Harvard University appears to be the the victim of a hoax. The Ivy League School had four buildings on its campus evacuated Monday morning after Boston police received an email which claimed that explosives might have been placed around inside each location. However after numerous hours of hunting through hallways and rooms as well as interruptions of final exams, there were no suspicious explosive devices anywhere to be found.
Each of the four college structures was evacuated and any admission to Harvard Yard was limited after the email was received by the authorities around 8:40 a.m. Monday. This was just prior to students beginning final exams. Authorities with several agencies, such as Harvard, Boston and Cambridge police departments, Massachusetts State Police and the FBI, are currently investigating the incident in order to discover who was behind the deed. The email came through about 9:00 a.m., it was reported.
The anonymous e-mail stated the explosives were in the school’s science center and also three halls, which were Sever, Emerson and Thayer. The threat was later determined to be a fraud and each of the four campus buildings were re-opened about 3:00 p.m. EST, school officials announced.
Evacuations were ordered by Harvard University police, who aided in searching for suspicious devices, the school said in a statement.
Investigators came from many different agencies and hunted through the buildings for hours before giving the all-clear for students to return to all of the buildings by the middle of the afternoon. One of the buildings is a dormitory for freshman while the other three are used for classes.
Harvard officials have released a statement which explained that the buildings were emptied because of wanting to keep the students safe and keep an abundance of caution. Most activities at the Cambridge Ivy League School were beginning to return to a normal routine by Monday evening.
Harvard officials refused to comment on the rampant rumors all over the Harvard campus about the hoax. Students were suggesting that the email was a prank planned to coincide with finals at the school.
Harvard would not directly reveal when the students could take the cancelled finals because of what occurred Monday morning.
The general mood on the Ivy League School campus was tranquil as students walked off of Harvard Yard on an icy morning with temperatures hovering in the low 20s. The gates that surrounded the yard were shut up and even though individuals were allowed to leave, no one was allowed to come in unless they had the proper school ID.
A junior who is from the state of New York was just about to take his Politics of American Education final as the evacuation announcement was broadcast. He stated that he believed someone sent the email in as a prank so they would not have to take an exam or two. He said this action was very annoying because his exam would have to be put on hold until a later date.
However, other students saw the situation in a different light. When the school’s newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, sent out a tweet that officials had announced that final exams which had been scheduled were canceled, the majority of students broke out in cheers.
About the four buildings that were supposedly laced with explosives: Sever Hall is a red brick building built in the 1800s. It holds lecture halls and classrooms. Thayer Hall is a freshman dorm. The Science Center contains many laboratories for numerous subjects, including chemistry, physics and astronomy. Emerson Hall was built in 1905 and holds Harvard’s philosophy department.
Investigators were still trying to determine who made the bogus threat to Harvard, making it the victim of a hoax.
By: Kimberly Ruble