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Bomb threat back-and-forth at Hughes

By James Steinbauer, University Editor

Hughes Hall was the target of two bomb threats late last week.

Early Thursday evening, the Miami and Oxford community received the first email from the university alerting them of a bomb threat. A follow up email sent early Friday morning reported Hughes was cleared for classes.

Both emails stated the Miami University Police Department (MUPD) did not deem the threat credible and Miami students have even speculated another student fabricated the threat as a ploy to get out of an exam.

"The MUPD and the university are taking this very seriously and are taking steps for safety," Director of University News and Communications Claire Wagner said at the time of the threat.

The Miami and Oxford community received an email late Friday morning warning of a second threat, indicating a bomb would go off at 11:30 a.m. in Hughes.

The MUPD evacuated students and faculty from Hughes and the building was closed for the rest of the day.

Junior Maddie Hudak had class in Hughes on Friday at the time of the second threat.

"Everyone just threw their stuff together and sprinted out," Hudak said. "It was pretty hectic; no one really knew exactly what was going on and I didn't get the email about the bomb threat until five minutes later when I was out of the building."

Officers surrounded Hughes until late Friday evening, but there was no yellow tape preventing students from using sidewalks near the building.

For safety reasons, MUPD declined to make any statements concerning the threats and directed The Miami Student to the bomb threat section of its webpage.

The site gives students crucial information on what not to do in a potentially explosive situation and how to handle threats received by both phone and note; however, the MUPD has not divulged any information on the manner in which the threat was received.

Students, though, were not satisfied with the site's information.

"These are all common sense things that everyone should know," junior Allyson Ernst said. "I mean, when is a student ever going to receive a package like this if it has to go through the package center? I don't think they have any procedures for this. They have fire drills, they have tornado drills, but do we ever practice a bomb drill? No, because it's so rare. That's why everybody freaked out about it."

Miami police and the Cincinnati office of the FBI are investigating the bomb threats and a reward of up to $1,000 is available for information leading to the apprehension of the perpetrator.