Living Off Campus

Students move off campus because they are ready for a different experience than they’ve had on campus. And it is different! Once you sign that lease, the experience begins! Signing a lease is a legal contract. The College can’t “undo” that lease if a student changes their mind. Get in a squabble with your housemates? There is no RA or staff person to mediate. Have a problem with your landlord or house?

The Office of Student and Community Relations does educate off-campus students as to their rights and responsibilities, assist students in advocating for themselves with landlords and can connect students with city support services. But, the College has no jurisdiction, or control, of off-campus properties or situations.

Student safety is an example of the differences of on and off-campus living. While landlords must provide a secure unit – locks on all of the doors and windows – students are responsible for their safety. There is no RA, no live-in staff, no safety personnel assigned to your apartment or house. If there is a break-in while you are away, the landlord is likely not aware. The College is certainly not aware. Students must notify the Keene Police, and follow the procedures, for there to be follow up. The KPD cannot follow up on a case if it is not reported.

There are some things you can do to increase your safety!

– Be sure that your rental has passed the City of Keene Voluntary Inspection Program, https://ci.keene.nh.us/community-development/property-housing-safety-standards-voluntary-inspections

– Request that your landlord install outdoor motion lights, trim any bushes that obscure entries, porches and windows and replace any plexi-glass windows with glass

– Lock all doors and windows at all times

– Only invite known guests into your house

– Lock car doors

– Pay attention to your neighborhood. If you see something, say something!

– Realize that you are responsible for your personal and physical safety!

Keene is a college town – no different than other college towns. Students and student housing can be a target if they are careless with their belongings or invite unknown people into their homes. For more information on off-campus living visit https://www.keene.edu/office/reslife/och/. You’ll find a link to the Cleary Report, resources such as “How to Stay Safe Off-Campus”, and tips for a successful off-campus experience.