On Saturday, Dec. 8, the Zorn Dining Commons got into the magical holiday spirit with white and red balloons, decorations and smiles from guests during the annual Red and White Night.
The Red and White Night is a yearly event where Keene State College seniors and their guests can have a relaxed night full of dancing and enjoy each other’s company. The event is put on by the Student Government Class of 2013.
Kassie Tenney, the senior class secretary, was in charge of planning the event. Tenney said, “It’s really just trying to figure out how to best make the senior class really want to attend the event and how to best make all of them really excited about it.”
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At the event appetizers including buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks were available as well as a prom-style photo booth for the seniors to document their memories.
DJ Testa played songs such as “Shake That,” “One More Night,” and “Yeah!” to get the crowd dancing and singing along.
Tenney said that part of planning the event was getting a DJ everyone liked. She said, “DJ Testa is amazing. We’re really excited about getting him to come.”
Ali Hammell, senior class president, said that this year they changed the date of the event.
“We also planned it for December. Normally it’s in the spring semester. We have a handful of students who are winter grad[uates], so we really want to make sure that we can incorporate them into at least an event or two, just to get them involved before graduating.”
Tenney also said another reason for the event being in the winter was, “I know a lot of people spring semester do student teaching and other really intensive internships so you want to make sure that there’s senior stuff in the winter.”
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Senior Lindsay Sookram is one of those students who will be student teaching in the spring.
She said she was really looking forward to the event.
She said she was “just enjoying the time, hanging out with friends before the break, and I’m student teaching next semester. It’ll be a nice way to live out the next few days this semester.”
Sookram said she thinks having the event in the winter is a good idea, “Oh, definitely because at the end of the spring semester people might be leaving already, right now everybody’s still around.” Senior Thomas Paquette said that he attended the event because, “a bunch of my senior friends, who I’ve been friends with for four years told me about it and I figured why not come and enjoy a night with my friends?” Paquette said he likes having the event in the DC because, “It’s also cool to see the DC in a different format.”
Sookram added she thinks seniors are attending the event “just to get away from finals and socialize with everyone that we’ve been with for the past three years, and we haven’t had any type of school dance since high school, so it’s kind of like our college school dance.”
While providing a fun night to hang out with friends, safety is also important. Campus Safety Officer Becky Tedford said this was her first year working at the Red and White Night and did not expect any trouble. She said, “It [the event] gives them a chance to all get together before they graduate, and I’d rather have them being crazy here where we can make sure they’re all right, than out at some party.” Hammell said to make the event safer when a senior brings a guest who is a non-KSC student they must have a guest pass, “Just in case something happens we just want to cover all our bases—make sure everyone’s accounted for if anything ever happens.”
Hammell said the Red and White Night is a tradition, “It’s [the event] been here since we’ve been here, for at least four years.” She also said, “We’re seniors. It’s time to have fun, be able to just safely drink and socialize with your peers—it’s our last year, most of us are 21 in our class.” Hammell and Tenney both agreed one reason why the senior class is able to afford to put in the event every year is the senior class lottery. Hammell said, “We tried to change up a lot of things this year, including senior class lottery, so that we can get more people involved.”
Hammell said the senior class lottery is “a huge raffle that is put on every year where we send out about 5,000 letters. We send them out to parents, asking them if they’d like to donate money to the senior class but by donating money they put in money for tickets, and those tickets get entered into a raffle so that they can win prizes such as about $4,500. We benefit a lot from the raffle.” This lottery allows the seniors and their guests to attend the event for free and receive free pint-sized glasses and free appetizers.
Tenney said that in order to keep the Red and White Night tradition going, “What they [student government] started last year was having the other class officers helping out with the running of the dance so they can see how everything works, what didn’t work so that way when they become a senior they have a little bit more knowledge about how the events are run and the information we have we pass down to the next class so that way it’s a little bit easier for them to start these events and coordinate them.”
Sookram said, “It’s a great way to end the semester and kick start the next half of the year.”
Morgan Markley can be contacted at