University of Chicago cancels classes after gun violence threat

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Chicago, Nov 30: The University of Chicago canceled all classes and activities scheduled for today on its main campus following an online threat of gun violence passed on by the FBI.

The university said in a statement Sunday night that an online threat from an unknown person mentioned the campus quad, a popular gathering place, and a time of Monday morning at 10 am.

University of Chicago

"It was pretty specific in terms of time and place," university spokesman Jeremy Manier said. Faculty, students and non-essential staff were asked to stay away from the Hyde Park campus on Chicago's South Side Monday, the statement said.

Students in college housing on campus should stay indoors. The university said the decision was taken after taking into account "recent tragic events" at other campuses across the country and consulting with federal and local law enforcement authorities.

"We have decided in consultation with federal and local law enforcement officials, to exercise caution by canceling all classes and activities on the Hyde Park campus through midnight on Monday," it said.

FBI Chicago spokeswoman Joan Hyde provided no further details about the threat except to say that the FBI was investigating the source.

Last month, a gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, killing nine people. Shootings have also happened recently on campuses in Arizona and Tennessee.

Manier said the cancellation of classes and activities would affect more than 30,000 people including both undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.

The University of Chicago Medical Center will remain open to patients with added security, the university said. The Medical Center has nearly 7,500 staff.

University of Chicago is one of the leading teaching and research institutions in the nation. It was No. 4 in the 2015 US News and World Report ranking of best universities behind only Princeton, Harvard and Yale.

AP

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