New class moves into IU 16 weeks after Hannah Wilson’s murder

(WISH Photo/Howard Monroe)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) – A record 7,900 freshman will begin classes at Indiana University on Monday.

The school said they come from all of Indiana’s 92 counties, and represent 47 states and 33 countries.

Wednesday was the official move in day for the class of 2019.

“I’m excited, I’m excited to meet new people. I’m excited to learn some new stuff in my classes. It should be  good experience,” said Blake Kotel of northern Illinois.

Families on campus had all the angst of the first day in college: the confusion of where to go, the frustration of the move and the nervousness of what’s to come.

“I’m really excited, but I’m really nervous too,” said Maddy Mewhinney of Carmel. “Meeting new people, and my classes.”

For some students, and parents there was concern for their safety.

“I think he’s safe. I think everything is going to be okay,” said Kathy Kotel, Blake’s mother.

“Even though you think they’re safe, you just never know,” said Tracy Mewhinney, Maddy’s mother.

The move in comes just 16 weeks after Hannah Wilson was murdered as she returned home from a night out with friends. She was set to graduate two weeks later.

“Especially since that happened, I’m more aware of what’s going on,” said Maddy Mewhinney.

But also moving into IU today is Hannah’s sister, Haley.

The family wouldn’t speak with us today for fear the added attention could jeopardize her alleged killer’s upcoming trial.

But they spoke with us in April, just days after Hannah’s body was found 15 miles away from campus.

“I’m actually so freaking excited to go to IU,” said Haley Wilson.

“I have no problem with Haley going down there. This could happen in a grocery store,” said Jeff Wilson, Hannah and Haley’s father.

In a statement an IU spokesman said they’re working with the Bloomington Police Department to keep students safe.

They’ve also updated their Protect IU website so students and faculty can report concerns.

“Just be conscious of what’s going on with your friends, and be a good friend,” said Tracy Mewhinney.

Daniel Messel’s trial is scheduled for Feb. His attorney did request a change of venue.

The judge ruled they’re waiting to see if an impartial jury can first be found in Brown County. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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