April 28, 2023

Dear Colleagues and Students,

In August 2022, I wrote to our campus community to make you aware of a series of hoax bomb threats that were affecting colleges and universities nationwide, and the Colleges’ proactive response to monitoring trends and preparing for response should HWS be impacted.

I write today to inform you about telephonic hoax active shooter threats (also known as swatting) impacting education institutions nationwide in 2023. Multiple states have experienced hoax active shooter threats, including New York State, and they have occurred at elementary, secondary schools and higher education institutions. 

As always, we are actively monitoring cases like this, working with local and federal law enforcement to understand the key indicators for hoax calls, and developing the most appropriate responses for scenarios like this. Should the Colleges receive an active shooter call that fits the profile of a hoax call, Campus Safety will respond to the location to verify the information provided by the caller while immediately notifying and requesting the support of local law enforcement. Campus Safety and law enforcement will then take the appropriate action based on the initial assessment to ensure the safety of our campus community. 

While the likelihood of a situation like an active shooter incident is remote, we take all threats seriously and respond appropriately. Should you receive a potential active shooter call, even if you believe it to be a hoax, it should be treated seriously. Please keep in mind the following:

  1. 1) Gather as much information as possible from the caller (and obtain the caller’s number from your phone display if possible).
  2. 2) Contact Campus Safety immediately to report the incident.
  3. 3) Remember the run-hide-fight active shooter response.

The Colleges have detailed procedures for emergencies like an active shooter threat. More information about how to respond can be found on the Colleges’ emergency planning and preparedness page

We plan and prepare for situations like this one and many others with our partners in law enforcement, and are in contact with law enforcement, including the FBI, to stay current on evolving situations elsewhere in the country that may impact HWS. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns, or if I can be helpful in any way.


Marty Corbett
Associate Vice President of Campus Safety