UCSC on high alert after threatening graffiti found

January 18, 2011 11:42:05 AM PST
Security at the University of California, Santa Cruz is being increased after graffiti found last month threatened violence on campus today.

UC Santa Cruz police held a series of training sessions last week, where hundreds of employees and students learned how to prepare for and respond to violence on campus. These training sessions come after graffiti was found in the men's restroom of the Social Sciences building last month. The graffiti was quickly removed and campus officials will only say it contained a threat of violence to be carried out January 18.

"That's obviously the worst case scenario and the one that people are focusing on the most. That's not necessarily the nature of this threat," said UCSC Spokesman Jim Burns.

On campus, you'll notice a strong police presence, especially around the Social Sciences building. UC Santa Cruz police also brought-in extra patrols from UC Berkeley and Davis.

"I think a lot of people are threatened about it. So, some people are staying home now and they don't want to be anywhere near campus," said freshman Katrina Hwang.

The threat prompted some professors to cancel or reschedule their classes today. But the campus is still open and many students are still showing up.

"People write graffiti on the walls all the time, it doesn't seem like this is any different, so I don't think people are taking it too seriously," said senior Kiel Ireland.

"I'm just not really thinking about it that much," said senior Brett Gilbert.

"Are there concerns among students," asked ABC7's Janelle Wang.

"I think some students are concerned. But I feel like most of them don't think nothing is going to happen," said Gilbert.

UC Santa Cruz says even though it's highly unlikely anything is going to happen today. The threat is a good opportunity to remind students and staff to always be aware of their surroundings and for campus police to reinforce their training practices.

Campus officials don't know who is behind the graffiti, but believe the threat is over after today.