After receiving reports of a suspicious package on Texas Christian University's campus earlier this week, authorities quickly sprung into action. But while campus police, Fort Worth firefighters and members of the bomb squad worked to determine what threat the package posed, students and faculty were left in the dark.
Although the incident proved to be harmless, the campus community is still up in arms, especially as many learned about the bomb threat from social media posts.
TCU spokesperson Katherine Polenz says the university was just "following protocol" when it chose not to alert students about the perceived threat until after the scene was cleared.
"We were in direct contact with campus police the whole time," Polenz says. "You don't want to push out massive alerts and alarm people unnecessarily."
Many students, however, disagree. Their confusion seems to be compounded by the fact that TCU recently invested in a mass notification system, TCU Alert, which is designed for precisely these kinds of situations. TCU Alert was added to campus this summer and is scheduled for its first major test Oct. 9.
But campus stakeholders wish it had been used in this real-life situation. Disgruntled students and faculty members took to Twitter to air their grievances.
So, apparently there was a bomb threat @TCU this afternoon…right outside my building. No notification from the univ. at all.— Sean Atkinson (@seanatki) October 2, 2014
30 minutes since the first picture of a TCU bomb scare was shared on twitter. Where is #TCU administration?— James Chase Sanchez (@JChaseSanchez) October 2, 2014
Yooooooooo TCU alert, you wanna do your job?— Matthew Warwick (@MatthewWarwick) October 2, 2014
Thanks @TCU for being so casual about something so serious— Rachel Podemski (@Samantha95R) October 2, 2014
If TCU wanted to send an email explaining this bomb threat that would be cool.— Madeline Muller (@madeline_muller) October 2, 2014
Apparently TCU is locked down but I'm just walking in and out of buildings and finding out about it 20 minutes later— Blake Carsey (@BlakeCarsey) October 2, 2014
I am however pleased that Yik Yak served a good purpose for once. Step up your game TCU Alert System.— Jordan Griffin (@JR_Grif) October 2, 2014