Yet another threat

Posted by: | February 6, 2008 | 15 Comments

Vancouver Campus Advisory — New Threat Received
Tue. Feb. 5, 4:15 pm

Broadcast message to all UBC Vancouver Students, Faculty and Staff from President Stephen J. Toope

For the second time in a week, our Vancouver campus community has received a threatening message.

In this second case, an unspecific threat has been made for Wednesday. The threat does not specify a time, a location within the UBC Point Grey campus or the method of doing harm.

We must take such threats seriously, and we are working closely with senior RCMP personnel to address this new threat.

What can we all do when faced with such a threat? We are taking the advice of the RCMP to treat the non-specific nature of the threat with a higher level of community vigilance but to otherwise continue our normal activities.

However, because of the specific mention of the Biosciences building in the threatening message received last week, and the traumatic experience of the occupants who endured a full lockdown of the building at that time, classes will be cancelled tomorrow (Wednesday) in the Biosciences Building.

For details, see the RCMP news release at:

And please continue to look at for the latest information.


15 Comments so far

  1. Blake on February 6, 2008 3:26 pm

    I find it strange how UBC decided to cancel and shut down only the BioScience building. It’s not as if the person(s) who is making the threats is targeting that area, that’s just where he/she sent an email from. Either shut down everything or shut down nothing. Shutting down a single building, to me, indicates that the threat is serious enough to indicate that the entire campus is at risk.

  2. Shawn Stewart on February 6, 2008 7:45 pm

    I think it’s unfortunate that the way this threat is being treated encourages students to take this lightly. Everyone I talk to is uneasy about these threats(myself included) but they go about their day just as usual because they feel any other reaction would be silly. It’s not really that silly in the age of V-tech. I think making classes optional, or cancelled in general today would have been a good move on the university’s part- if just to allow students to feel secure.

  3. Stephen McCarthy on February 6, 2008 8:05 pm

    I disagree, Shawn.

    It seems likely to me that the threat is especially made for the (at least partial) purpose of inspiring fear in students and causing disarray in the University. Reacting by cancelling all classes–sending students the message that they should be scared for their lives–is probably giving the threat-maker exactly what they want.

  4. Anonymous on February 6, 2008 9:42 pm

    at this moment we can’t assume anything. If the police knew anything (or willing to divulge any information) then we could possibly make an educated guess concerning the person(s) intentions…

  5. Mike Thicke on February 6, 2008 9:57 pm

    “It’s not really that silly in the age of V-tech.”

    And confiscating my shampoo isn’t silly in the “post 9/11 era”. Actually, yes it is silly.

    “at this moment we can’t assume anything.”

    You also can’t assume that the biosciences building won’t spontaneously combust any second now.

    All of this is just being scared over extremely unlikely, though spectacular, dangers. An appropriate response would seem to be to send a few extra security people or police to the building. You need to have some proportionality in your response based on the likelihood that something bad will actually happen.

  6. Patrick on February 6, 2008 11:13 pm

    Blake, I think you missed hte part of the notification that says that the Bio-Sci building is specifically targeted.

    The main reason to shut down the building is two fold, the first, its directly targeteed. The second, the very same students who went through a lockdown last week would be the likely students to go through ANOTHER lockdown this week.

    Its generally a little traumatic to have guys with automatic weapons and full flack and tac vests running through your building and yelling at you to stay exactly where you are. Its generally a trifle bit MORE traumatic to have that happen twice in as many weeks.

  7. Shawn Stewart on February 6, 2008 11:13 pm

    I definately understand Steve’s point- and I went to all my classes today, I continued my daily life. I just think those who felt nervous or afraid because of this threat should be assured that they have the option of staying away from campus without reprecussions.

    And to respond to you Mike- I guess we have different opinion about what is silly. I think it’s annoying to not be able to bring colonge on the plane with me, but I don’t think it’s silly that steps are put in place to ensure safety.

  8. Blake on February 7, 2008 2:46 am


    Thank you for clarifying that point (I think). My source was CTV, which states:

    “But while the last threat targeted the campus’s biological sciences building, prompting police to order staff and students to lock themselves in their rooms for hours, this one simply says that Wednesday will be the day that “harm” would be carried out.”

    While the Globe and Mail reported:

    “University officials say they decided to close the building because the threat specifically mentioned the location, which is the same one that was locked down last week.”

    I’m not sure why these two pieces of information are conflicting. The correct account at this point is really immaterial, but the media should be getting the facts straight.


  9. Patrick on February 7, 2008 10:19 am

    My source was actually the official UBC press release… Which was posted verbatim on this blog… on the entry which we’re commenting on…

  10. Anonymous on February 7, 2008 4:13 pm

    Dude, it’s really specific that the threat was “unspecific” and did “not specify a time, a location within the UBC Point Grey Campus or the method of doing harm.”

    Read smarter, not harder.

  11. Patrick on February 7, 2008 9:49 pm

    huh, Im totally wrong. Now dont I feel stupid.

  12. Paul Evans on February 8, 2008 2:00 am

    This is just random speculation, but does anyone remember the Wreath Underground from the holidays? They were the group that threw a bunch of rocks through the windows of various admin and BoG buildings to protest the Trek Park bulldozing as well as development without consultation in general.

    I wonder if they’re behind this? They did issue a “declaration of war” against the University after all. I reread their letter to the Ubyssey and in it they never said they wouldn’t use or threaten to use violence. I realize this is probably just a coincidence, but I’m wondering what people think.

  13. Blake on February 8, 2008 2:59 am

    I’m sorry Paul, but give me a break. To suggest that the Wreath Underground is behind this is absolutely ridiculous. Vandalizing is one thing, but holding the BioScience building (and the whole campus) hostage is another. This was a threat to someone’s own life and that of other students, not some activist rebellion against the University.

  14. Steven on February 8, 2008 9:32 am

    “This is just random speculation, but does anyone remember the Wreath Underground from the holidays? They were the group that threw a bunch of rocks through the windows of various admin and BoG buildings to protest the Trek Park bulldozing as well as development without consultation in general.”

    The Wreath Underground are stupid but I don’t they are that stupid. Their motivation is attention and semi-fame, and this wouldn’t really contribute to such a goal.

    I agree with Mike. The whole reaction from the admin seems panicky and vague. I’m not sure how students are supposed to react to being told there are unspecified threats and that they should “what out”. Wear running shoes? I don’t know…

  15. Paul Evans on February 8, 2008 10:31 am

    Okay Blake, I’ll give you a break. It was just a thought that occurred to me, and like all good conspiracy theories, was made possible by very little information being available.

    And Steven, yes it would be pretty stupid of the Wreath Underground to do this, but don’t forget that the group their based off of (the Weather Underground or something) managed to blow themselves up while making a bomb – a pretty stupid move altogether I’d contend.

    This being said, you guys are almost certainly right. As I alluded to earlier, I was basing this off of only the broadcast emails, some day-of news stories and conversations with people. After reading the stories Blake linked to, I concede it seems very unlikely that my theory has any merit.

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