Following Tuesday’s social media posts that threatened violence against Oregon State University, OSU officials thanked the public for their sharing of information regarding these tweets, including an anonymous tip to law enforcement that contributed to an arrest in this case.
CORVALLIS, Ore – Following Tuesday’s social media posts that threatened violence against Oregon State University, OSU officials thanked the public for their sharing of information regarding these tweets, including an anonymous tip to law enforcement that contributed to an arrest in this case.
“We understand that it was an anonymous tip to the Oregon State Police statewide tip line – www.safeoregon.com – that led to the arrest of the person believed to have made these threatening social media posts,” Steve Clark, vice president of university relations and marketing, and Mike Green, vice president of finance and administration, said in a memo Wednesday to the OSU faculty, staff and students.
“Such reporting works,” the memo from Clark and Green said. “We encourage all members of the OSU community – and the public – to immediately say something if you see something. If you do, please call 541-737-7000 or 911.”
University officials were made aware of the social media posts threatening the Corvallis campus at 12:02 p.m. Tuesday.
University staff and others responsible for incident response at OSU convened immediately to assess the social media posts. The group, which includes law enforcement partners from the Oregon State Police, quickly determined that the threat level did not require a closure or evacuation of campus. In response, OSP acted immediately to locate and arrest the suspect, and lodge him in jail.
University officials also moved to inform the community that they were aware of these social media posts and that law enforcement was actively investigating this matter. University officials encouraged anyone who saw anything unusual – or knew something regarding these social media posts – to report them to OSU’s Department of Public Safety line by calling 541-737-7000. In addition, campus safety patrols by the Department of Public Safety, Oregon State Police and the Corvallis Police Department were expanded immediately.
The university messages were approved by public safety leaders and sent beginning at 12:52 p.m. via social media, and were followed by an e-mail to approximately 32,000 student, faculty and staff. University officials also engaged in immediate communications with broadcast television and radio networks, newspaper and web journalists to share information, the university’s assessment and safety procedures regarding the matter.
In reviewing Tuesday’s events, university officials became aware that threatening social media posts had been posted during the early hours of Tuesday morning. Yet, university officials were not informed of them until 12:02 p.m. Tuesday.
In the aftermath of the incident, university officials said they will:
Expand the university’s capacity to find threats on social media;
Continue to monitor and assess threats;
Maintain enhanced Department of Public Safety and Oregon State Police patrols;
Communicate to Oregon State community members and the public;
Expand communications to families of students during such matters;
Monitor the status of the individual accused of making these threats, who remains in jail;
Continue trainings throughout the university related to active shooters and other safety matters; and
Continue to improve campus safety physical features and procedures.