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Three alerts in wake of bombings

In the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon, there have been several reports of suspicious packages found on campus. Vice President and Secretary of the Corporation Kirk D. Kolenbrander sent an email to all of MIT campus on Tuesday instructing people to not leave their belongings unattended in public places and to call the MIT Police immediately if they see something suspicious.

In the past three days, three emergency alerts have gone out to campus regarding suspicious packages. The first alert was on Tuesday at approximately 1:03 p.m. regarding a bag left in E51, forcing an evacuation of the building. Several members of the MIT community also received automated phone calls in response to this emergency alert, alongside the standard text messages and email notifications. The second alert went out on Wednesday at approximately 2:32 p.m. about a suspicious package in E38 (MIT Press Bookstore in Kendall Square), again forcing an evacuation. Both incidents were given an all clear less than 15 minutes after the initial alert. At 4:33 a.m. this morning, students received another suspicious package was reported at 500 Memorial Drive (Next House), but was also cleared 20 minutes later.

In an email to the MIT community, Kolenbrander also stressed people to “show great sensitivity in how we discuss who may have been responsible for this act and what might have motivated it.”

“President Reif described the notion of ‘one MIT’ very simply,” Kolenbrander said. “I think it bears repetition today: ‘We are all in this great enterprise together.’”

—Stan Gill