Students at the University of Manitoba received e-mails on behalf of the university president’s office late last week reminding them to report any suspicious behaviour on campus.
The reminder comes after a message warning of a shooting was found in a men’s washroom at the University of Winnipeg on Wednesday, Sept. 19. A student reported the message to campus security, who promptly notified police.
"There had been concerns and questions expressed by a fair number of individuals," said John Danakas, director of public affairs at the U of M. "We wanted to give people accurate information from the Winnipeg Police Service."
But fourth-year U of M student Mike Lucenkiw didn’t think the reminder was necessary.
"It didn’t really give any more information than what I saw on the news," he said of the e-mail. "It didn’t connect (the threat) to our university. It just warned us that it had happened."
According to the Globe and Mail, sources told CTV News that the message at the U of W read, "I’m going to shoot this place up on Sept. 26" though neither police nor the university would confirm the exact wording. Police are treating the message as a serious threat. The Winnipeg Police Service's Major Crimes Unit is also investigating.
"We have been working on enhanced security measures from the moment this message was identified and we will have additional measures in place this week and especially on Sept. 26," the University of Winnipeg website read in one of its ongoing security updates.
The website stated that some of those security measures include random backpack and bag searches, an increased police presence on campus and a tip hotline.
The city's other major post-secondary institution, Red River College, is also taking extra precautions in light of the threat. An e-mail went out to instructors stating that more security personnel will patrol the campuses.
According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the U of W eventually plans to implement some form of text-messaging notification and increased video camera monitoring on campus. The university, which is currently home to more than 9,000 students, also plans to install a security system that would require students to flash an identification card to enter the building.
U of W students and instructors who are not comfortable attending class on Wednesday will not be penalized.
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