UNK responds to clown sightings on campus

KEARNEY – On Tuesday night, there were a few reports and sightings of an individual dressed in a clown costume on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus. This appears related to a nationwide social media phenomena happening at cities across the U.S., in as many as 32 states, and at universities including Penn State, Iowa, Missouri, University of New Hampshire, and now, UNK.

 Statement from Todd Gottula, Director of News & Internal Communications

“We are aware of the situation, and UNK Police are actively monitoring and responding to any reports and sightings. No credible threats have been received.”

“The UNK campus is safe. Our students are safe. Students should contact UNK Police if they feel unsafe or see anything that concerns them.”

“Any incident that causes concern to students or others on campus is serious. Even if its intentions are to entertain, scaring people isn’t funny.”


Statement from Kelly Bartling, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications & Community Relations

“Social media phenomena are difficult to address: “Viral” videos and photos can make their way around the world, and be seen by millions, in hours. This captivates daily pop and news culture. People want to be part of it.”

“It seems like fun: Many people are entertained by horror and mystery – this is why we go to scary movies – but being scared by an in-person or physical threat is different than seeing a viral video or a movie.”

“We’re asking students and others to put their clown costumes and scary stuff away and think about how scaring people could be mis-perceived and create a dangerous situation.”


Source: Todd Gottula, Director of Communications, 308.865.8454, gottulatm@unk.edu