York College evacuates after bomb threat hoax 


York College

Ariana Purisic

York College’s students, faculty and staff evacuated campus after an anonymous bomb threat — now deemed a hoax — was made to the Jamaica school on March 7.

“Early this morning, a bomb threat against York College was called in by an anonymous caller, and in response, all campus buildings were evacuated so that the NYPD could fully investigate,” York College said in a statement on Twitter.

NYPD officers in the 103rd precinct received the anonymous bomb threat around 10:15 a.m., law enforcement told The Queens Eagle.   

The police arrived at the scene with additional units around 10:45 a.m. Police requested that the NYPD Response Unit investigate.

“Due to the law enforcement investigation on campus, classes have been canceled for today including evening classes,” York College wrote in a Twitter post. “Everyone should leave campus at this time.”

Some students expressed confusion because they were told by multiple sources, such as the Student Government Association president, that the evacuation was part of fire drill preparation, according to Pandora’s Box, the official student newspaper of York College.

By early afternoon, an NYPD spokesperson confirmed to Queens Chronicle that the threat was “unfounded.”

“Someone made an anonymous phone call and no packages or devices were found,” the spokesperson said.

Local officials expressed concern over the incident.  Queens Borough President Donovan Richards told Queens Chronicle that he was aware and monitored the situation closely.

New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Councilwoman Nantasha Williams have also monitored the situation.

York College later corroborated the NYPD’s finding that the anonymous bomb threat was a hoax. Pandora’s Box noted that the finding was confirmed to students through a final emergency notification on the college’s Cardinal App.

The police spokesperson did not disclose any details as to the motive of the threat, as of March 10. They did not respond to questions about whether this could have either been a prank or racially motivated against a school with a predominantly Black student body.

There was speculation that the cause was the latter due to bomb threats against several Historically Black Colleges and Universities throughout the country since the beginning of the year. However, the investigation is still ongoing, according to the Queens Chronicle.

“We are grateful to our college community for responding to this emergency in a calm, cooperative and organized manner, and we appreciate the quick and thorough response of the NYPD,” York College said. “Working together, we are able to ensure that our campus remains safe for our community.”

In-person classes and other scheduled activities resumed on campus on March 8.