Moscow has lost a sense of innocence

It was with heavy hearts that the Dec. 2 edition of our print publication was pieced together. While our usual production nights can be strenuous, this one felt different. Our usual friendly banter would subside with pauses in conversation as our minds wandered.

These past few weeks have been heavy for our campus.

A sign that says, “Forever a Vandal, Xana Kernodle.” | Daniel V. Ramirez | Argonaut

Some of us broke down the night of Nov. 13, all too aware that Moscow was about to change drastically. Others only recently felt tears in their eyes at Wednesday’s vigil, breaking through the numbness that has clouded our ability to process this tragedy.

The senseless murders of Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves and Madison Mogen have stunned everyone in their orbit.

Where many of us felt safe walking home from downtown bars or taking a stroll outside of the dorms at night, our tight-knit community has been shaken.

Following the deaths of our peers, it seems that Moscow has lost a sense of innocence. The innocence seen in the freshmen group of friends being too loud in their dorms, the sorority sisters making an impulsive trip to dance in the first snow at the Arboretum and the senior who sees familiar faces everywhere, coming to call this town their second home is gone.

Moscow now is riddled with national media, all too eager to get a “scoop” and the eyes of self-proclaimed true crime enthusiasts who are probing the histories of our lost peers. They don’t understand what this community means to us and they won’t.

Campus is now barren with many not returning from fall break, reminiscent of Spring 2020 when COVID-19 first hit. This parallel serves as a reminder of what this campus has gone through in the past and how we can bounce back.

The loss of these four loved students will forever mark our campus and we must honor their memory. We’re still in the fog of grief and mourning, but eventually we have to live on.

University of Idaho students will come to have their firsts in Moscow the same way Xana, Ethan, Kaylee and Madison did. Each of the Greek houses who lost sisters and a brother will recruit new members while they still reminisce about their loved bigs and littles.

Gone but not forgotten — a message we can live up to.

Haadiya Tariq can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @haadiyatariq

Haadiya Tariq, The Argonaut

About Haadiya Tariq

Haadiya is a senior at the University of Idaho, majoring in journalism and sociology with a minor in international studies. She also is the editor in chief for the Argonaut, the campus newspaper.

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