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'It won't be quite the same' | University of Idaho officials discuss student resources ahead of spring semester

On-campus security patrols will not be as heightened, but the university will offer more resources to students as they adjust to a new semester.

MOSCOW, Idaho — University of Idaho students are returning to campus ahead of the start of the spring semester, and university officials are taking additional steps to ensure students feel safe.

This comes after a suspect in the Nov. 13 murders of four University of Idaho students was arrested.

On-campus security patrols will not be as heightened as they have been for the last two months, but the university will offer more resources to students as they adjust to a new semester, including counseling and private security.

The spring semester begins Wednesday. For some students, it will be the first time they have stepped foot on the campus since the suspect in the murders of four University of Idaho students was arrested.

“We are seeing most of our students return," said Torrey Lawrence, U of I's provost and executive vice president. "Our enrollment actually looks to be higher than it was last spring.”

Following the murders, U of I gave students the option to take classes remotely. While some are choosing to stay remote, there will be some changes for those on campus.

“Have a lot of different programming that’s being developed right now around safety and security, everything from self-defense, there’s been an interest in that," Lawrence said.

One notable change is the slight decline in police patrols. After the murder, the university increased the number of patrol officers on campus. 

“With the arrest happening very recently, we felt we needed to keep that," Lawrence said. "It won’t be quite the same as It was in November and December.”

Moscow police officers, Latah County sheriff's deputies and private security officers will all remain on campus in smaller numbers. There will be fewer Idaho State Police (ISP) troopers on campus this semester, according to Lawrence. 

Students can also expect counseling and grief services to continue as they return to campus.

“I think this has shown Moscow is not immune to violence like this but, you know, it’s still a very safe community," Lawrence said.

The university will continue to revisit security needs throughout the semester, as well as continue to communicate with students about next steps.

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