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College responds to second clown sighting on campus

| Thursday, October 13, 2016

On Tuesday night, Saint Mary’s security responded to another report of a clown sighting on campus, according to an email sent to students Wednesday by Karen Johnson, vice president for student affairs.

According to Johnson, staff members spoke with the reporting individual and proceeded to patrol the campus but were unable to substantiate any clown sightings on campus.

Johnson said the College takes any incident that causes concern to students seriously.

“Even if a person’s intentions are to entertain, scaring people isn’t funny,” Johnson said in the email. “Individuals found wearing clown masks and other costumes in order to create a stir in their community will be addressed by local law enforcement agencies and through the Saint Mary’s College Code of Student Conduct.”

Johnson urged people in the Saint Mary’s community to “stop sharing social media posts about the sighting.”

“Snapchats, tweets and Facebook postings by others typically do not contain firsthand accurate information regarding emergencies or threats,” she said. “Please use good judgment and avoid wearing clown masks, as it could be perceived as a hazard or threat to others.”

According to Johnson, campus security staff are actively monitoring and responding to any reports and sightings. Johnson urged students to “resist the urge to track down clowns on their own.”

Johnson said Sgt. Earl Wigfall from the St. Joseph County Police will assist campus security in providing additional patrols as of Wednesday night.

David Gariepy, director of campus security, declined to elaborate further on the situation.

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