After a sighting of black student with a hot glue gun caused the tolerant, liberal campus of Colgate quickly jumped into action and locked down the school. The university president took swift action, blamed the Campus Safety Director and quickly placed him on administrative leave until an investigation is completed.

“There have been no shots fired”

Colgate University locked down its campus today, after a student spotted an “armed individual” who was actually holding a hot glue gun.

The upstate New York university’s official Twitter account tweeted out a warning late Monday urging students to seek shelter. The tweets warned there was an “armed person” on campus, although there were “no reports of shots fired.”

But shortly before midnight, the lockdown was lifted. In a statement to students, Colgate announced that “after thorough investigation, and with the assistance of the person in question, law enforcement identified the individual as a student who was using a glue gun for an art project.”

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Students on social media quickly reported that the glue-toting student was African-American, and grumbled that race may have played a factor. In an additional statement Tuesday morning, Colgate President Brian W. Casey confirmed the student’s race and apologized. –WFB

Colgate University President made the following statement:

This morning I received an update from Campus Safety regarding the events of last night, details of which I want to share with the campus. Please know that I have called for a thorough, deeper review of all matters related to last night—from the original reporting of the events to the University’s response. I will have this report within ten days and I will share its findings with the campus.

At a few minutes before 8 PM last night a Colgate student called Colgate Campus Safety reporting that they had seen a black male entering the Coop, carrying what appeared to be a gun. A few minutes later, Campus Safety sent out the first of two campus announcements, the first identifying an “Emergency Situation” and the second indicating, in a profound error, that there was an active shooter on the campus. (The remaining campus notices last night were sent out by our Communications Office and an emergency response team.)

After the initial report, Campus Safety contacted local law enforcement units, which proceeded to engage in steps associated with reports of a person with a gun in a public setting. Only after it was determined that the person in the Coop was a Colgate student—who had a glue gun needed for an art project—was Campus Safety able to end the campus lockdown.

To more fully understand the events of last night, we are in contact with the student who had the glue gun and will be with the student who made the initial report. Importantly, I am also in contact with those who were making the essential administrative decisions last night.

It is important that we understand the role that implicit racial bias had in the initial reporting of and responses to the events of last night. I want to make sure we speak with those who made and received the initial report to understand the role this played.

More egregiously, perhaps, was the effect profiling had on the response of safety officers and other University offices to these events. In addition, communication and enforcement steps were taken that, I believe, confused and harmed this campus and our students. As a first step, I have asked Campus Safety Director Bill Ferguson, who was leading university security efforts last night, to take an administrative leave from his position effective immediately while we conduct a review of the events of last night.

This has been a difficult, painful several hours on this campus. My obligation is, first, to demand a full accounting of what happened. My next obligation is to take steps to ensure the safety of all Colgate students, faculty and staff. My final obligation—my desire—is to improve Colgate. If there is anything that can and should come from these events it must be that concrete steps are taken to make Colgate a better place, and a university worthy of both regard and respect.





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