With the newly-formed decision to host Pumpkin Festival back on Main Street this October comes a variety of concerns from city and college officials alike.
Interim President of Keene State College Dr. Melinda Treadwell has been working with her cabinet, the police and fire department, as well as the city manager and mayor of Keene to collaboratively support a positive and successful event this year. Although Treadwell said she doesn’t expect any major issues throughout the course of the weekend, she has plans in place focused on “inspiring people to be at their best.”
First and foremost, Treadwell plans on doing door-to-door walkthroughs throughout surrounding neighborhoods with landlords to have conversations and set expectations with students who live off campus. Additionally, she plans on organizing meetings with resident assistants, orientation leaders and leaders within Greek life and utilizing them in taking preventative measures going into the weekend.
As a campus community as a whole, Treadwell said, “We expect everything to go great, but this is a chance for Keene State to showcase its best and so by showcasing its best, it’s about being out, being a part of volunteering, being a part of enjoying the weekend, but to do so responsibly and to not get engaged in crazy activities.” In addition to student leaders, Treadwell said her and the cabinet are exploring ways to communicate to college faculty members, faculty leaders and staff members as well.
“If they’re going to be here,” she said, “how can they be positively engaged?” By wearing their colors and knowing what to say and do if they do see concerning behavior, “we become kind of engaged as a community.” In terms of college conduct over the weekend, there will be heightened sanctions throughout the week of the festival. Bystander training through the college will also be enhanced “to make sure we’re ready if something starts happening that we would not want to see,” Treadwell said. In addition to heightening some on-campus rules and regulations, Treadwell said they plan to continually monitor social media, as well as implement a No Guest Policy. With events students can get involved in both on and off campus, as well as opportunities for volunteerism, Treadwell said she hopes the Keene State community can come together and celebrate the best of Keene State.
“Our students weren’t the problem last time, they’re not going to be a problem this time, but I want us to be just looking like a really great community rather than a community where one image can really misrepresent us,” Treadwell said. In the near future, Treadwell plans on putting together a tip sheet to communicate to the campus community how to be safe, smart and what to expect during the weekend.
The event is planned for Oct. 29 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m..
Jessica Ricard can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org