University ends evacuation, most students allowed to re-enter Harbin
“The evacuation has now ended and students are returning to the building,” Olson wrote in the email. “We know that residents of Harbin Hall experienced inconveniences by not being able to access their living space for most of the day and we are grateful for their cooperation.”
Earlier today, Olson told Harbin residents that the building would remain closed until authorities gave the University an “all clear sign.”
The email also confirmed that drug being produced on the ninth floor of the dormitory was dimethyltryptamine. According to Olson, “there was never a health risk to students in Harbin,” and all hazardous materials have been removed from the room. However, some rooms on the ninth floor still remain off-limits, according to source in the Housing Office.
Unsurprisingly, the language of the email suggests that the arrested freshmen, Charlie Smith and John Romano, will be severely punished.
“The use, production and distribution of illegal drugs are issues we take very seriously and are violations of the student code of conduct,” Olson wrote.
Olson’s full email:
Dear Members of the Campus Community,
I am writing to update you on today’s evacuation of Harbin Hall. The evacuation has now ended and students are returning to the building. All residents remain safe and campus is operating normally.
As you may be aware, we evacuated Harbin Hall early this morning after the Department of Public Safety and District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) responded to calls complaining of a strange odor on the 9th floor. Our actions today, as in any emergency situation, were directed by law enforcement authorities – in this case MPD and D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department. We know that residents of Harbin Hall experienced inconveniences by not being able to access their living space for most of the day and we are grateful for their cooperation.
We appreciate the many friends and colleagues who worked to assist temporarily displaced students throughout the day. Provost O’Donnell has consulted with academic leaders on the Main Campus and asked for their help to support students whose weekend has been disrupted.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has confirmed that an illegal drug, Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), was being produced in one residence hall room and was the cause of today’s incident. Please know that the DEA has informed us that there was never a health risk to students in Harbin, including those on the same floor, beyond those who lived in the room. Hazardous materials experts have now removed all potential contaminants.
The use, production and distribution of illegal drugs are issues we take very seriously and are violations of the student code of conduct. MPD has arrested three individuals, two of whom are Georgetown undergraduates. They remain in police custody.
Law enforcement authorities continue to actively investigate this incident, with our close cooperation. If any member of the university community has information in connection with this incident, please contact the Department of Public Safety at 202-687-4343.
We appreciate the work of the many individuals, including the University’s emergency response team, who worked to meet the needs of students and ensure the safety of our community in responding to today’s incident.
Todd A. Olson, Ph.D.
Vice President of Student Affairs
Photo: Max Blodgett