Colgate Director of Campus Safety to Take Leave Following Glue Gun Incident
Students mistook a classmate’s glue gun for a real firearm and Colgate University’s campus was locked down.
Colgate University Director and Chief of Campus Safety Bill Ferguson will take an administrative leave after the false report of an armed student on campus led to a lockdown Monday.
Colgate President Brian Casey announced that he requested Ferguson take the leave and also says he has ordered an inquiry into the role that racial profiling played in the incident.
“It is important that we understand the role that implicit racial bias had in the initial reporting of and responses to the events of last night,” Casey said. “I want to make sure we speak with those who made and received the initial report to understand the role this played.”
The incident occurred just before 8 p.m. Monday on the New York campus when university police officers received reports of an armed student near a dining area on campus. Two students waiting for a shuttle bus said they witnessed a shirtless black student running through the rain with what they believed was a firearm.
The campus was placed on lockdown for four hours and the Campus Safety Department sent out two campus-wide notifications.
The first notification indicated there was an ongoing “Emergency Situation” and the second notification stated there was an active shooter on the campus, reports cnycentral.com.
It was later determined that the student was carrying a glue gun he was using for an art project.
Casey faulted the communication and law enforcement response and said it “confused and harmed this campus and our students.”
Some students gathered in the campus’s chapel the day after the event to express their dismay with campus police officers’ response to the incident.
Casey said he will be speaking with “those making the essential administrative decisions” in addition to the students who made the report.
The findings of Casey’s review will be publicized by the end of next week.