Classes and all other campus activities at Southern Oregon University were cancelled today after a note was found last evening that presented a threat to the school. The content of the note has yet to be released, but head of public relations Ryan Brown stated on T.V. that they felt closing the campus was in the students’ and faculty’s best interest.
Last evening students received emails and automated calls around 10:30 P.M. stating, “Due to an unconfirmed threat currently under investigation by Ashland Police Department, the main SOU Ashland campus will be closed.”
Allegedly, the handwritten note was found in a women’s bathroom of the psychology/educatoin building and is being handled by forensics at the moment. The Rogue Valley has been on a heightened sense of security since last Wednesday when a shooter at Umpqua Community College killed 9 classmates and wounded many more in Roseburg, Oregon. This threat to SOU is the first directed at the Ashland campus, but earlier this week, Rogue Community College in Grants Pass was evacuated due to a bomb threat.
Aside from campus security, dining hall workers were the only SOU employees asked to clock in today. “The residence halls and food services are basically what will be available. We don’t have a lot of kitchens in our residences on campuses and do want to make sure that students who are here can eat today.”
The succession of violent threats have caused some turmoil on campus as different plans and events have been pushed back or cancelled to ensure students’ safety. Raiders of all ages ages are reacting to the current shut down, but since the news about the situation is still unfolding, many are unsure how exactly they feel.
The Siskiyou Staff took to the dorms as well as popular social media sites to find information about the current situation.
“I just think that it’s dumb. I just don’t think this would happen if we didn’t portray school shooters in the media the way that we do.” – Tristan Carpenter
“It’s pretty cool that a lot of professors that have office hours today have set up their office hours at different shops, like juice and coffee shops. ” – Alexander Wade
Anonymous Yik Yak users: I hope they find the person who made the threat. It makes me real uneasy that I’m walking amongst someone who’d even pretend they’d harm their peers.
“It’s so sad we have to feel this way as we start a whole new school year. For some of us it’s a whole new chapter in life.”
Facebook post: Keeping my 3rd grader home today. If one Ashland school is closed, horrible people will find another!
“ I feel it’s important to try to actively contribute in positive contributions, showing support, interest and facilitating dialogue. For myself, I refuse to live in fear.” Professor Precious Yamaguchi:
At 2:30 p.m. students received phone calls and emails informing them that campus will reopen at 5 a.m. on Thursday.