Pumpkin Fest has come and gone, but the large cash prize that was awarded to the city of Keene after trumping Highwood, Ill. this past October still needs to be allocated by city officials. The prize, a total of $29,831, the same amount as the number of pumpkins displayed during Pumpkin Fest, should be distributed to those services that most need funding.
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From homeless shelters such as Hundred Nights that are suffering from the 2011 state budget cuts to our very own Keene State College campus, another institution struggling to find new avenues of revenue, it is clear that the need for funding is a pressing concern for many organizations in the Keene community.
Although the relationship between Keene State College and the larger city of Keene have gone through some rocky and unstable times—with each party having its own interests in mind—the college irrefutably makes up a large portion of the town’s revenue and population during the school year.
Indeed, the very size of the KSC community poses a concern to those who call Keene home yearlong, for more than four years and is a key factor in why the relationship between the college and the town can sometimes be fraught with tension.
As with any community negotiating around a continually changing and growing subpopulation, the city of Keene is forced to accommodate the needs of a students who oftentimes do not pay taxes into the community nor stay for longer than the time it takes them to complete their education.
However, The Equinox believes it is precisely because of this large and ever-growing size of the college community that the city of Keene should allocate part of the monetary prize to Keene State College in a way that is beneficial to the college, students and the town.
A scholarship for a local Keene High School graduate who decides to go to KSC would be an ideal way to mesh the needs and wants of oftentimes divergent interest groups into one feasible and sustainable solution. By helping fund a local student’s secondary education, the city of Keene will show its commitment to both education and giving back to the community.