Update: A 20-year-old Harvard student was arrested Tuesday after confessing to sending the hoax email
On Monday morning, Harvard University received reports of explosives at four on-campus sites-the Science Center, Thayer, Sever, and Emerson halls. The university ordered all students and faculty to evacuate shortly after 9 a.m., according to the university’s twitter account. Harvard released a tweet just before 3 p.m. on Monday declaring that all four sites were clear.
About 30 minutes after the initial alert was issued, Harvard’s emergency notification website released a statement saying that the report of explosives in four buildings on campus was unconfirmed, but wanted to take extra caution by evacuating students while HUPD and Cambridge police investigated the claim. Federal and state officials also joined in the effort to determine whether or not the building were safe. “Harvard’s focus is on the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” the statement read. Sever was reopened at around 2 p.m., and Thayer and Emerson halls were deemed safe before 1 p.m, according to Harvard’s twitter account.
Harvard students are currently taking finals and go on Winter Break starting Dec. 21. While the morning’s exams were canceled, Harvard released an updated schedule showing that afternoon exams at 2 p.m. would be taken as scheduled, except for three that were scheduled to take place in the Science Center, which was still closed at the time.
UMass Boston also ordered an evacuation today. According to The Boston Globe, UMass received a phone tip regarding a person with a firearm on campus at around 11:30 a.m., and the McCormack Building was evacuated. Umass Boston tweeted at around 1 p.m. that the building was deemed safe and declared open. These reports come almost exactly eight months after the Boston Marathon bombings, during which claims of a bomb at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library were reported, and neighboring university MIT saw the fatal shooting of campus police officer Sean A. Collier.Heights Editor Connor Farley contributed to this report.