knew that it was real. We were all really confused and caught off guard, but we still thought that it would blow over and things would go back to normal quickly. We never thought that we would be evacuating our campus when we had just arrived back to school a few hours earlier.
At about 11:30 we finally received a phone call stating that there was a bomb threat and that we should evacuate the campus immediately. At first we weren’t really sure what to do because some of us had just driven over an hour to get back to campus earlier. It all became real when our RA came knocking on our door and told us that we had to leave. We all frantically packed a bag and figured out where we were staying for the night. Since I only live about 20 minutes away, I just went back home, but some of my other friends stayed with friends so they didn’t have to drive too far.
As we evacuated campus there was a line of traffic and it took a while to actually get out, but police officers on campus were directing traffic and making sure that everyone was okay. Since freshmen can’t have cars on campus, busses were sent to bring them to WPI for the night. Overall, it was a really smooth exit and everyone was fairly calm. It was nice to know that this was how the campus would react in a real situation.
The next day, classes were cancelled and we were eventually allowed back onto campus after dinnertime, as they discovered there was no real threat. The threat came from a prior student who had been expelled from Assumption for various reasons. Apparently, the threat that he emailed to the media relations director at Assumption claimed that there were pressure cooker bombs on campus and that all students and faculty were at risk of being injured. Assumption took these threats very seriously and made sure that all of the students were safe.
This was the closest that I have ever been to a “traumatizing” experience at Assumption, and for me personally I felt that the college handled it very well.