Lindsay Ross

Equinox Staff


Voices of students throughout the Keene State College campus could be heard by all on any topic they may want to address. If there are problems or concerns to be heard, the Residence Hall Organization is there to listen. The “To-Do List” gives a chance for students to express their opinions and talk about what they would like to change on campus.

“We are always looking for new ideas,” Kate Chimienti, RHO president, said.

The “To-Do List” was created two years ago, which was formerly known as RHO’s “Town Hall.” The RHO’s Student Advocacy Committee is run by Keene State’s Matt Schwartz.

“This is a way for residential students to come together and talk about anything related to living on campus, whether it would be policies, housing selection, and facilities,” Coordinator of First Year Residential Experience, Nate Gordon, said.

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According to Kent Drake-Deese, the director of Residential Life and Housing, Jana Jacobson, the assistant director and advisor of RHO, is very willing to hear students’ concerns and is open to change.

“She has been very supportive of their aspirations,” Drake-Deese said.

Drake-Deese explained the “To-Do List” helps groups of students around campus instead of just individual problems.

“It was created to refocus discussion on actionable items that would address the greater good rather than individual grievances,” Drake-Deese said.

If there is any idea that may be valid, students can address RHO and discuss what they want to change or fix.

Last year, Pride voiced its opinions on wanting gender inclusive bathrooms and both sexes living together on campus.

Chimienti said she sat through hours of meetings, and after getting the one page proposal checked by the director, gender inclusive housing was accepted..

“We are the voice of the campus; people don’t realize they could make a difference,” Chimienti said.

Another issue RHO is working on is to start a support group for students on-campus who may be battling addictions with drugs or alcohol. Chimienti spoke with the head of the substance abuse program and tried to get a bill to make it happen. Ultimately, the creation of the program will depend on the ability to fund it.

Schwartz organized a “To-Do List” event on Nov. 9 to create discussion and get students involved. Many ideas were thrown around and speakers who had something to say about students making a difference spoke.

There are around 2,700 students that make up the campus community, and RHO aims to encourage all to have their voices heard.

“It was a great way to get students involved on campus advocacy wise,” Schwartz said.

Some have suggested to RHO the idea of speed bumps and the completion of Wi-Fi across campus. There is also a concern about the pathway leading up to Wal-Mart late at night where there are minimal lights. Throughout the college experience, students are able to voice their opinion and let everybody know what they want to do differently around campus that may be beneficial to many.

Associate Director of Residential Life and Housing, Jim Carley, encourages students to get out there and make a difference, because the college experience will just fly by.

“College is too short of an experience to not actively engage in the experience,” Carley said.

Carley explained how he believed the “To-Do List” was a great idea.

If students want to see a change around campus that they believe could make a difference, voicing their opinions is a way in which students could make change happen.

“Students could see the change that they wish to see happen. Oftentimes change comes quicker when students back it up,” Gordon said.

If students aren’t sure whether joining RHO and letting their voices be heard is a good way to help out throughout the campus, Drake-Deese highly encourages joining. He said it would not only impact their times in college, but for the rest of their lives.

“Students could be missing out on a fabulous opportunity to have fun, learn a lot, meet other great motivated people, and build connections to Keene State College that will last a lifetime. That opportunity doesn’t present itself everyday and if you let it pass you by, you will likely regret it,” Drake-Deese said.

Lindsay Ross can be contacted at

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