Howard University Students Feel 'Desensitized' And Pushed Aside As Bomb Threats Continue To Plague The Institution
"This is terrorism, and it must stop," Wayne A.I. Frederick, president of HU, noted.
by Nick Fenley
August 29, 2022 at 9:34 pm
Howard University (HU), the so-called Harvard of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), has received two more bomb threats in the past week, continuing a vicious cycle that started in the winter.
Early Friday morning, two on-campus residence halls, East and West Towers, were evacuated after the Washington, D.C., institution received an anonymous bomb threat.
Notably, just a few days earlier, students staying in a different residence hall, Cook Hall, were evacuated due to another call-in threat.
Thankfully, the threats were unsubstantiated in both instances, and all clears were issued a short while after the evacuations.
The Howard University Department of Public Safety and the Metropolitan Police Department continue investigating a bomb threat received by the Metropolitan Police Department at approximately 2:36 this morning, targeting the East and West Towers. pic.twitter.com/TC8FhJP33J
— Howard University Department of Public Safety (@HowardPolice) August 26, 2022
Aug. 23 – An evacuation order has been issued for Cook Hall. All individuals at the location must evacuate immediately.
Please fully cooperate with emergency response personnel. pic.twitter.com/6WFGmSiCyc
— Howard University Department of Public Safety (@HowardPolice) August 24, 2022
In response to the situation, Wayne A.I. Frederick, president of HU, released a statement on Friday.
“For the second time in 48 hours, students have had to evacuate residence halls during the late hours of a school night,” he acknowledged in the news release.
“This is terrorism, and it must stop. Nonetheless, I was impressed by their orderly nature and model citizenry in times of crisis and maintaining care for the Howard community through sharing accurate information about incident statuses and personal safety in traditional media and social spaces. Your accurate information sharing is helping us to mitigate the crisis,” Frederick added.
Within Frederick’s statement, he also pointed out that the institution seriously needs additional resources from “all law enforcement agencies directed toward solving this ongoing threat.”
“I want to be clear about the university’s position on the narrative of these threats. This isn’t about resilience and grit. We require extra resources from all law enforcement agencies directed toward solving this ongoing threat and bringing those who perpetrate its negative effects to full justice under the law,” he wrote.
HU students also spoke on the situation, with one anonymous student saying, “It’s a little scary because it keeps happening. It’s weird,” according to WUSA9.
Jy’Mir Starks, a junior at HU, shared his perspective as well.
“I can only imagine that must have been frightening because it targeted Cook Hall, which is a freshman male dorm, and the students were evacuated, which was probably jarring because this is our first week of class,” Starks began, CNN reports.
“If it’s going to become normalized to where we’re going to get bomb threats, it makes you question like one day is it not going to be a threat?” he pointed out. “There’s being desensitized, and then there’s the reality. I don’t think anyone of us understands the actual reality, myself included.”
According to Frederick’s news release, these two instances bring HU up to eight bomb threats this year, and numerous other HBCUs have also been targeted.
While the FBI identified six juvenile suspects in the matter earlier this year, as Blavity previously reported, the call-in threats are still proving to be a severe issue for HBCUs.