PULLMAN, Wash. – The Streit-Perham Residence Hall complex at Washington State University was business as usual beginning at 6:30 a.m. today (Feb. 4) after its residents were displaced for two days because of a bomb threat.
Vans began transporting students from the Student Recreation Center about 7 a.m. Some 90 students stayed at the recreation center the first night, said Residence Life officials, and about 60 stayed the second night.
“For the most part, everyone’s back,” said Bridget Moynihan, a resident adviser in Streit Hall. Students who opted to stay with friends during the evacuation period have been coming back steadily throughout the day, she said.
Moynihan said that while students were inconvenienced, they were able to get acquainted with people in the complex they had never met before. “It was a great bonding experience,” she said.
According to Eleanor Finger, director of Residence Life, the outpouring of support from university students and community members has been overwhelming. Residence Hall Association and Pullman businesses have provided food, snacks, games and videos. Other residence halls and sororities and fraternities have offered food and housing. Area families, too, have offered to take in the students.
University police evacuated students from the two buildings about 10 a.m. Sunday (Feb. 2) to secure the facilities because of a bomb threat directed at Perham Hall. The threat identified Monday (Feb. 3) as the target date.
Explosive identification experts from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms joined canine units from the ATF, Spokane County and the Washington State Patrol to search the buildings. No explosives were found in their search of the two halls.
Anyone who has information about the threat is asked to contact the WSU police at (509) 335-4711. Chief Hansen said the threat is a felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and five years in prison. Investigators from WSU and Pullman Police Departments are working on the case. A copy of the threat has been sent to the FBI. The ATF is offering a $500 reward for identification of the person who made the threat, university officials said.
Residence Life officials said 412 men and women are living in the complex that offers single- and double-room occupancy for the spring 2003 semester.
Streit-Perham opened in fall 1962. Originally a women’s residence hall, the two buildings became co-ed in the early 1970s. The living areas of Perham and Streit are separate, but they share a central building that includes the A.E. McCartan Suite, which contains the offices of Housing Services, Residence Life, Dining Services, and Housing and Dining Administrative Services.