After Marathon Explosions, All Appears Safe at Harvard and in the Square

HKS Evacuates and FAS Cancels All Classes Monday Evening

After Boston Marathon Explosions, the Scene in Harvard Square
Jessica C. Salley

UPDATED: April 16, 2013, at 4:11 a.m.

In the hours after bombings at the Boston Marathon, Harvard Square was thrust into a state of unrest following unconfirmed bomb threats, an evacuation of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the cancellation of some evening classes. The Cambridge Police Department confirmed that the area was clear of all potential threats Monday evening.

In response to a fire and possible explosion at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, University officials closed the eponymous Kennedy School Monday afternoon, according to a University official. Law enforcement has not yet determined whether the incident at the library is related to the Boston Marathon blasts, which killed three people and injured more than 130.

The Kennedy School sent emergency text messages to students late Monday afternoon, alerting them that the school would be closing for the day and instructing them to evacuate the buildings.

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Suspicious Package

Suspicious Package

Boston Marathon Bombing Incidents

University officials did not immediately employ MessageMe—the alert system used to contact students through text, phone, and email during emergencies—following the explosions at the Marathon and bomb threats in Cambridge, but administrators sent out a number of emails beginning about an hour after the threats.

In an email to Undergraduate Council President Tara Raghuveer ’14 circulated over the Adams House email list, Associate Dean of the College John “Jay” L. Ellison reported that Harvard Yard was not under lock down, although vehicle gates were locked.

In an email to the entire Harvard community, Harvard Executive Vice President Katherine N. Lapp wrote that the University was monitoring the situation and that there were no reports of Harvard affiliates injured in the incidents.

Students were also asked by Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds to notify their resident deans of any students running or watching the marathon.

The Extension School was also closed Monday night to accommodate students and staff limited by public transportation closures. In addition, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael D. Smith confirmed the cancellation of all FAS classes and sections in an email to students, staff, and faculty Monday evening.

“We do so out of respect for the tragic events at the Boston Marathon earlier today, and in the understanding that many in our community are legitimately concerned this evening,” Smith wrote.

The decision to reschedule exams set for Monday night was left to professors, Smith wrote, and classes were set to proceed as normal on Tuesday.

Throughout Monday evening, CPD tweeted a total of dozen potential “INCIDENTS/BOMBS/THREATS,” including a number located around Harvard Square.

In response to a potential threat at Brattle Street and Farwell Place at 4 p.m., police cleared an approximately one block radius around a trash bin containing a suspicious package until the package was removed.

In another incident, officers responded to the delivery of a small Amazon.com package to Fairfax Hall at 1306 Mass. Ave. The building, which is currently being used as a swing space for Quincy House residents, was quickly confirmed as clear.

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