I just attempted to enter the Biological Sciences building at UQÀM (the Université du Québec à Montréal), and I was refused entrance (along with everyone else) for unspecified “threats”. Someone I know who spoke to security had just left the building and I caught up with her; according to her, the threat wasn’t about a bomb but was instead a threat about something like a school shooting. “Apparently somone was really upset and made some threats”, she told me.
UQÀM students have been in the news lately for scuffling with school administration and security regarding tuition (something which sort of amused me, considering that UQÀM tuition is much lower than most institutions outside of Québec), but I don’t know if these threats are related to that.
I’ll update this post with any further information I gather; I’m probably meeting some people from UQÀM later this afternoon, so I’ll see what comes of it.
UPDATE (6:55 p.m.): I did speak with some people in UQÀM’s bio department. They tell me that indeed there was a threat of a school shooter, which was phoned into UQÀM and the police last night. The comments about UQÀM’s response were fairly disparaging, owing to the complete lack of communication between UQÀM and the students, and the apparent confusion of the security people who first suggested people leave the Biological Sciences building and then closed it entirely at about noon or 1:00 p.m. The fact that this was an exam day makes me wonder if the threat was simply meant to postpone exams (which did, in fact, happen). In any case, no-one appears to have been hurt, and normal activity is expected to resume on Monday.
UPDATE 2: Apparently, the IT people are UQÀM are actually monkeys, and badly trained ones at that. Apparently, an e-mail mentioning unspecified threats to the Science Complex was circulated to students – arriving about 12 hours after they locked down the building. Way to be timely, guys.