Syracuse University students say a white supremacist manifesto was airdropped to their phones at a library, triggering a mass police response and heightening fears within the campus community.
On Tuesday, the university's Department of Public Safety (DPS) said it received multiple reports that the document, which appeared to be a copy of the 74-page anti-Muslim manifesto published online by the perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque shootings, was posted to an online forum and then airdropped to several cellphones of people who were sitting at the library.
Officials said the FBI and the New York State Police are assisting in the investigation, which is being led by the Syracuse Police Department.
The DPS said despite the reports, there was no "direct threat" to the campus community.
"Classes remain in session [and] the university remains open," DPS Chief Robert Maldonado told reporters Tuesday.
Circulation of the manifesto would be the latest in a series of racist incidents reported on campus that have left students and faculty fearing for their safety. The incidents that have occurred within the last two weeks include racist graffiti, verbal harassment, and a swastika that was left in the snow.
Syracuse Police Chief Kenton T. Buckner said officials don't believe, at this time, that the circulation of the manifesto is connected to any of the other incidents, but its distribution has heightened fears on an already tense campus and fueled calls for university officials to cancel classes.
Grace Richardson, a student at Syracuse, told BuzzFeed News she stayed home from class on Tuesday "out of fear due to the possibility of violence on campus."
"There are FBI agents and state troopers all around our campus, and yet they tell us it's safe to go to class," Richardson said in an email, adding that the manifesto "now has students in a panic that this will become yet another school shooter situation."
On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized university leadership's handling of the issue and called on the institution's board of trustees to bring in an expert monitor to investigate.
"As we have learned repeatedly, these increasing exhibitions of hate and bigotry must be handled strongly, swiftly, and justly," Cuomo said in a statement. "Syracuse University and its leadership have failed to do that. It is your obligation to remedy the situation immediately."
In response to the manifesto report, the DPS has increased patrols on campus as officials continue to investigate possible origins.
"Everything that can be done is being done in regards to this investigation and we're working with our partners both at the university state and federally to try to figure out who's responsible for this," Syracuse police spokesperson Matthew Malinowski told BuzzFeed News.
Tasneem Nashrulla contributed reporting.