EKU cancels classes in wake of terrorist threat

By McKenna Horsley

[email protected]

Eastern Kentucky University canceled classes Wednesday because of an ongoing investigation into a terroristic threat discovered on Sunday.

All EKU classes have been canceled from Wednesday to Friday, according to a press release. Classes will resume on Oct. 14, after EKU’s fall break.

In the same statement, EKU said essential services will remain open, and some scheduled events will still take place. The campus-wide security presence will be increased indefinitely.

Found last Sunday in EKU’s Powell Building bathroom, the threat read, “KILL ALL BY 10/8/15 THIS BU OOP.” Campus officials have made no comment on what the message means, but many students have made speculations across social media.

This is the second time this year Eastern has received threats.

EKU English sophomore Darby Campbell compared the situation to a similar graffiti threat in February.

“It feels very different — the first threat felt fake,” Campbell said. “I think it hit everyone that this was a serious issue (on Wednesday morning).”

Campbell left campus shortly after classes were canceled Wednesday, but some students left by Tuesday. Students who stayed on campus were moved into Keene Hall on Wednesday evening.

Some students linked the threat on social media to the 4chan thread /r9k/-ROBOT9001 — the thread has made many references to “Beta Uprising,” a movement of rebellion by beta males against alpha males and females, according to a wiki article on knowyourmeme.com.

Beta Uprising is also known in some social media circles for being “anti-women,” and was also linked to the recent shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College in an article by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Campbell said she overheard a resident adviser talking about Wednesday’s date being scrawled onto a piano and the original threat being written on the walls of Telford Hall, but EKU’s police and public relations departments could not be reached for comments as of Wednesday night.

The post on 4chan refers to “normies,” a term often used referring to people who belong to the mainstream culture by members of “Beta Uprising.” A video appeared on Twitter and portrayed someone panning over multiple guns while shouting about their plan to kill “normies.” The video has since been removed.

The EKU football game against Tennessee Tech, scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday was moved from Roy Kidd Stadium in Richmond to Toyota Stadium at Georgetown College in Georgetown, but it will still take place on the same date and time.

EKU’s president, Michael Benson, advised students in a campus-wide email to be cautious and look out for each other while the investigation continues. He said the university would “resume full campus operations” on Wednesday, Oct. 14, after fall break.

EKU is offering a $10,000 reward for information that can be used to identify suspects.