By Kathryn Kenny
Hampton University Chief of Police David Glover said, “the search continues” as local and federal investigators teamed up in hopes of finding the individual responsible for the “HU anonymous” YouTube videos that went viral nearly a month ago, causing a stir among students and faculty, and leading authorities to take precautions.
“Dr. [William R.] Harvey has made it clear to me in several conversations that he is interested in the safety of the campus. He has had us pull out all the stops,” said Glover. “We have spoken with the federal authorities and state authorities to assist us where they can. it a much bigger efforts than just us here.”
The videos created a buzz throughout campus after a masked individual adamantly expressed his/her concerns about the university, stating that their “identity and power will be revealed on March 15.”
Said Glover, “There are things behind the scenes that are being done — more Web based — in an effort to figure out who the poster of the video might be.”
Though the video did not directly pose a threat to the campus, [it] has prompted HU PD to take immediate action.
Yuri Rodgers Milligan, director of university relations, said that the amount of visible police officers on campus was set in place in the event of anything as well as to discourage behavior that is harmful to the student body.
“The information in the video was nonspecific,” said Glover. “It wasn’t pointed at any direct action that’s going to happen, but the date of the 15th is in there and so we are taking the prudent measure, in terms of physical presence.
“We have folks in the right place at the right time.”
Police believe that the “anonymous” individual is a student at the university.
In 2009, Hampton University experienced a violent threat from a former student who shot three students in Harkness Hall. No one was killed in the incident.
Many parents were not taking this week’s matter lightly. A number of parents have contacted the university relations office and dorm facilities expressing their concerns insuring that their child will be protected.
“I’ve received several phone calls from parents about this,” said Denise Griffin, dorm director in Dubois Hall. “I got a call from a mom in Texas saying that she was afraid for her son. What I don’t like is that, this ‘Anonymous’ is spreading fear and I have to reassure parents because of it.”
As for some students, mixed feelings have emerged as to whether or not the video should be taken seriously.
“I laughed when I saw the video,” said Simone Curd, freshman psychology major from Indianapolis. “Half of the stuff in the video wasn’t even factual. Personally, I think it’s a fluke. He’s just trying to scare everybody.”
Other students are taking measures not to come to school to insure their safety.
“A lot of students fail to realize that just because we are a black college, it doesn’t mean things like this can’t happen.” said Lauren Foster, a senior political science major. “Stuff happens around here; actually a lot does, but most of it gets swept under the rug and that’s what scares me.”
Through the heat of all of the investigations set in place, Thursday marks the start of the 34th Annual Black Family Conference. Many teachers are canceling classes to allow students to attend the informational seminars and events ranging from topics such as “Financial Literacy” and the “Evolution of Blackness.”
“We will continue as we normally do,” said Glover. “As of right now, classes and events are going to go on.”
The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications