2 arrested in separate threats at SVSU, Michigan Tech

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Two people have been arrested after separate threats linked to two Michigan universities were posted online via the Yik Yak social media messaging app.

The Saginaw News reported Friday that a suspect was jailed after an anonymous threat led Saginaw Valley State University to increase police patrols at its Kochville Township campus.

The content of the threat was not disclosed, but school officials said Friday it was not specific to Saginaw Valley State.

At Michigan Technological University, a suspect was taken into custody late Thursday after an anonymous threat posted on social media was directed at the Upper Peninsula school’s African-Americans.

The university announced the development in a tweet Friday morning.

As result of the threat, police increased its presence on the university’s Houghton campus.

The university’s Department of Public Safety and Police Services first noticed the threat that said, “Going to kill all black people” posted on Yik Yak midday Thursday, said Jennifer Donovan, a Michigan Tech spokeswoman.

Yik Yak is a social media messaging app within a certain geographic area that is popular on college campuses.

Police began an investigation and sent out an email alert to students, faculty and staff. Yik Yak is cooperating with police, Donovan said.

“It’s important to remember that we are a community and will not tolerate threats to any member of our family,” Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz said in a statement Thursday. “It’s time we watch out for one another.”

Counseling services were offered at the university’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion on Thursday evening.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Public Safety and Police Service at (906) 487-2216.

The threats come as campuses across the U.S. are dealing with racial strife and as students are pressing for better treatment of black students following the ouster of the University of Missouri’s president.