MOSCOW, Idaho – University of Idaho students, alumni and fans stood for a 15-second moment of silence prior to the men’s basketball team’s game Wednesday night against California State University, Bakersfield to honor the four Vandals students who were slain earlier this week in an off-campus house.
Mattie Brooks, a Vandals alumna, called the moment of silence “powerful.”
“It’s important to have fun with people,” Brooks said of attending the game. “I think this sort of thing really reminds you that it’s so brief. You can lose people really quick.”
Vandals players stood shoulder to shoulder in silence wearing black T-shirts with the words, “IDAHO GREEK LIFE” in white letters. All four students who were killed were members of the Greek system.
Ethan Chapin, 20, was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity; Xana Kernodle, 20, and Madison Mogen, 21, were members of the Pi Beta Phi sorority; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority.
Issac Sanchez, a UI student, sat near a section of Vandals students Wednesday at Idaho Central Credit Union Arena, less than four days after the stabbings that rocked the small college town.
He said some thought the game would have been canceled because of the tragedy.
“But instead we play on,” Sanchez said. “We’re pushing through it, but we still show remembrance.”
Admission to Wednesday’s game was free to whomever wanted to attend “for an outlet and to support our Vandal student-athletes,” according to a message on the UI athletics website. Thursday night’s UI volleyball game also will be free.
“In a time of difficulty for our community, coming together collectively can help,” the message stated.
Sanchez, a UI cheerleader, said several Vandals cheerleaders are sorority members and some were in the same sororities as the three women. So, none cheered at Wednesday night’s game.
“They weren’t just students to us,” Sanchez said of the four victims. “They were a part of our family.”
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