The University of Idaho will increase safety for the spring semester next month and may add online courses.
The university discussed its updated spring plans on Monday – almost a month to the day after four students were found stabbed to death in a house off campus. The unsolved murders prompted some students to leave campus for the remaining weeks of the fall semester.
And with the spring semester just under four weeks away, U of I administrators said with the ongoing investigation, they “cannot predict what will happen.”
“(We) hope that you will personally join us,” read Monday’s memo to students, co-signed by President C. Scott Green; Torrey Lawrence, U of I Provost and Executive Vice President; and Blaine Eckles, Dean of Studies and Provost for Student Affairs. “But knowing that some of you may not be happy to return to campus, we encourage you to explore the many options for courses that are already being offered online and virtually.”
While the U of I will offer spring classes on campus as originally planned, online options could also be expanded.
“A limited number of sections may be added at the discretion of colleges for some classes where a virtual option makes sense,” administrators said.
The U of I will add security personnel for the spring, they said, while working with law enforcement “to maintain an increased presence on campus.”
The university’s SafeRide and SafeWalk escorts will also be updated, they said, “to better support students, staff and the goals of the program.”
Administrators also said students can continue to receive psychological counseling through the U of I Counseling and Testing Center during the winter break and can schedule a counseling session through the student dean’s office.
The fall semester of the U of I ends this week with the finals. The spring semester starts on January 11th.
As of their fifth week of investigation, police have not identified a suspect in the death of Ethan Chapin, 20, a freshman from Mount Vernon, Washington; Kaylee Goncalves, 21, a senior from Rathdrum; Xana Kernodle, 20, a junior from Post Falls; and Madison Mogen, 21, a senior from Coeur d’Alene.
The Moscow police are keeping a low profile on the case.
“Investigators continue to not release detailed information,” police said in a statement Monday. “This must be done to protect the integrity of the investigation.”
The investigation has turned to a car that was spotted near the off-campus home where the killings took place.
“Detectives remain interested in speaking to the occupants of a white 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra with an unknown number plate,” Moscow police said on Saturday. “Investigators believe the occupants of this vehicle may have important information to share about this case.”
The focus on the car has led to a spike in tips – which are now being passed on to the FBI.
“Please note that this new calling process requires patience from the caller and there are some prompts to follow,” Moscow police said Saturday. “This is a national FBI tip hotline and it is important to fully go through the prompts in order to reach the correct agent to report information. Remember, your tip could be the key to solving this case.”
The hotline is (208) 883-7180 or [email protected].
Read more details on the Idaho Statesman and University of Idaho Argonaut investigation.
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