Students gathered on campus on the evening of Oct. 3 after the alleged sighting of a clown on campus. Photos and videos of a clown on Malone’s campus were shared on the StuffMaloneKidsLike Twitter account. The posts showed the clown in the quad and near DeVol Hall on campus.
Students formed “clown hunting” groups in reaction to the sightings. The panic arose as part of a larger trend around the nation of clowns appearing in neighborhoods with weapons and committing acts of violence.
The clown presence created an uproar among campus safety officials. Canton Police also responded to the potential threat and drove through campus.
The event was later admitted to be staged by Malone students and was announced on the StuffMaloneKidsLike Twitter.
In an official statement released by Chris Abrams, vice president for student development, with the coordination of campus safety, students were informed “persons who stage clown sightings, create hunting parties, or in other ways induce panic on the campus will be subject to the campus judicial process and may be criminally charged by local authorities for disorderly conduct, inducing panic and/or menacing.”
Students are encouraged to contact campus safety or local emergency services in the event of a legitimate, threatening clown sighting.
By noon on Oct. 4, all tweets on StuffMaloneKidsLike, including the clown tweets, had been removed. All tweets were restored, however, on Oct. 5.
Alicia Meyer is the editor-in-chief of The Aviso