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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Gunman incident was a hoax, UA president says

Kelsee Becker
Kelsee Becker / Arizona Daily Wildcat President Ann Hart discusses the recently approved tuition increase at the Faculty Senate Meeting on April 1st.

A 911 call about a gunman reportedly seen on campus last month was a hoax, President Ann Weaver Hart said Monday during the monthly Faculty Senate meeting. Campus police continue to investigate the report.

“I just want to thank everyone who’s worked so hard to make that a successful conclusion and how grateful we all are that this was a hoax that has not been followed up,” Hart said.

The incident on March 22 caused the shutdown of several areas on campus, including the UA Mall and the Student Union Memorial Center, while officers from the University of Arizona Police Department and the Tucson Police Department searched for a man who was reportedly seen carrying a rifle near the Administration building.

Initially police reported that the call came from a “third-party operator,” but did not define what that meant. According to Hart, the 911 report came through a nontraditional communication channel designed to assist the hearing impaired. There is no voice message that can be traced to a person, she said.

Last week, Melissa Vito, chair for the Campus Emergency Response Team, sent an email to the UA campus stating that the investigation of the incident is “continuing with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

The email also encouraged members of the community to register for UAlert and addressed issues with response procedures. Vito noted confusion over campus evacuation strategies and the need for a broader campus “All is Clear” message.

During the meeting however, Hart praised CERT for its response to the gunman report.

“I believe the professionalism of our entire team here at the University of Arizona made a major difference in how well and how quickly we were able to manage the situation,” Hart said. “You just can’t ignore a shooter alert.”

Hart then shifted the meeting into a discussion on the possibility of faculty and staff raises, depending on whether or not the Arizona Board of Regents approve the university budget proposal on Thursday.

The increase for the university would be for all faculty, staff and students and based on performance, Hart said. However, employees found to be “performing satisfactorily” fall within that category, she added.

Hart would not say how much salaries could increase by because it could depend on the Legislature, she said.

“I am acknowledging that the Legislature’s decision will have an impact on the nature of what happens with our salary increase,” Hart said. “Not that it will prevent us from moving forward with the plan, but that it is, in part, contingent on funds.”

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