Penn State Students React To Latest University Park Alert
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - On Sunday, October 31, 2021, Penn State students and staff were caught by surprise when an alert was sent out to shelter in place, due to a suspicious person in the area.
“Dangerous person near 152 N. Atherton Street. Seek shelter. Secure doors. Be silent. Be still. Authorities responding,” the first University Park alert read at 3:10 p.m.
Immediate fear and uncertainty began to circulate campus. People began locking doors, hiding in bathrooms, scared for their life, not knowing what to expect.
“I was at work, working by myself at a store downtown,” Emma Youngmark (fourth year - industrial engineering) said. “I locked the doors and went downstairs into the basement.”
“Armed robbery suspect still at large. Remain alert. Avoid the area,” the second University Park alert read at 3:48 p.m.
Now more scared than ever, students began listening to a radio broadcast with back and forth police via Broadcastify with Centre County Public Safety for more updates.
Apartment 106 Bryce Jordan Towers and Apartment 521 Ceaderbrook were just two of the addresses the police repeated onto the broadcast. Students in these complexes called the police in complete fear that someone was aggressively banging on their doors trying to break in.
Based on this broadcast, people started to circulate the idea that there were now more than one armed robber at large.
“Armed Robbery suspect still at large, remain vigilant and avoid the area,” the third University Park alert read at 3:59 p.m.
Upset and angry parents of children at direct threat to the situation, continued to call the police begging for answers and reassurance, as the university still had not sent out an “all clear” message.
After almost two hours of no updates from the university, the State College Police Department sent out a press release with details involving the armed robbery, and assured that there was no more direct threat to the area.
A few hours later, more students continued to call the police in hysteria, claiming that the same armed robber broke into their apartment and stole a few valuable items.
“Rumors are spreading that are not accurate,” The State College Polices’ Twitter post read. “There is no evidence that the suspect is still in the area and there is no need to shelter in place.”
Some students argue that the university did not approach the situation well at all.
“Personally, I didn’t get any notifications from the school that there even was an issue,” Lindsey Kramer (second year - communication sciences and disorders) said. “I could’ve been in serious danger and I wouldn’t have known anything.”
“I think it wasn’t handled in the best way possible,” Jacob Warner (first year - mechanical engineering) added. “They sent out a pretty vague email explaining what the situation was.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the State College Police updated citizens that the vehicle owner of the armed robbery has been identified.
Emily Grill is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.