By Kevin Whitehead
Three messages scattered across Memorial Hall and the Science building inscribed on duct tape reading, “Be deviant or die or boredum,” “Get away; shoot gunz,” and “Oh my Gawd.”
The Lawrenceville Police Department and Public Safety are investigating the case. Currently, there are no suspects.
“First we’re trying to find out as much information as we can,” said associate vice president for planning Debbie Stasolla. “To also close the loop with the individuals who may have been witnesses and try to find out more about what they know and to give a sense of confidence that we’re on top of this.”
The first alert was made around 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6. One class in Memorial Hall was dismissed since students saw the messages on the third floor of the building. At that time, the professor of that class deemed it necessary to dismiss the students because of the distraction the incident was causing for students and she believes that “a safe and productive learning environment is the environment we want.”
“[The professor] talked this through with [the] class and decided it was best to let go,” Stasolla said. “At that point, there was no reason to dismiss other classes. That was a decision she made based on how much the discussion was the focus of the class at that time.”
One attending student did not sense any panic.
“The chances of that happening are very small,” said Joe Gleason, a senior accounting major. “I like the way Public Safety handled it, not trying to do too much. I never really felt in danger. If there was a problem, I knew Public Safety was going to handle it.”
Rider administration expressed a similar demeanor.
“While we have no reason to believe that these messages, which have been taken down, pose a threat to our community, we feel it important that you be aware of them in case you can assist in identifying the persons who posted them,” Public Safety said in an email sent to the Rider community.
Although one class was dismissed, Public Safety did not deem it necessary to evacuate Memorial Hall or even any surrounding classrooms. They are working to find out who is responsible for the messages.
“Our goal is to find out who is doing this,” Stasolla said. “I’ve been working with Public Safety since 2007 and I feel really good about what they do on a day-to-day basis. I feel very good about the roll Public Safety plays in protecting the welfare of our community,” Stasolla said.
Stasolla insisted that students should “say something, if they see something.”