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Both Mr. Loh and Chief Mitchell defended the university’s decision not to send out a campus alert regarding Mr. Song’s online messages, saying that police were tracking Mr. Song’s movements on campus and if an alert was issued before he was in custody that could have disrupted those efforts.

Students who live in Oakland Hall, the same dorm as Mr. Song, expressed relief Monday that action had been taken quickly regarding the online threats.

“My initial reaction was that is was a joke, but then I saw he had been arrested,” 20-year-old junior Jessica Haviland said. “I’m really glad the university suspended him from campus so he can’t come back.”