White Hall nearly empty; some UK students persist, come to class

White Hall Classroom Building is eerily empty during the 9:30 a.m. class change on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Rick Childress

Classrooms in the White Hall building on UK’s campus were largely empty Thursday morning as bomb threats that circulated through social media appeared to convince most students to stay home. 

The cavernous halls were lightly sparsed with police canine units and with students rushing to class— some of whom said they weren’t aware of the threats. The threats, which were circulated digitally amongst UK students Wednesday and were investigated by police, came to a stop early Thursday when UK announced that the police had arrested a UK student in connection with the threats.

Haily Loraine Duvall, 19, was arrested by UK Police, who had been working with FBI officials, and charged with terroristic threatening 2nd degree and filing a false police report. Duvall was the one who originally contacted UK Police yesterday afternoon to report the threats, which were made via Snapchat, according to UK Police Chief Joe Monroe. 

Carley Hilton, a psychology and neuroscience junior, said that even before she’d heard of the arrest, she was planning on going to class. 

“I thought it was more of they just wanted attention or they just wanted to feel control from instilling fear in other people,” Hilton said. “I didn’t really take it too seriously.” 

Hilton said that her fellow classmates and coworkers were “all texting me right now telling me I’m crazy for being here. A lot people were really scared about it and they thought I was weird for not being terrified.”

In Professor Raj Guar’s 9:30 a.m. communications class only five of the 25 students enrolled showed up for class. All of the students present knew of the threats and the arrests ahead of time, but had no qualms with coming to class. 

Emoni Dix, a communications science disorders major in the class, said she and roommates found out about the threats the previous evening. She said a “cascading effect” of class cancellations throughout the day kept a lot of students at home. 

Dix said she came because she had to give a speech today, and she felt that there was little chance that there’d be an issue since the threat was so publicly known.

During the interview, Oliver, the UKPD therapy dog, and his handler, Officer Amy Boatman, came into the classroom. Boatman said that the police had brought both of their bomb canine units along with Oliver, who was brought in because “there’s been a lot of stress.”

UKPD Police Chief Joe Monroe said that uniformed and plain clothes officers will be patrolling White Hall for much of the day Thursday. 

INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: UK’s White Hall bomb threat