Safety for our students

Keene State College determined safest NH college

Luke Stergiou / senior photographer

College can be scary; meeting new people, walking to night classes, juggling all our exams in a week.

But wouldn’t it make you feel better if the college you are currently attending or planning on going to was just determined NH’s safest school of 2018?

The city of Keene is a close community protected by the Keene Police Department, The Keene Fire Department, Campus Safety and many other organizations.

Keene State College is a small school founded on April 9, 1909 right here in Keene, NH. There are approximately 3,800 undergraduates attending KSC according to the Keene State website.

According to world population review there are about 23,000 people living in Keene, which makes it the sixth largest city in NH based on the official 2017 population census.

Campus safety has a group of highly motivated staff located in the Keddy House. There are specific roles for some of the staff that they individually keep an eye on. Members of Campus Safety can sometimes be seen in buildings, especially dorms, and they are also constantly roaming the campus looking out for students. There is always a blue emergency button in sight; even though most of us have never had to use it.

Overall, during the day, KSC is very lively and full of energy. When the sun goes down the tension starts to tighten a little.

At night, whether it’s a night class or being at a friend’s house walking home late at night it can be a little scary.

To be honest, walking anywhere at night is frightening for some. Appian Way is lit at night with some building lights on as well. There is always help just a call away if a student feels too afraid to walk home.

On-campus most would say that it’s overall a very friendly experience, that’s probably why we were named to safest college campus, but what about when we step off KSC soil?

Does that feeling of security change? In a way we, The Equinox, would have to say yes.

Even though we go to class, eat, or walk around campus for a majority of our day, we do have to go home sometime. Leaving campus can be more nerve racking than not; especially in the city of Keene. It’s hard to believe crime could be happening less than a mile away from campus.

Some students over the summer and into this school year have said there has actually been break ins; in their cars and their homes. Keene is not the safest place to be walking around at night. People can come onto campus whenever they like regardless of their state of mind or sobriety, which poses a risk for violence and uncertainty of our safety.

Campus Safety has protocols on campus for someone that comes onto KSC grounds and starts to cause a disruption. Hopefully we all know what to do and where to go for a situation like that, because when that happens we’re very vulnerable.

Not having protection on us, due to KSC policies, can make us feel helpless during a time of emergency.

There are many resources if students don’t feel safe. Other than Campus Safety, there is the Diversity and Multiculturalism Office, which provides mentoring and support to students, staff, and faculty.

The KSC website has the Campus crime and safety report of 2014 to 2016, which shows the basic trends of what has happened on and off campus.

The counseling center is open business days from 8 a.m to 4:30 a.m. The Keene State Emergency System is a text, email, or call that alerts you in case of a crisis on campus.

We have had many good experiences talking to staff and other students on campus. Talking to our peers helps us feel more aware and welcome.

Surrounding yourself in a group while walking at night or to an off campus location is a great way to stay safe. If you’re ever in a situation where you feel threatened or endangered you can reach the Keene Police department at 603-357-9813 and Campus safety at 603-358-2228.

Stay smart Keene State, stay safe.