Confusion filled the air at the University of Indianapolis on Thursday as the students and staff were evacuated in regards to a bomb threat. Shortly after 4 p.m. all students, staff and faculty members were alerted either through the UIndy Police’s Watchdog service, or through an announcement over an intercom to evacuate all the buildings on campus. The question, “What’s going on?” seemed to be said by everyone as they filed out onto Smith Mall and various other locations. A second watchdog alert soon followed warning students, faculty and staff members to clear the campus immediately. The alert mentioned that someone had called a bomb threat into the university and that evening classes had been cancelled.
After the second alert was spread everyone quickly began dispersing off of campus. The residence directors and residence assistants began facilitating the evacuation process for the students still on campus. Lines of cars filled the parking lots and streets of UIndy as everyone tried to flee campus. Others, rather than driving, had friends or family members come pick them up, abandoning their cars to come back for them later. Junior history major and residence assistant Jeff Todd helped with the evacuation of students during the incident.
“As staff on campus we don’t really prepare for this kind of scenario to take place,” Todd said. “In all, I feel like we are doing a pretty good job of getting people in to a safe location. A majority of the time they [bomb threats] turn out to be false, so that’s what I’m hoping for.”
Coordinator for the Student Business Center Brian McCarty was working in the Student Business Center with some of his student workers when the alert was sent out.
“As far as I can tell they [the police] are sweeping buildings and making sure everyone is out safe,” McCarty said. “We [McCarty and the student workers] just went down the planned route we had and made sure everyone was out the building on my end, then we just kind of walked outside and waited.”
Junior history and political science major and residence assistant Schuylar Casto received the word from his director to assist with the evacuation process.
“We’ve had some discussion [with upper-level faculty],” Casto said. “They don’t know much so we’re just working to get people off campus right now.”
Shortly before 5 p.m. UIndy police officers gave the all clear to evacuated students, faculty and staff. Following the nearly hour-long event, UIndy president Rob Manuel sent out an email to the whole campus community praising the work of those who helped in the evacuation and explaining that the threat of a bomb was credible enough to warrant the evacuation.
No information has yet been found on the person or persons who called in the bomb threat.