Evergreen State College campus evacuated due to ‘direct threat’

Photo from The Evergreen State College

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Evergreen State College in Olympia closed suddenly Thursday and evacuated all students and staff in response to an unspecified threat.

“In response to a direct threat to campus safety, the college is closing immediately for the day,” the college said in a special announcement on its website.

“All are asked to leave campus or return to residence halls for instructions,” the announcement said.

Witnesses said that the evacuation is orderly.

There was no immediate explanation of what the threat might be.

The Olympian newspaper reported that college spokesman Zach Powers said that the closure was “out of an abundance of caution … due to a violent threat against the college received by local law enforcement.”

Powers said the threat was called in late Thursday morning to the the business line for Thurston 911 Communications, which dispatches emergency calls in Thurston County. Officials at that agency informed Evergreen Police Services about the threat, and they passed it on to college president George Bridges, the Olympian reported.

Racial tensions have been high at the state college following a recent “day of absence” event that encouraged white students to stay away from the campus. The event was followed by a protest after a white professor objected to the event as an “act of oppression.”

A state legislator has introduced to withhold state funding from the college and force the institution to privatize.

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This is a developing news story. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

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