By Amando Dominick
Bomb threats are apparently becoming the newest, sickest national trend.
Only days after bomb threats caused evacuations of three college campuses including the University of Texas at Austin, Valparaiso University in Indiana and North Dakota State University, Lousiana State University received one as well.
The thousands of students who live on the LSU campus returned to their dormitories Monday night after the bomb threat that caused the evacuation of the Baton Rouge campus Monday.
Students registered for LSU’s non-mandatory emergency alert system received a text from the university at 11:32 a.m., calling for an evacuation of the campus. It read: “A bomb threat has been reported on the LSU campus. Please evacuate as calmly and quickly as possible,” and urged students to check the students’ website for updates.
A post on the LSU emergency website informed students the LSU Police Department was investigating the threat.
LSU sophomore Aaron Schiler was sitting in his desk. His 11:30 a.m. class was just beginning.
Schiler said a classmate received the university text and informed the class.
Schiler said like the rest of his classmates, he calmly walked out of his class and then headed for his car.
“There were a lot of students walking around and some were even making jokes about the situation, but you could tell that everyone was a little uneasy overall,” Schiler said. “Then, I got in my car and basically sat in the parking lot for about half an hour before I could even begin to drive home.”
An influx of students leaving campus contributed to heavy traffic causing delays.
“The traffic was really bad. Instead of the usual five minutes it takes me to get to my house, it took 30 minutes,” Shiler added.
Other students reported even longer traffic delays.
LSU sophomore Matthew Laiche said he experienced an hour-long wait before being able to drive to his apartment, located two miles off campus.
Patrick Rayle, an LSU sophomore, also received the emergency text. He said that he was in his Art History class when several members of his class alerted his teacher of the situation. Rayle, who lives on-campus in the West Laville dormitory, returned to his dorm.
“Walking back from class, nobody was really panicking, but everyone was definitely moving around,” Rayle said. “When I went back to my dorm to grab some of my belongings, my RA just told me to get my stuff quickly and get off campus as soon as possible. However, he couldn’t tell me any exact, designated place to go.”
Rayle did have somewhere to go – a cousin’s off-campus apartment.
Others were not so fortunate.
For those who were unable to find a safe place or a ride, the regularly scheduled buses that pass through the university took those students off campus and dropped them off at the bus’ usual stops around Baton Rouge.
Since there is no designated place set up for on-campus students to be during an emergency, students had to wait around the city of Baton Rouge to hear back from LSU before they were allowed to return to their dorms.
“Luckily, I have friends off campus, so I have somewhere to stay,” Rayle said.
At 7:00 pm, the University issued a statement on their Emergency
Response website saying that “All Residential Life facilities have been deemed ready to return to normal operations.”
No bombs were found at the University of Texas at Austin, Valparaiso University in Indiana and North Dakota State University campuses.