Instead of heading home for Christmas, dozens of University of Tennessee at Chattanooga students will spend Saturday taking exams they should have finished earlier this week — if a string of bomb threats hadn't forced officials to call them off.
The fourth bomb threat this semester was called in early Thursday morning, forcing students to evacuate buildings where final exams and classes were being held.
UTC officials say they are investigating the threats along with state and federal agencies.
Students took to social media to express frustration or cynicism about the threats, which many said has become a normal part of finals week.
"Here at UTC another name for finals week would be bomb threat week," one student tweeted.
While some professors gathered their students outside the buildings to finish the exams, other students will be forced to delay travel to finish their rescheduled finals.
"The popular idea among students is that these threats are called in by people wanting to get out of exams," said UTC spokesman Chuck Cantrell. "We can't be sure, but if that's the case they are failing. They have to take these exams one way or another."
There were two threats this week, one threat last week and one in October, Cantrell said.
"It's a waste of time," said UTC sophomore Zacheriah Williams, who had a class canceled because of Thursday's threat. "People are used to it by now, but they're just tired of it. I'm tired of it."
The threats are not only a waste of time for students, they are a waste of resources and thousands of dollars of taxpayer money spent by the emergency response teams that are obligated to take every threat seriously.