A total of nine different agencies swept the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, cleared 20 buildings and shut down major roads surround the campus and Girard Park Wednesday afternoon. A bomb threat called into a local media outlet would turn out to be a hoax, according to Louisiana State Police.
Although no explosives were found, a suspicious device was located by the team working the area and quickly detonated and removed from campus. The FBI is asking anyone with information about the person or persons who made the threatening phone call to take advantage of it’s hotline; 1-800-CALL FBI.
Hoax or not, the lives of nearly 600 students attending student orientation were disrupted when they were evacuated to River Oaks. Students were told to remain calm and move quickly onto buses. Emily Covington, a member of the Student Orientation Staff said, “It was a little bit crazy, a little bit scary but everyone moved really quickly. University Police and the state police were really helpful.”
River Oaks served the students breakfast and encouraged them to remain in high spirits, as they texted parents and relatives throughout the day. Dwayne Bowie, Vice President of Enrollment Management, said they updated Facebook every hour and kept parents alerted through the university’s emergency text system until students were allowed to return to campus Wednesday afternoon. This was the first time in Bowie’s history with the campus that he remembered having to execute an emergency evacuation for any reason besides a hurricane.
School advisors will contact students about finalizing their schedules. All classes have been canceled for Wednesday, but the campus will re-open fully on Thursday.