On March 7, Grand Rapids Community College Police were dispatched to the Ford Fieldhouse after one of the students attending the Latinx Youth Conference received an anonymous tip that there was a threat on campus.
While police didn’t disclose the nature of the threat or the exact time it happened, they did explain that students were required to go through a metal detector after lunch, and the threat was deemed false. The event continued as planned.
At 1:13 p.m. on March 7, GRCC President Charles Lepper’s office sent an email addressing the situation to GRCC students, who are on spring break this week.
“We have a large group attending an event on campus today,” the email stated. “One of the students attending the event received an anonymous, airdropped statement referring to a threat. Out of an abundance of caution, we worked with our community partners to set in place some additional security measures.”
The Latinx Youth Conference is held at GRCC annually. This event helps Latino students prepare for the future and show what resources GRCC provides. An estimated 700 eighth grade students were expected to attend the event Tuesday. Four of the students won $1,000 scholarships to help them with their future education.
In an interview with WOOD TV8, Evelyn Esparza, the executive director of the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, said, “I would say this is a great event for our Latino students. They don’t see or have many opportunities to connect with Latino leaders and so our goal is to provide that space to these eighth graders to see themselves.”
The Collegiate could not reach event organizers for comment about the threat.