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The University of Idaho plans to provide accommodations for students who have left campus after the murder of four students.
As the community of Idaho reels from the brutal slayings of Xana Kernodle, 20, Ethan Chapin, 20, Kaylee Goncalves, 21, and Madison Mogen, 21, fellow students continue to grapple with safety concerns as the killer remains at large.
University of Idaho senior student Dylan Bartels told The Independent that he estimated half of the students had left Moscow and gone home before the Thanksgiving break. Others, like Mr Bartels, don’t have that option and have stayed on campus.
“Normally, I have to drive around five minutes trying to find a parking spot; I pulled in and one of the closest spots is open,” Mr Bartels said. “I mean, literally, the student population going to class declined by 50 per cent. Overnight.”
In a release on Tuesday, university president Scott Greene said that the college plans to “be flexible through the end of the semester,” and that faculty were asked to prepare in-person and remote learning options for the final two weeks of the semester.
“We have heard from many of you about how you hope we will proceed as a university after Fall Break,” the statement read.
“Moving courses fully online is not preferred but may be necessary in limited situations. Students, your faculty will communicate course options soon.”
The university also announced that they plan to hold commencement ceremonies on 10 December. Two of the victims killed in their off-campus rental home, Goncalves and Mogen, were set to graduate with the class of 2022.
Chapin and Kernodle were about to finish their first semester as juniors.
Four Dead University of Idaho
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Mr Green thanked the community and said that resources had been made available for students struggling with the aftermath of the slaying that rocked the town of just 25,000.
“We appreciate our staff who are keeping offices open, providing resources and helping our students, again while dealing with their own natural reactions to this tragedy,” Mr Green added.
The university will host a vigil at 5pm on Wednesday for the slain students, who lived off-campus and were likely murdered in their sleep after returning home in the early morning hours of 13 November.
The bodies were found on the second and third floors after a 911 call was made around noon by one of two surviving roommates in the home. Autopsy findings released last week revealed that all four had suffered multiple stab wounds from a large knife.
Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, were murdered on 13 November
The deaths have been ruled homicides with the killer or killers still at large a week on from the slayings.
Police have said that the two surviving roommates, a male seen on Twitch video that also featured Goncalves and Mogen at a food truck hours before the murders, and an individual who drove the two of them home that night are not considered suspects.
More details will be released during a press conference scheduled for Wednesday.