Article by Kristina Montoro | esPResso Committee Member
Classes and all academic buildings at Marist College were closed on Nov. 13th due to an online threat posted via Twitter.
After intense investigation from local and state law enforcement authorities, the threat was deemed not credible and an arrest was made.
An individual who was later identified as Frank Brink, 16, tweeted, “If you work @Marist I strongly advise you not to attend school tomorrow. There’s gonna be a big surprise. You have been warned. @NewYorkFBI” (@NuskiiGang 12 November 2015 10:51 PM).
It was around 7 a.m. on Friday when Marist issued alerts to students and employees through various mediums of communication including text messages, emails, and phone calls. These alerts provided information of an online threat, and class cancellations adding that they will provide further updates once they know more. Employees and off campus students were advised not to come to campus, and residents were told to remain in their homes. Throughout the day, the security alerts released two more messages stating that the investigation was still under way around 10 a.m., and that there was no credible threat at 12:48 p.m.
It was only a matter of time before the press was informed of the situation, and news of the threat went viral. Reporters from NBC, The Poughkeepsie Journal, Pix11 News, and many other news outlets could be seen scattered around campus gathering video clips, and interviewing students.
Members of the Marist community flooded social media sites like Twitter and Facebook notifying family and friends of the threat, and informing them they remained unharmed, despite the stress inflicted by the incident. The Marist Student Government Association also sent out a series of tweets to advise students to take the alerts seriously.
It is important to note that no one was harmed or injured in this incident, and all members of the Marist Community were never at any real risk, although safety precautions were rightfully taken.
On Nov. 14th, Marist Student Body President Timos Pietris addressed the Marist community regarding the incidents on campus in a video posted to YouTube. “Even though physically we weren’t all together, emotionally we were all connected. As horrible as this event was, we truly saw the strength of our community.”
This short address provided closure to the Marist Community who was burdened with fear and panic for those few hours on Friday, Nov. 13th. The manner in which the community coped, and supported each other in this difficult time, proves that unity and companionship are the true foundation of the Marist campus.
Photo credited by NBC New York.