Students forced to leave without personal items during bomb threat

By Kodi Schulist, Staff Writer –

The new lockdown and evacuation procedures being implemented as a result of campus

violence elsewhere likely became a higher priority over the past two weeks.

The reason? The written bomb threat found Monday, Nov. 23, in a restroom at Loutit District

Library in Grand Haven.

A note warned of a bomb at MCC, but did not specify which location. MCC’s satellite

campus in Grand Haven is located in the Grand Haven Community Center, adjacent to the library. In

addition to the main campus, MCC has a satellite campus in Fremont.

At about 8:30 a.m., John Selmon, vice president for student services/administration, announced

the bomb threat via the intercom and classroom telephones and ordered immediate evacuation.

Many student and faculty believed the announcement was a drill. Some did not even receive the

notification, as numerous phones had been taken off the hook. Security personnel went to each

classroom to make sure everyone was informed and in the process of evacuating.

Students on the main campus left keys, coats and valuables behind, believing they would soon

re-enter the building. Snow and ice from the previous days’ storms remained on the side of the road as

students trekked south on Quarterline Road from the lot behind the Stevenson Center to the main lot

where their cars were parked.

After waiting in the cold for some time, students were told the threat was real and they could

not go back inside to retrieve their personal belongings. They were advised that the campus was being

closed until at least afternoon.

As it turned out, the main campus remained closed and all classes were canceled for the rest of

the day and evening. They were told to leave campus, which did not sit well with some.

“If they knew it wasn’t a drill, that it was a bomb threat, and that they would send us

home,” said student Kaileigh Bunda, “why did we not get that information before half of us

went outside without our car keys, which we keep in our backpacks? We’ve always been told

to leave them behind. I grabbed my jacket. I’m happy I at least had the sense to do that.”

Apparently not everybody was so lucky. Many students not only had to stand in the

cold without coats, but also had no keys or cell phones. Additionally, they waited in the

parking lots, only a few hundred feet away from a building that potentially had explosives, until

they were told to leave the campus.

“We apologize for any inconvenience caused [by the evacuation],” Selmon said. “MCC remains

committed to maintaining the safety and security of our students and campus community.”

Although the campuses were given an all clear by law enforcement agencies that

afternoon, students and faculty had to wait until Tuesday morning to reclaim their belongings,

which had been moved to a secure location.

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