Loyola Campus evacuated on the morning of January 9

The vigilance of two custodians led to a rapid police deployment and university emergency operations team mobilization on the Loyola Campus on Jan. 9. It also led to classes at Loyola being cancelled until 4 p.m.

The incident began when the two spotted a young man with a long coat carrying a large bag that they feared might contain a weapon. Security was alerted and they immediately contacted the police.

More than 20 police cars converged on the Loyola Campus and the university proceeded to evacuate the campus, except for the SP and CJ buildings where the young man was spotted. People in those buildings were asked to remain in the classrooms and labs.

Additional shuttle buses were sent out to Loyola to ferry faculty, staff and students downtown from the Loyola Arena parking lot.

The bag turned out to contain non-threatening martial arts equipment.

“The evacuation of the Loyola Campus was conducted in an orderly manner and we had excellent communications with the police,’ said Vice-President Services Michael Di Grappa, who heads Concordia’s emergency response team.

“The university response was quick, efficient and coordinated. However, there is always room for improvement. We will be using this incident to evaluate how we can improve. I’d like to thank all those who participated in the response team.”