Amherst Life Blog

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Is UMass providing enough information to students?

Yesterday, someone left a "threatening" note (graffiti?) in a men's room in Bartlett Hall. Classes continued on and people were urged to report "suspicious behaviour."

Today, another "update" was posted on the webpage:

"Alert: This is a follow-up to the campus alert issued Wednesday regarding the threatening message found in Bartlett Hall. UMass Police continue to investigate, but do note that the time frame included in the threat has passed. The university is open for regular business today and classes are being held. While conducting your day-to-day campus business, please be alert and report any unusual activities to the police. If you have any information that may identify anyone involved in this incident, call the police at 545-2121. To provide anonymous information in this case, contact the police at 577-TIPS (577-8477) or go to"

What immediately jumps off the page is reference to a TIME FRAME, offered up by the writer of the men's room note.

Our question: if the author of the violent note implied a time frame for some kind of violent act, shouldn't buildings have been evacuated? Shouldn't people know about this "time frame" so they can choose if they want to be in the building? Further, if there is a "time frame" the university should close: it shows intent and given the context (Virginia Tech, Illinois, and a dramatic increase in violent crime on the UMass campus).

Our message to UMass officials: let us know when there is a threat and give us details. It is your responsibility to inform us. When you have a threatening note with a time frame mentioned, you owe it to the student body to inform and disseminate the information.


  • At 2:33 PM , Blogger O'Reilly said...

    You expect more transparency when it comes to threats that may indeed signal danger to students at Umass.

    When Amherst Life Blog readers have asked you to identify yourselves as individuals, you have declined. Amherst Life Blog readers want more transparency. Are you prepared to offer it?

    There is nothing wrong with using a pseudonym. I post as O'Reilly. You know who I am. I'm O'Reilly.

    When you post as "The Crew" is the opposite of transparent. Consider it. It may buy you some good will with your readers.

  • At 6:37 PM , Blogger The Crew said...

    That was a weird comment about a situation that involved a direct threat of violence against students at UMass.

    Actually, the comment does not make any reference to the content of the post at all.

    What do you think about the fact that there was a "time frame" indicated in a threatening attack, and what do you think about the fact that classes went on as usual in that climate? We find it troubling.

    But to get to your post: there is no connection between UMass's "transparency" and Amherst Life's "transparency."

    Are you mounting some kind of attack because you feel threatened by what we write?

    And by the way, we are in Massachusetts: O'Reilly is as much a psedo-nym as Santos is in Latin America.

    Nobody knows you and nobody is asking to know you.

    Further, we often write these pieces as a group -- it is collaborative in every sense (hence, "Crew").

    And, WE'd like to remind you that you are the only reader that is troubled by our lack of a trackable name. Most are happy to read from the different perspectives that we engage.

    Last: WE don't really care about good will with our readers. We are not selling anything, we don't have click ads on the site, we don't have to pay rent for this website. If readers don't like the content, if readers aren't benefiting from the content, they click away.

  • At 7:24 PM , Blogger UmassMenus said...

    Lol, he says he is O'Reilly. Hilarious. I hope he didn't click send thinking that that was somehow a great comment he pushed forth. A 14-year old would laugh at the thought process.

    Keep up the work. Jerks like Bill O'Reilly will see to it that other non-transparent people like me will make fun of their nonsense.

    You know who I am? Umassmenus? Yes, everyone, I am a walking website. Whois me if you want to know. Amherst Life, keep doing what you are doing.


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