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By Minyvonne Burke
A state university in Southern California is giving students the option of taking final exams off campus after the school received two threats of a mass shooting.
California State University, Northridge, President Dianne F. Harrison released a statement Tuesday, the day before exams began, saying students who don’t feel comfortable coming to campus can request “alternative exam format options” from professors.
The decision was made after the the university police were notified of two different messages threatening a mass shooting on Wednesday at the campus, the school said in a release.
Campus police said there is no indication the threats were credible, the release said. But the school decided as a precaution to allow exams to be offered remotely. Finals at the school began Wednesday and end Dec. 18.
“I recognize the extreme stress and anxiety the recent threats of violence have caused our community,” the president said in a message posted on the school’s website. “Students should contact their instructors to request alternative arrangements. Any student requesting such an accommodation will not be subject to any instructor-imposed penalty.”
University spokeswoman Carmen Ramos Chandler told NBC News that the method for administering off-campus exams will vary depending, for example, on whether professors are giving students written papers or a test for the final.
Chandler also pointed out that the university offers online classes so already has some online exams.
The first threat the school received was scrawled in a restroom in a university building on Dec. 5. It read: “Mass shooting in Sierra Hall 12/12/18,” with an drawing of a swastika, NBC Los Angeles reported.
The second threat came on Monday night. A student at the school found a note on the floor of a classroom saying that a student at the nearby Northridge Academy High School would be carrying out a shooting at the university on Dec. 12.
“Hate has no place on this campus,” Harrison said in her statement. “We are resolute in our duty to not allow these threats to derail our students’ education.”