The Evergreen State College back open after threat; Campus still tense

by: Deborah Horne

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The sound of music at The Evergreen State College campus lent it an air of tranquility,  but that sense of peace disappeared as soon as we spoke to students.

“I guess everyone’s a little uneasy, right now,” said first-year student Kaela Fisch who lives on campus.  And all she had heard were rumors.

“I heard that there were violent threats,” Fisch said.  “And then we heard that it was like violent threats of a shooter.  And so lots of us were just trying to stay somewhere safe.”

A copy of the 9-1-1 threat was sent:

“I’m on my way to Evergreen University now with a .44 magnum,” said the caller. “I’m to execute as many people on that campus as I can get ahold of. You have that?  What’s going on here you communist scumbag town?”

The chilling call came following days of tension regarding the college’s annual ‘day of absence.’ 

A spokesman said the tradition dates back to the 1970s. Students of color would go off campus to discuss issues of fairness.

But this year, activists suggested whites leave the campus, instead. And that sparked controversy.

Juniper Anzalone said she worries that this open campus can’t protect them from a mass shooting.

“What safety measure would you like?” she was asked.

“Perhaps checks at the entrances to make sure that nobody coming in is carrying weapons that can harm people,” Anzalone said. 

The College Board of Trustees issued a statement today.  In it, the chair said the college is committed to a “civil, safe campus environment.”

Meanwhile, the 911 caller has not been caught.