ST PAUL, Minn. — Four buildings on the University of St. Thomas (UST) campus in St. Paul were evacuated following a bomb threat Tuesday morning.
A UST spokesperson confirms the threat, which came in around 7:45 a.m. The decision was made to evacuate staff and students from the Facilities Design Center, John Roach Center, Anderson Student Center and O'Shaughnessy Science Center.
Shortly after 9:30 a.m. the university tweeted that all four buildings had been searched and given the all clear. Classes that were canceled during morning sessions are now set to resume at 1:30 p.m. Counselors are being made available for those who feel traumatized or uneasy following Tuesday's threat.
UST President Julie Sullivan released a statement Tuesday afternoon condemning the action, and assuring students, staff and alumni that the school is doing everything in its power to identify the culprit and make sure campus is safe.
This morning’s bomb threat was both frightening and frustrating. It is frightening any time the safety of our students, faculty and staff is threatened. And it’s frustrating because this is the third bomb threat our university has received since April. Each of these threats interferes with our students’ learning experiences and disrupts our operations.
We are grateful for the rapid response from Public Safety, law enforcement and the University Action and Response Team (UART). No suspicious objects were found during the search of the four buildings identified in this morning’s threat, and operations are returning to normal. I want to assure you the safety of our students is our top priority, and we take every threat seriously.
St. Thomas and law enforcement are actively investigating both this morning’s incident and prior incidents. Please know that actions are ongoing, even if we are unable to publicly share details.
When an event such as today’s occurs, we activate our emergency plans and respond immediately. Read the statement summarizing today’s response and sequence of events here.
Our plans include protocols from the Department of Homeland Security and coordination with law enforcement. Students also are encouraged to create a personal safety plan. Finally, as a reminder, counselors and campus ministry are available to anyone who needs support.
Please remember that many people in our community will be feeling the impacts of today’s events. Please take the time to care for one another as one St. Thomas community.
Tuesday's bomb threat is the latest in a string of threats that have disrupted operations on the UST campus in recent months. The John Roach Center was previously evacuated August 20 after a bomb threat targeting that building, and in April of this year McNeely Hall and two nearby buildings (including a child care center) were evacuated after someone phoned in a bomb threat.
No word yet from St. Paul Police if they believe all these bomb threats are connected, or attributed to the same person.
Video from the threat in April 2019: