The University of Arizona is just a few days into a new school year, with about 52 thousand students attending. University President Doctor Robert Robbins is looking forward to a good year ahead, but its a campus atmosphere changed by a killing on campus last year.

An expelled graduate student is charged with shooting and killing Professor Thomas Meixner in the atmospheric sciences building. Investigators said the man charged had a history of threats that led to his expulsion.

In UAs latest safety briefing University President Doctor Robert Robbins conceded the University administration did not communicate well before the killing.

In the nearly a year since the killing, the University has worked to improve physical safety with steps like better locks on academic buildings to allow a near instant lockdown if theres a threat. Thats coupled with efforts to urge students, faculty and staff to learn to cope with, and ideally escape an emergency.

Students and staff can learn more at a special website that pulls resources into one convenient spot.

The University also worked to enhance communication, threat assessment and boosted mental health resources to keep people from being overcome by the stress of university life.

Doctor Robbins says thats an extension of an existing commitment, and his personal commitment, to mental health and caring for students.

When I meet with students I always give them my cell phone number and say, if you’re having a problem, text me or call me, and in six years I’ve gotten about 25 texts or calls from somebody who really needed some help.

Elena Valenzuela says there was a big discussion of the safety changes in her freshman orientation.

It’s a sad but it’s a necessary thing because we’re going into a time where people are there are more school shootings happening and people with firearms becoming more dangerous. And it’s just like some way to alleviate it but there definitely needs to be more precaution, but maybe not in a way that scares people, because I’m a little bit scared about it. But it’s something that sadly needs to happen.

Noah Rode noticed the emergency locks in the classrooms.

So I guess like when class starts, they hit the button and the door locks and it can only be unlocked from the inside. So to stop like any intruders trying to get on campus, so that’s my only impression.

Doctor Robbins says hes grateful for students, faculty and staff and Chief Safety Officer Steve Patterson says hes looking forward to a quiet and safe year ahead.