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UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

UPD: Code Red not necessary with bomb scare

UPD and JSO were dispatched to the UNF Library shortly after 10 p.m. Oct. 28 to investigate a suspicious package, UPD Detective Adam Kline said.

The package was eventually determined to be an art project – similar in nature to the art project in April, which also prompted UPD to call JSO’s bomb squad, according to the police report.

“The device was electrical in nature,” UPD Chief Mark Foxworth said. “It was a piece of board with putty, wires and a small MP3 player attached to it.”

UPD took the necessary steps to ensure the safety of the students in the surrounding area, and the problem was a miscommunication between the sponsor of the exhibition and the police department, Foxworth said.

“It was a project through an English class,” he said. “The intent was to have poetry recited when someone stepped over it.”

The art project was part of the guerrilla theater campaign in conjunction with the ongoing Samuel Beckett Festival, Provost Mark Workman said.

The Code Red Campus Alert System did not notify students of the immediate emergency, while hundreds of students were evacuated from Lots 1 and 2, the Library and Parking Garage 44.

“Code Red is for institutional wide use, [but] since we had already blocked off the immediate area – and it was afterhours – we chose not to alarm the entire community,” Foxworth said.

At the beginning of each semester, students are prompted to enter their contact information so they can receive emergency updates.

The program uses call-back and voice message technology to notify anyone listed in its database, Sharon Ashton, assistant vice president for Public Relations, said in a previous interview with the Spinnaker.

“The fastest way to alert people in the surrounding area was to pull the fire alarm,” Ashton said. “Plus a large portion of the surrounding community uses the library after hours, and they would not have been in the Code Red System.”

Dan Bradfield, history and psychology senior, was present at the time of the library evacuation.

“[UPD] came in the library and told everyone it was an evacuation and that it was not a drill,” he said. “The evacuation was timely and orderly.”

However, after two similar art projects prompted a university wide alarm, something has to be done, Workman said.

“I am asking the president of the Faculty Association to appoint a task force to develop guidelines and a process that will allow creative expression to continue on our campus without causing panic or undue disruption.”

E-mail James Cannon II at [email protected]


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