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Pitt to restrict final exams to five buildings |

Pitt to restrict final exams to five buildings

Tom Fontaine
| Sunday, April 22, 2012 11:50 a.m

A group claiming responsibility for bomb threats made at the University of Pittsburgh since March 30 said Saturday they are done making threats, according to an email sent to a student-run newspaper. Still, a top Pitt official said today that Pitt will restrict final exams to five buildings on the Oakland campus. Emails signed “The Threateners” were sent to The Pitt News on Friday and Saturday, Editor-in-Chief Michael Macagnone, 22, a Pitt senior, said today. The first email said the group would stop making bomb threats if Pitt authorities withdrew a $50,000 reward for information in the case, which they did Saturday after threats made on six more campus buildings. The second one said “we’re stopping,” Macagnone said. No bomb threats have been reported since. Macagnone said the senders claimed responsibility for threats made since March 30. Pitt has received more than 100 separate threats targeting more than 40 buildings since mid-February. In a letter addressed today to students, faculty and staff, Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson said this week’s final exams will be administered only in Alumni Hall, Benedum Hall, the Cathedral of Learning, Chevron Science Center and David Lawrence Hall. Students will be able to find out where their exams are being held 24 hours in advance at a university website. Beeson said police will sweep each building for explosives today and before the beginning of each exam day, and the security presence will be increased during exams that start Monday and when they are unoccupied. People will need a Pitt ID to enter the buildings, and their bags will be checked. Should a threat be made involving one of the buildings, Beeson said, the building will be combed for explosives but evacuated “only if it is determined that there is an imminent threat.” Likewise, Beeson said residents halls will be swept for explosives every evening starting tonight, and access to the buildings will be restricted to people with a university ID. The university will notify students via an electronic alert if a threat is made against a residence hall. If Pitt officials do not deem it a credible threat, a building evacuation will be voluntary.

Tom Fontaine is a Tribune-Review staff reporter. You can contact Tom at 412-320-7847, or via Twitter .

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