Colgate University in upstate New York went on a four hour shutdown Monday (May 1) after it was reported there was an active shooter on campus. Only it turned out it was a black student carrying a glue gun for an art project. The New York Daily News reports President Brian W. Casey issued a statement Tuesday (Mary 2) calling for an investigation into the event, which he described as “profound error” and acknowledged the “implicit racial bias.”
“It is important that we understand the role that implicit racial bias had in the initial reporting of and responses to the events of (Monday) night,” Casey said. “I want to make sure we speak with those who made and received the initial report to understand the role this played.”
A Colgate student is said to have called campus security alerting them to a black man with a gun. The liberal arts university then told students of “a dangerous situation in the coop” and advised them “to leave the building.” The university then alerted student to the situation via social media but also noted no one heard any shots being fired.
It was only until state police arrived while the campus security commenced with an investigation that clarity was brought to the situation. After a four hour shutdown, law enforcement was able to identify the black man as a Colgate University student and learn the alleged gun was really a glue gun.
“I am glad things did not turn out to be as bad as we thought,” student Miranda Robles said. “However, this is extremely problematic and absurd.” President Casey said Campus Safety Director Bill Ferguson who led the safety efforts that the night has since been placed on administrative leave.