Stoughton Evacuated in Bomb Scare

'Room 13' Receives Anonymous Threat

More than 30 residents of Stoughton Hall were forced into the cold of the Yard last night when an anonymous caller telephoned a bomb threat to Room 13 a peer counseling center in the basement of the freshman dormitory

University police evacuated and searched the dorm for suspicious packages but found no evidence of explosives

The bomb scare occurred at 7:20 p.m. when a woman identifying herself only as "Monica" phoned Room 13 twice and warned counselors there to leave the building immediately, according to Dan H. Null 83 one of the two students who spoke to the caller

"My gut feeling was that it was just a crank call," said Null, who notified the police, "but we weren't about to take any chances."

Null added that Room 13, a student run organization which advises undergraduates on academic, social, and personal problems, often gets prank phone calls on their evening hotline. This is the first time the group has ever received a threatening call, he said

At 8 p.m. police announced that students could return to their rooms, but some freshmen said they still felt uncomfortable entering the building

The police said they were 99 percent sure it was safe," commented Carmel Anne Leonard '86, "but that I percent is going to make us all a little nervous tonight."

Harvard has not received a bomb threat since 1980 when a call warned police of an explosive planted in the Science Center but no bomb was found, J. L. Joyce, Director of Buildings and Grounds, said last night

Counselors for 'Room 13' said they doubted the threats came from someone with a specific grudge against the group. "All hotlines are natural targets for prank callers," Null added.

And although most residents said the scare had left them a little tense, a few said the evacuation came as a relief after a might spent preparing for finals. "It's such a perfect excuse not to study," commented one Stoughton resident