Let’s pick a day and leave notes in bathrooms woo hoo!

We all (the writing center consultants) had an unexpected day off yesterday.  The security folks decided to close the campus due to a threat of violence.  I haven’t heard any official word, but the unofficial word is that a note was found in the bathroom near the Social Sciences faculty offices.  One version (of the unofficial word) says it made a general threat of violence.  Another version says it listed specific people (i.e., a hit list).

Seems the copy-cat phenomenon is particularly widespread this time.  I saw in the paper this morning that Skagit Valley College — also yesterday — cancelled their evening classes, and Portland Community College’s Rock Creek campus — also yesterday! — closed “after a threat of violence was discovered.”  So, yikes, what is this?  An organized effort to disrupt campuses on exactly the same day: “Hey, guys, let’s pick a day and leave notes in bathrooms to make whole campuses close!”?

I guess I agree with the better-safe-than-sorry idea in this case.  There’s a lot more to lose by staying open than by closing.  But I just hope the prankster doesn’t feel such a thrill from closing an entire campus that he/she doesn’t do something similar again (or something worse) just to get that thrill again.  You don’t close an entire campus without getting some sick sense of power.

And, hey, it’s an especially-sick sense of power when he/she also succeeds in stopping writers from working with each other, even if only for a day. 

Now THAT’s dangerous!


12 thoughts on “Let’s pick a day and leave notes in bathrooms woo hoo!

  1. Woah, sorry to hear the campus was closed. That’s an interesting phenomenon that I didn’t consider. After media-covered high school violence, there is usually a lot of copycat threats in high schools throughout the country, but I didn’t consider that it would happen in colleges. I didn’t hear about the PCC threat either, despite living just south of Portland (while I read rhet/com blogs like crazy, I often fall behind in other news).

  2. Well, I’m not saying I’m glad it happened, but I did get to get in a hot tub and sleep in a big, comfortable bed because of it…

    I think I told you they locked down the dorms, too, so I stayed at Amy’s. (Amy who comes in all the time and was in TVM.)

    Maybe we should all talk about how we enjoyed the day so whoever did it doesn’t get to feel as powerful.

  3. Well, I’m glad to hear you got to sleep in a big comfy bed, Chanel, but I’m not glad to hear they actually locked down the dorms! Yikes!

    I did laundry and vacuuming, listened to music (got a Brandi Carlile CD from Gavin — lovvvvvve it!), and surfed the web. Oh, and I had lunch with Deb and visited afterward with a friend of ours (who’s also the pastor of our church).

  4. Hi, Michael. It IS an interesting phenomenon, in that it seems SOMEthing is making it more widespread than usual (or, is it just my hyper-focus on it because it affected our campus?).

    Well, I’m glad you happened by my blog in your comp/rhet surfing.

  5. Laura, I blogged about what happened at Skagit Valley College extensively last week. You can go HERE, scroll to the bottom and work your way up to get all the details and my “We’re not afraid” photoshop for SVC I did in all my grief and righteous fury.

    I also linked to your post in my conclusion. You, and anybody else who isn’t a spammer or hate dispenser, is more than welcome to post comments. I attempted to post not just my strident feelings, but what I felt should be done proactively and positively in the name of Skagit Valley College.

    Finally, you pithily said there was a “sick sense of power” from these threats. I speak from personal experience at the receiving end for many years and I have to say I concur. I do though believe evacuating your school as well as mine based on these vague threats was respectfully a mistake. Arguably, all such acts do is add flame to the fire of the punk and they’ll do it again to get their high. Hopefully, the punks doing this get busted and publicly prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    Thanks for blogging for your school! Cheers!!

  6. Thanks, SVC Almnus. I appreciate the fervor of your comments. You really care, and that’s evident.

    I think the threats were probably left by mere pranksters, but I can’t say that I disagree with the decision to close the school. Now, of course, if the same kind of punk-like and/or vague threat happens again the next couple months, then, yeah, I’d agree that it would be a mistake to close. THEN we’re REALLY just encouraging them. But, anyway, thanks again. I hope we have no reason to complain to/with each other again. :-)


  7. Pingback: threat of violence closes YVCC (but only in late April?) « Cultivated Pages

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