Students demand change from administrators after freshman charged with having a weapon

Local News

Students at Hilbert College say they want to see changes in the way they’re informed, after alleged threats by a student earlier this week. Hamburg police says the student, who is a freshman, is now in jail.

He was later identified as Breandan Mantz.

Hilbert College held a special meeting Thursday for students to give their opinions and feedback on the way the situation was handled.

“Why wasn’t this dealt with sooner, you know there was cause for concern months ago? Why was this allowed to go so far?” said Ryan Zunner, a sophomore at Hilbert College in Hamburg.

All questions sophomore Ryan Zunner wants answered by administrators.

He says he only found out through social media about a Hilbert College student allegedly making threats on campus.  Zunner says he saw a message posted to the school’s website days after the alleged incident.

Administrators say there was no imminent threat to campus.

“It was put on blackboard which if people don’t know what that is it’s an academic site. People really don’t expect to get information about the school from there especially for something this,” said Zunner.

Hamburg police say that Mantz, a 19-year-old freshman, is now in the Erie County holding center and is charged with criminal possession of a weapon and menacing. Officers say he had a martial arts-type throwing star.

Mantz was also ordered to undergo a mental evaluation, stay away from the college and also stay away from a separate victim.

His bail was set at $2,500.

Zunner says this isn’t the first time this student has made threats.

“Just the way that he’s talked on campus and stuff like that you know, personal threats in the past that type of thing, just very erratic behavior,” said Zunner.

Hilbert College held a special meeting Thursday for students to voice their concerns and ask questions.

Reporters were allowed inside, but not cameras.

Many students questioned if the freshman will be back on campus.

Administrators say they don’t know as it depends on the police investigation.

“I think if it was dealt with sooner we wouldn’t have come to this where everyone is kind of running around crazy, thinking the worst,” said Zunner.

Other students mentioned they don’t feel safe anymore after learning the freshman has been reported to campus safety officers before.

“There was still some frustration definitely when you walk out but I think as time passes more things will be answered or maybe changes will happen that will make us feel more satisfied,” said Zunner.

Zunner says he believes Thursday’s meeting was a good start.

Hilbert College says it’s evaluating the school’s response to the situation.

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