Dear Howard University Community,
Last night, Howard University was once again the target of a bomb threat. This was the second such threat made against our institution in the past two weeks – and one of many bomb threats we have received since February of this year.
The timing of these most recent bomb threats is no coincidence. They were made as the majority of our student body returned to campus and as we initiated our new academic year in order to instill fear and disrupt the vital work that occurs on our campus. In the strongest possible terms, I condemn these attacks.
First and foremost, I want to reassure our community that every individual on our campus is safe. I want to offer my deepest gratitude to Howard’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Whenever any such threat is levied, they work tirelessly and diligently to assess the danger posed to our community. It is only after they have completed their rigorous protocols that an all-clear is issued to campus.
To best support the law enforcement officials who work to keep us safe, it is imperative that every individual on our campus takes these threats seriously. No matter what time of day or night a bomb threat might be made, every student, every faculty and staff member, must adhere to the procedures that have been created for their safety. I encourage everyone to participate in the DPS active threat training sessions. I also want to thank members of the Office of Residence Life & University Housing teams to ensure our residence halls were prepared to quickly and efficiently get students to safety in the event of a threat of this nature. I am proud to see how the residence life team and students worked together to follow the updated protocols for a smooth evacuation.
Prior to the beginning of the semester, as part of my ongoing engagement with the Howard University Staff Organization (HUSO) and the Howard University Student Association (HUSA), I expressed my concern regarding the potential for threats and overall safety. Leaders from both organizations agreed to assist with having their communities participate in the ongoing safety trainings. I have also recently met with officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who continue to support us in investigating the source of these threats. Provost Anthony Wutoh is engaging with the Faculty Senate as well to ensure that they are fully informed.
To the entire extended Howard University community, and to any bad actors who have made or may consider issuing bomb threats against our campus or any historically Black college and university, allow me to say this: We will never stop pursuing our mission. We will never stop educating our students. We will never stop conducting research and generating important scholarship. We will never stop revealing truths. And we will never stop providing invaluable and irreplaceable service to our communities. Any threats against us only serve to reinforce the importance of our work and strengthen our resolve to continue.
Thank you again to everyone who leapt into action to ensure the security of our campus when these threats were made. While I hope that we will not have to experience any more of these malicious attacks any time soon, I am able to rest assured that every member of the Howard community will be safe should these events repeat themselves.
Excellence in Truth and Service,
Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA
Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery