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Students complain about delayed Emory response to threat | News

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Students complain about delayed Emory response to threat

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. -- A female student at Emory's Oxford College is facing charges over a threat posted to social media.  According to arresting officers, Emily Hikari Sakamoto said it was all a joke. Now some students are asking why it took administrators so long to let them know about the threat. 

Classes will resume at Oxford College Wednesday morning, after a fall break holiday. But many students say, it's not just the threat that's got them upset, it's what, they say, they did not get from administration.

On social media, the complaints spread almost as quickly as the threat itself. "Why is there no email about this -- Oxford College?" one student tweeted. The threat was originally posted on on Yik Yak, an anonymous posting site. That's where one student added, "The least they could do is send an email informing students that they are aware, and police are looking into it."


"It was kinda scary, because the admin didn't really do anything about it. Like, I heard through my friends - stay in your dorm room, don't go outside," one student told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander. 

11Alive took those concerns to the school. Emory replied with a statement:

"Emory University’s emergency notification system uses a multimodal system that includes text messaging, sirens, and web postings, if there is an imminent threat to life.  In the Oxford College incident there was not an imminent threat to life, and no specific information was provided in the social media post that would have helped the campus community to take preventive action.  

Given the facts of this particular situation, it was judged appropriate to hold communications until the student was identified, arrested and the situation resolved, at about 4:30 p.m.  Distribution of university messages began at about 7 p.m.  We currently are obtaining feedback from the community regarding ways to help us improve communication when critical events occur on campus.  The goal of our collective efforts is to provide a safe environment for all community members, and to take swift and appropriate action to maintain the security of the campus community.

The University they're currently looking at feedback on how to improve communication.