Reports of alleged weapons threat in Finley Hall found ‘unsubstantiated’

Reports+of+alleged+weapons+threat+in+Finley+Hall+found+%E2%80%98unsubstantiated%E2%80%99

Zeva Rosenbaum, News Contributor

Clarification: This story has been modified to further clarify the situation.

Update made April 27 at 8:38 p.m. with statements from OSU police chief Shanon Anderson

Students posted rumors of a student who might have a weapon to social media at about 11 p.m. on April 25, but Oregon State University security officials found no threat.

A member of the OSU gaming Discord group sent out a group message late Monday night to warn members of a student who they thought might have a gun in Finley Hall on the OSU campus in Corvallis, Ore.

At 1 p.m. on April 26, OSU Public Safety and University Housing and Dining Service then sent out an email alert to let OSU community members know they had received and investigated the reports, which included interviews and searches, and found no threat, according to the email. The email said the Department of Public Safety will continue investigating information as it comes.

“We are grateful that this report was made and later found to be unsubstantiated,” the OSU email alert said. “We take reports of wrongdoing and threats against members of the university community very seriously, and we immediately investigate them.”

Campus security was unable to respond immediately with further details about the situation.

Finley Hall is a residence hall open to all OSU students that is located on the south end of OSU’s campus near the OSU Beaver Store, Dutch Bros and parking garage. 

At least one class on the OSU campus was also canceled on April 26 due to the alleged weapons threat before the email alert from OSU was sent out.

OSU’s weapons and destructive devices policy prohibits possession, use, or threatened use of destructive devices, dangerous chemicals or weapons including knives, bows, firearms and other launching devices.

If a student sees or hears something concerning, they can report it to DPS at (541) 737-3010. In case of an emergency, students should still call 911. 

In this “Active Shooter Answer Key” provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, students can find options and steps to take in an active shooter situation, such as run, hide, and fight; the actions recommended by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

4/27, 8:38 p.m.:

On April 27, OSU police chief Shanon Anderson confirmed the police believe there is no immediate threat. According to Anderson the role of campus security during a weapons threat is to immediately investigate the situation and to communicate safety information to those affected. She said they also work to provide information about keeping the community safe and how to be conscious of potential danger as well as the resources available to anyone needing information or assistance. 

According to Anderson, DPS can evacuate a building in necessary situations and provide updated information via OSU Alerts, which is an email alert service anyone with an OSU ONID login can subscribe to. 

“The decision to evacuate any building is a complex decision and is dependent on the situation, and the risk and danger of the specific situation,” Anderson said.

The decision to leave a dorm during a weapons threat is a very personal decision, according to Anderson, and it’s best to work with family, personal support groups, RA’s or RD’s to decide what is the best option for individual students and the community at large. She added that temporary relocation may be helpful until the situation becomes “stabilized.”

“I have found that making long-term decisions is best not done during moments of crisis, and I try to find ways to slow things down in order to gather information and make more well-informed decisions,” Anderson said.

Anderson said, in the event of certain emergency situations that meet a warrant requirement exception, law enforcement may search private rooms, closets and belongings, but they generally do need either a warrant or consent. 

Law enforcement may seize weapons or dangerous objects, Anderson said, as the “priority is life safety.” She added that a seizure may be temporary while an investigation is ongoing, or it may be longer-term and require the item to be placed into evidence, in which case the owner of the item would be given a receipt. 

“After the investigation, and potentially after a criminal case is [decided judicially], a determination will be made as to if the item seized is able to be legally possessed and if the item should be returned to the owner or destroyed in the case of items that are not able to be legally possessed,” Anderson said.

According to Anderson, there are “very few exceptions” allowing for firearms to be carried on campus, including people who have concealed carry permits per OSU’s firearm policy.

This is an ongoing story and more information will be added as it becomes available.