posted at 6:01 pm on June 1, 2017 by John Sexton
The campus of Evergreen State College has been closed after a threat was made to campus safety. From the Seattle Times:
Evergreen State College has closed for the day because of a “direct threat to campus safety.”
Everyone is asked to leave the Olympia campus or return to residence halls for instructions, the college announced shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday.
The Olympian has a bit more detail on what prompted the closure:
College spokesman Zach Powers told The Olympian that the closure was “out of an abundance of caution… due to a violent threat against the college received by local law enforcement.”
Powers said the threat was called in late Thursday morning to the the business line for Thurston 911 Communications, which dispatches emergency calls in Thurston County. Officials at that agency informed Evergreen Police Services about the threat, and they passed it on to college president George Bridges.
I’ve written about the protests at Evergreen College directed at Professor Bret Weinstein. Weinstein objected to a planned Day of Absence which would have asked all white people to leave campus. After a mob of students showed up at his classroom demanding he quit his job, Weinstein was told by campus security that he was not safe on campus and wound up holding his class in a public park. Weinstein wrote about his experience for the Wall Street Journal this week.
There is no evidence linking today’s threat to the protests taking place at Evergreen, so it’s possible this is a coincidence. Still, it seems like common sense to think the protests and the threat are connected. The question is how? Was this a student angry about a professor? This could also be the equivalent of a fake hate crime. We’ve seen plenty of those on campuses around the country.
On the other hand, this story has received a lot of media attention recently. The threat could have been made by someone who read about the protests and wanted to lash out at the protesters or the school. Finally, it’s also possible this is someone deranged making a genuine threat. We’ve seen real attacks recently, including the Portland stabbing, so it’s good to be cautious.
Until we know who is responsible, let’s avoid making the kind of assumptions a lot of people on the left made with regard to similar threats made against Jewish Community Centers a few months ago. Hopefully, the FBI will get involved and we’ll find out soon enough who was behind this. It should go without saying that no one should be making threats against a college campus for any reason. Whoever did belongs in jail.