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BRIEF: The Viking Union on Western’s campus is evacuated following threatening email

The Western Alert System sent a message telling everyone to leave the Viking Union and avoid the surrounding area until further notice.

Students and staff wait outside the Viking Union in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. The Viking Union and Viking Commons were evacuated after threats against the dining hall were sent to Western Washington University. // Photo by Sol Vandeman

This is a story about an ongoing event. We will be updating this story as new information is made available and releasing more stories in the future covering the issue in-depth.

The Western Alert System sent a fourth email at 6:27 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 22, saying no threat to the Viking Union was found and the complex will remain closed through Wednesday, Feb. 23. 

“Out of an abundance of caution the VU complex will remain closed through Wednesday, Feb. 23 while the investigation into the threatening email continues,” the email said. 

The email also said while the Viking Union and Commons will remain closed on Wednesday, students can be served at Western’s two other dining halls. 

The Western Alert System sent a third email at 4:13 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 22, saying the Viking Union at Western Washington University is still closed and the threat was related to a firearm.

“WWU Police are working with local law enforcement to investigate a firearm threat made by email Tuesday morning that mentioned the Viking Union Dining Hall,” the email said.

The alert also mentioned adjustments that were made to accommodate for the closure, as the Viking Union is a popular dining destination for students. 

“We don’t yet know when the VU will reopen, and we have added staff to other campus dining venues to serve students during dinner,” the email said. “Dinner service is also extended Tuesday night to 8:30 p.m.” 

The alert continued to warn people to stay away from the Viking Union.

In its second email sent at 1:53 p.m. on Tuesday, the Western Alert System said that a threatening message was sent to at least two WWU emails on Tuesday morning. One of the emails was found in the recipient’s “spam” folder.

That Alert System email asked those with a WWU email to “check your email in-boxes and forward any threatening messages to

The Western alert system sent out the first message at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, asking everyone to leave the Viking Union and surrounding areas immediately due to a safety threat.

“Western Washington University received an email Tuesday from an unknown person threatening the Viking Union Dining Hall,” the Western Alert email said. 

Second-year Nora Wilson said she was taking a test in the Viking Union when the evacuation occurred.

“I felt inconvenienced,” Wilson said. “We’ve grown up in this kind of school system for years; this isn’t anything new, and I don’t think it’s anything big. I’m not frightened, and I don’t think many people are.”

University Police are investigating the threatening email and are collaborating with local law enforcement, according to the alert.  

For more information, watch your Western email.

Katie McNabb

Katie McNabb (she/her) is a senior reporter for The Front this quarter. She’s a fourth-year double-majoring in English and journalism. Her past reporting has focused on science and the environment. In her free time, she enjoys reading, exploring Bellingham with friends and experimenting with plant-based cooking.  

You can reach her at

Sol Vandeman

Sol Vandeman (they/he) is the campus life editor for The Front this quarter. They’re a sophomore currently pursuing a major in journalism with a minor in women, gender and sexuality studies. Sol would describe themselves as the “Elle Woods” of The Front. As a reporter, they focused on art and social justice at Western. Outside of journalism, Sol enjoys doing drag and religiously listening to pop music divas. Their Instagram is @solasinthesun. 

You can contact them at or

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