Someone online posted a message saying that they were going to shoot up the quad at the University of Chicago at 10 AM on Monday morning. Dozens of these kinds of posts are made online every day, but it seems that the University of Chicago is sufficiently freaked out that they have decided to cancel all classes and events on Monday and request that staff work from home.
The following is a message from the university:
The University was informed by FBI counterterrorism officials today (Sunday) that an unknown individual posted an online threat of gun violence against the University of Chicago, specifically mentioning “the campus quad” on Monday morning at 10 a.m. Based on the FBI’s assessment of this threat and recent tragic events at other campuses across the country, we have decided in consultation with federal and local law enforcement officials, to exercise caution by canceling all classes and activities on the Hyde Park campus through midnight on Monday. All non-medical faculty, students and non-essential staff are asked not to come to the Hyde Park campus on Monday, or to remain indoors as much as possible if they are on campus. Students in College Housing are asked to stay indoors and await direct communication from College Housing Staff.
In response to the threat, the University will have an increased police and security presence on and around campus, including police personnel with visible weapons and other additional measures. University security personnel are keeping in close contact with the FBI, which is continuing to investigate the threat.
In addition to canceling all classes and events at the Hyde Park campus, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, the University of Chicago Charter School campuses, the University libraries, the Quadrangle Club, and other campus facilities will be closed on Monday. The University of Chicago Medical Center will remain open to patients, with added security measures. Student Health and Counseling Services will be closed; students may consult csl.uchicago.edu for additional information. Medical Center faculty and staff involved in patient care will receive additional details later this evening.
All University staff and faculty members who do not have emergency duties or patient care responsibilities are encouraged to avoid coming to the Hyde Park campus on Monday. Individuals with questions about their status should contact their immediate supervisors. We will provide updates at the University homepage, www.uchicago.edu, as more information becomes available, with the expectation of resuming normal University operations on Tuesday.
If you see anything unusual or have urgent questions about security measures, please contact the University of Chicago Police Department at 773-702-8181. Students living on campus who are seeking additional information should contact their resident heads.
Chicago continues to be a constant source of gang related violence. Two men were shot over the weekend in one incident on the south side of the city, and another on Union Avenue. These constant mass shootings among the minority residents hardly raise an eyebrow anymore from the local police department, but the mere threat of an armed person on campus apparently merits an “increased police and security presence on and around campus” involving “police personnel with visible weapons and other additional measures.”