Massachusetts’ Tufts University receives ‘series of bomb threats,’ emails against college’s ‘equity’ agenda

Tufts University, a private research university in the greater Boston area, has received a series of at least five bomb threats over the past week, yet the campus has remained open ahead of the holiday break.

A university spokesperson confirmed the fifth threat was received Tuesday morning.

“The campus is currently open and operating normally with enhanced public safety presence. Undergraduate final exams were moved online as of last week,” the spokesperson said via email to Fox News Digital. “Depending on circumstances, at times some buildings have been evacuated, searched and re-opened. All are currently open and operating. Because the investigation is ongoing, we are unable to provide details about the nature and origin of the threats. The investigation is multi-agency.”

Tufts University President Tony Monaco had addressed “another disruption of our regular activities earlier today” in a public statement issued Monday. He said the university has been receiving a “series of bomb threats” directed at various locations of its Medford/Somerville campus starting Wednesday of last week.

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“After thoroughly investigating each threat, no bombs or any other suspicious objects have been found,” Monaco said.

Although saying the nature of the investigation prevents the university from disclosing much at this time, Monaco did say the threats expressed opposition to Tufts’ support for a diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) agenda.

A sign stands at the edge of the campus of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, US, November 27, 2017.

A sign stands at the edge of the campus of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, US, November 27, 2017.
(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

“Several of the threats have included messages indicating that the emailer(s) are opposed to: our university values ​​of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ); the hard work we have done collectively; and the much-needed and difficult conversations within our institution to move forward as a diverse and inclusive community, and as active citizens in our wider society,” Monaco wrote. “Investigators note that it does not necessarily mean that this is definitely the cause of these threats.”

“However, I acknowledge that these threats have been unnerving to members of our community, especially those who are deeply involved in DEIJ work, and those who actively participate in these programs, support our colleagues, and work towards our institution’s noble mission,” the university president continued. “We understand the deep anxiety and fear that you have been experiencing—we are here for you. Please reach out to your supervisors with any concerns or please readily avail yourself of any of the support resources listed below.”

Monaco added, “We will continue to remain alert and vigilant about any threats against any part of any of our campuses. In the event of any future threats, please diligently follow alert messages and instructions from authorities.”

A statue of the school's mascot,

A statue of the school’s mascot, “Jumbo,” stands on the campus of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, US, November 27, 2017.
(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

According to the Tufts academic calendar, final exams don’t end until Dec. 22.

In an alert sent by the university – located on the border of Medford and Somerville, Massachusetts – on Tuesday, anyone who spots something suspicious was instructed to call Tufts Police at 617-627-6911.

Monaco assured the school community that security and patrols have increased on the Medford/Somerville campus, as well as our other campuses, “and are ready to respond at any time.” The university is “partnering with all relevant agencies, at multiple levels, on the investigation of these threats,” Monaco added, and “assistance has also been provided by the public safety departments of local peer institutions.”

Tufts University campus grounds in Medford, MA are pictured on Aug.  11, 2020.

Tufts University campus grounds in Medford, MA are pictured on Aug. 11, 2020.
(David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The president said “colleagues of color” could especially be impacted by the threats.

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“The past few days have not been easy. They have been especially difficult on our colleagues of color and those actively involved in DEIJ efforts, as we move together towards a brighter and more inclusive future,” Monaco concluded. “We will do all we can to keep our community safe and protected so that together we can deliver on this important mission.”