“Bomb scare” no dud for ODU students
By: Stuart Miller
As Old Dominion University students prepare for finals, the last thing on their minds should be safety concerns. After the campus was shaken by a string of robberies the necessary measures were taken to prevent such events from happening in the future.
The recent “bomb scare” that occurred on the 1500 block of 42nd street on November 29th has brought these safety issues full circle once again as students have been showcasing their displeasure towards the situation.
“It was definitely an important issue that the university needed to address and they failed to,” said ODU student Sarah Vance. “I can’t believe we didn’t get ODU safety alerts for this!”
The emotions have been mixed throughout ODU’s campus as more details from the original incident have emerged, showing exactly what the students’ intentions were. Again the safety on and around campus was called into question, but the difference this time around didn’t have everything to do with the lack of response.
“Even though anyone can see that the students shouldn’t have been mixing chemicals,” said ODU student Zachary Mallette. “The response to the situation seemed a bit over-reacted compared it to the reaction of law officials on recent robberies, muggings, and even stabbings that are occurring all over campus.”
While law officials were merely following protocol by responding to the call of a concerned citizen, the ODU students under scrutiny have since been exposed for what they truly are. Students.
As more seemed to unfold from the “bomb scare” word got out that all of the efforts towards the bomb-making stemmed from an assignment from one of the arrested students’ classes. As members of ODU professor Natalie Bray’s “Fundamentals of Digital Arts” course, students were asked to create a 30 iMovie clip of a cause or an effect based on which option they drew out of a hat. The chosen idea was then to be swapped with a classmate who was to film the opposite of the first classmate.
“At first I can understand the severity,” said ODU student Kyle Bundick. “But after finding out what exactly they were making, I don’t think they should get in trouble for a damn school project.”
Bundick’s take on the situation is one of many heard from ODU students as the event has continued to unfold since the flurry of police, the fire department, and news reporters surrounded the 42nd street duplex.
“I’m just saying that I would love to see the same enthusiasm they give for outstanding accusations and alcohol charges that they due for more serious and fatal reoccurring issues around Old Dominion University.” said Mallette.
Even though the incident has since lost some of its severity amongst the ODU community Battalion Chief Harry Worley of the Norfolk Department of Fir and Rescue stressed the importance of the situation.
“I can’t emphasize enough how dangerous these things are,” said Worley. “They are made with possible fluids that if they do spray on an individual they can cause severe damage.”
After evaluating the scene on 42nd the area was eventually rendered “clear” by Fire department local news stations broadcasted the event that took place while no outreach was provided by ODU to concerned members of the university. The lack of response by the university has invoked a feeling by the students that the university, while claiming it has taken the necessary measures to protect student s, did not do enough to inform students about the situation.
“The fact that I had to hear about it on Facebook and from friends days after it happened is not good,” said Vance. “Finding a house filled with material to make bombs is much more significant than many of the other incidents that have happened on campus.”
With ODU students up in arms about the treatment of the arrested students and the university’s response to such an incident, safety on and around campus has vaulted once again to the top of the concerns list in the ODU community.
Photo by: Megan Morrow