November 02, 2018
Temple University Police sent out a tweet early Friday afternoon assuring students and members of the school’s community there was no threat against the school.
This came as a surprise to those who didn’t realize a threat against Temple had been posed in the first place.
So why did Temple Police’s Twitter account feel the need to say something?
As is often the case, social media played a role. This time, though, it might not have been entirely misguided.
On Thursday, a Temple student who was recently asked to leave campus by the school was reportedly seen back in a university building. Students began to warn each other about the student in question's presence.
Naomi Dowden, a junior at Temple, told PhillyVoice the troubles with the student in question began weeks ago when he was escorted out of a class. The student was believed to be harassing women on campus.
One of Dowden’s friends at Temple had a class canceled on Friday because the professor had heard students’ concerns about the male in question re-appearing on campus.
At 12:57 p.m., Dowden posted this tweet:
Temple Student PLEASE be very cautious!! He has made threats on social media also! Please rt & spread the word since administration won’t!!!! pic.twitter.com/f33Qgi9WXN— Nay✨ (@SlayyNayy) November 2, 2018
“I brought it to social media once I noticed Temple wasn’t going to alert us to be cautious,” Dowden said Friday.
At 1:07 p.m., Temple University Police sent out this message via Twitter:
Rumors on social media about any threat at Temple or class cancelation are false. Classes continue to be held, and the university remains safe and operational, as normal.— Temple Police (@TU_Police) November 2, 2018
One of the more interesting replies to the Temple Police tweet came from Twitter user Teresa Swartley, whose Twitter bio lists her as a sophomore at Temple.
She sent a screenshot of an email from professors at 10:15 a.m. telling students their Friday indeed class had been canceled.
Rumor that class was canceled? pic.twitter.com/7cniCtIDQb— Teresa Swartley (@Teresas232) November 2, 2018
So a group students had voiced concerns about their safety before being told to stay home from class by professors, but Temple Police told students there was no threat.
Could the school help clear up what was going on?
A bit, yes.
“The individual in question is not on campus,” Temple spokesman Brandon Lausch told PhillyVoice, “and is receiving appropriate intervention.”
So there was truth to the “rumors” the Temple Police tweet claimed to debunk after all. There was also truth to Temple Police’s tweet claiming there was no threat on Friday, because the student was not on campus.
Everyone’s wires were a bit crossed. For now, it seems the matter is resolved.