UNION, NJ – Authorities are continuing their investigation after someone tweeted threats against black students, faculty and staff at Kean University Tuesday night.
Shortly after 100 university students participated in a peaceful rally on campus Tuesday night joining students across the nation to raise awareness of recent racial unrest at other college campuses, threatening and racially motivated tweets were made against the black community at Kean University from an anonymous Twitter account, including a bomb threat against the campus at large.
The Twitter account “@keanuagainstblk” wrote such tweets as “I will kill every black male and female at Kean University” and “Kean University there’s a bomb on your campus” and continued with several other tweets about shooting black students at the university.
Early Wednesday morning, Kean University Police posted a statement on social media addressed to the Kean University community that in response to the violent threats made anonymously on Twitter against Kean’s black community and campus at large, Campus police “took immediate action to pursue the identity of the individual(s) responsible for the threatening tweets, notifying the Department of Homeland Security, state, county and local municipalities, and providing heightened security on campus. Security will remain at heightened levels today and throughout the rest of the week.”
The normally overflowing parking lots at Kean University, a long-standing source of frustration for students, was near empty Wednesday morning.
“Well, I used to feel very safe on the Kean campus due to the diversity and on-campus protection. I felt like I could walk around all the time with no problem or no fears at all. However, after last night, I am genuinely scared," an African-American female Kean student said. "I left campus immediately last night to go home and still haven't returned. It's just so sad that can't even feel safe at a place where I’m just trying to go to class and graduate. This is the last place I personally thought this would happen.”
The Township of Union Police Department has been in communication with the Kean Police Department, and this morning Union’s Police Director Daniel Zeiser met with the Acting Police Director at the Kean Police Department Anna Zsak. According to Zeiser, there were no incidents, no arrests and no requests for assistance from the University at this time.
According to a Kean University statement late Wednesday morning, “Kean is open and operating on a normal schedule. Campus police, in conjunction with local and state authorities, continue to investigate despicably biased threats made via Twitter last night, which continue to be unsubstantiated. All students, faculty and employees are encouraged to return to their normal routines on campus.”
In Elizabeth, schools were also on heightened security. The following update went out to parents earlier Wednesday morning.