Whitney Cyr

Managing Executive



Student body president and senior Katelyn Williams has decided to step down from her position, with sophomore Kelly Welch taking her place for the rest of the semester.

As to why she resigned, Williams acknowledged there was a situation that occurred, which she didn’t want to get into.

“I don’t think that it needs to be talked about, it’s personal. College is about a time when you’re learning,” she said.kwilliamsandkwelsh

Paul Striffolino, the vice president of student affairs, said the reasoning was “a disciplinary issue” and that it played a prominent role in Williams’ resignation, but also would not get into further details about the situation.

“It’s an unexpected change. The continuity from the fall to the spring, it’s almost like starting the year over again with this situation,” he said.

“There are lots of strong leaders in student government and I think everyone wants it to work well.”

Williams said during her tenure, she was able to accomplish what she wanted to. “I had a plan for what I wanted to do and I did it. It gives someone else a shot at the leadership position,” she said.

Williams herself has been in leadership positions since her freshman year, and said she immediately fell in love with being involved.

Upon graduation, Williams plans on making a career in higher education and she will be taking this semester to focus on applying to graduate schools.

Striffolino said Williams always focused on the students during her time as president. “She had an interest in improving student life on campus.”

“She had an interest in issues that weren’t being brought forward. She initiated a revisit of campus lighting and security issues,” Striffolino added.

Striffolino said her efforts resulted in some concrete steps into improving security and lighting around campus.

“She really cares about the campus and the students,” he said.

“Some of the responsibilities involved in being the student body president are being the voice of the 5,000 students who go to Keene State College,” Williams said. Other responsibilities include going to several meetings, speaking on various subjects concerning students and the campus, going to Senate and Student Assembly, as well as co-chairing the events committee of Student Government, which puts on events like Pumpkin Lobotomy and the carnival in the Spring.

As far as the new president, Williams said everyone goes about the position in a different way.

“I think I went hardcore into it, my focus was policies. My focus was advocating for the students,” she said. “One expectation is that the new president remembers each and every student on this campus is important.”

Kelly Welch, a sophomore and the vice president before Williams stepped down, will now be rising to the position of the new student body president.

“It feels great,” Welch said about her new title. “I joined student government last year looking to get involved. I ran for vice president last year and it was a lot of fun. I’m excited and shocked because becoming president happened so fast.”

Welch said she had planned on running for president next year, but she’s looking forward to being able to start early.

Striffolino said typically the role of student body president is a junior or a senior.

“Usually a person who’s been on the campus long enough to make contacts and how to get things accomplished,” he said.

“There’s a certain level of confidence the person needs to have. Depends on the person, not necessarily the age.”

Striffolino said his role as her advisor is to help her work through some of the issues she may have.

“I’m definitely hoping to serve the students more. I want to hear what they like about the campus and also hear about what I can do to improve the campus,” Welch said.

Striffolino said Welch was interested and that it was a big step, but he’s looking forward to working with her.

“It’s stepping in, getting your feet wet,” he said. “The challenge is trying to figure out how to work with your peers. Getting your fellow students to move along with you and how to meet their needs, and the group’s needs is difficult. It’s a lot of relationship building.”

Welch said that Williams was able to show her the ropes of being the student body president and she will continue to this semester.

“Katelyn told me she’s there for me, she’s a role model, and I can talk to her if I need anything,” she said.

Being a sophomore, Welch said being the voice of the campus is nerve-wracking but also exciting.

“It’s a challenge and I will rise to the occasion and I will do whatever I can to fulfill the role.”

Williams said her time on this campus is coming to a close, but she doesn’t “regret anything,” she said.

“I don’t regret any choice I’ve made. If I could go back, I would try to help the judicial system make sense to a student’s developmental needs and learning outcome.”

“Keene State [College] will always hold a special place in my heart because it’s shown me what I love, “ Williams said.

“I don’t want the students to think I’m not doing this because I can’t do it. I’m not doing this because I did it. There comes a time when other people need a shot and show the school what they’re made of. I made my mark. I made it before my time was over.”

“I think the campus values student leadership and they’re full partners in college mechanics and getting things done,” Striffolino said.

Welch said she wants to be there for the student body and she would like to get as much done as she can. “I’m really looking forward to this semester.”


Whitney Cyr can be contacted at wcyr@keene-equinox.com

Share and Enjoy !