Administrative Executive Editor
Students have been frustrated with the lack of communication from administrators at Keene State College for a few years now.
This only escalated in the last few years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. When the first COVID case was detected on campus, most students read about it in the Keene Sentinel instead of hearing it from the college itself.
Though the college may see it as a threat to their reputation, students want to see them respond to issues instead of hiding away from them. Many students ask why they don’t get campus news straight from the source. They always end up reading it online in a post from one of the local newspapers, or from a friend who heard gossip.
One of the issues that is currently being talked about is the possibility or probability of Keene State becoming more involved with the University of New Hampshire (UNH). This is because of the unexplained changes in wifi services, but most importantly because of the unexpected change in email accounts. Students were shocked when they logged on to their new emails only to see that it took them to a University System of New Hampshire website.
The school has not addressed this or given any indication to what this transition might mean. While many people suspect it is likely that we will soon become the University of New Hampshire at Keene, it seems like the school would address this issue if that was the case. Why would the administration choose to hide a large change like this from its students?
Maybe the change is too far away to be planned or announced, but it could also be because of backlash that was received in the past.
Over a year ago, after it was made public that two students were allegedly assaulted in Owl’s Nest 5, the president was criticized over the statements she made and the way the situation was handled. Students were outraged that they hadn’t heard about the situation before the couple made it public on the internet. They were so angry that there was nothing the president could say or do to make it right, but they also wanted her to say something.
This fear and memory most likely bleeds into every decision that is made in the administration. There are times when nothing that is said will be right, but saying nothing at all isn’t right either.
Students are aware that the college is still struggling financially, even with the increase in enrollment again. They are going to classes that were supposed to be taught by professors who were laid off. They are noticing the lessening flood of emails on any subject not related to COVID-19. And they are asking for change.
At this point, with all the college has been through recently, it is time to tell students what is happening. It is time to be honest with students about the rates of COVID-19 on campus. It is time to address the college’s reputation as a diverse institution. And it is time for everyone to hear it from the source, not the newspapers or the post on Facebook.
Meeghan Somerset can be contacted at