Freshmen cut loose and get caught


Dylan Morrill

Equinox Staff


Late summer nights, packed sweaty houses with basement DJs playing dub-step, red and blue lights seen peripherally from intoxicated eyes every hour or so, Campus Safety officers with white helmets popping out of nowhere on bicycles; all signs that the boys are back in town.

However, when it comes to the weekend, it is unclear which boys—law enforcement or the Keene State College students—are making the biggest impact.

Most students party when they come to college, and it is no secret that the partying is condensed during the first few weeks. The excitement of being back in a place you know and love exacerbates the antics to a higher level.

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First-year students at KSC played  the most interesting role in these antics. Almost all have recently turned 18 years old and almost all have never lived on their own.

For them, arriving at college feels like immersing themselves into movies like “Animal House,” “Van Wilder,” and “Old School.”  They’ve finally made it to the Land of Milk and Coors Light.

The police take notice.

During the first two weekends of the semester—Aug. 23-Aug. 25 and Aug. 30-Sept. 1—, according to the Keene Police Department police log, there were 21 liquor law violations.

The police log does not specify if the violators were students at KSC. However, 18 of the 21 violators listed a permanent address outside of Keene. During the two weekends prior—Aug. 9-11 and Aug. 16-18—there was only one liquor law violation, meaning there was a 2,100 percent increase when the semester began.

“Obviously when freshmen come to college they have a lot of ideas in their heads about what college is supposed to be and what parties are supposed to be like,” Jessica Ho, a junior RA in Randall Hall, said.

“They just are experimenting with everything they can get their hands on right now” Sarah Landers, a sophomore RA in Randall Hall, said.

But according to Ho and Landers, it’s all part of the gig. Freshmen are going to do what freshmen do-party. According to Ho and Landers, the college should not work on stopping freshmen and other students at KSC from having fun altogether; it should work on putting the adequate support services and information in place so student can make wise decisions while enjoying their time at KSC.

Amanda Warman, the director of Campus Safety at KSC, and Officer Katie Corbett, the college’s liaison officer, entering her fourth month in the position, have been working to do just that.

Corbett and Warman have been busy during the past few months on new initiatives which have the general goal of informing students that Campus Safety and the KPD are working with them, not against them.

The two have created a short flyer for KSC students called “Wise Students Make Good Neighbors,” which has three sections: “Safety Tips for Students,” “Reporting Crimes,” and “Alcohol Related and Other Ordinances and State Laws You Should Know.”

Corbett distributes flyers around campus and works with landlords in the area to make sure that as many off-campus students as possible get a copy of the it. “If they’re not there we just throw it in the mailbox,” Corbett said.

The two have also created a one-page document called “How To Host A Responsible Party,” which has candid tips like “FOOD is KEY” and “Do not force drinks on your guests.”

They have also put the “Party Notification Form” online. The form allows students throwing parties to notify KPD that they are doing so.

Both these forms, not the flyer, can be found under recent “Announcements” on the MyKSC homepage.

Warman and Corbett hope to end the notion that KPD and Campus Safety are out to get students and replace it with the idea that KPD and Campus Safety are out to help students.

“We are not here to be the bad guy,” Corbett said.  “Our biggest advice is to be safe and make smart choices.”

Despite the recent efforts, some students—based on experiences with KPD and Campus Safety during the first few weeks of the semester—question the authenticity of the new progressive push.

“[Last weekend, KPD and Campus Safety] were purposely going out to try to find people,” a sophomore student at KSC who wished to remain anonymous said. “In the span of 10 minutes there was roughly 15 cops, probably the same ones just going by… I didn’t find it necessary.”

However, Warman believes the KPD and Campus Safety activity will die down once the feeling of homecoming fades away.

“The police are out in force the first few weekends doing enforcement for things like underage drinking and disorderly conduct and noise violations and those types of things,” Warman said.

When the semester gets rolling, it will become clear what the relationship between KPD and Campus Safety, and the KSC students will be; the old tried and true “them vs. us” or the new “them and us.”


Dylan Morrill can be contacted at

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