Students not so ‘Keene’ on February 14

Keene State College has a never ending love-hate relationship with Cupid 

Julie Conlon 

Student Life Editor 


Morgan Markley

Senior Reporter


Valentine’s Day: A day of love, but for many, a day of dread. A day to be spent with your special someone, or a day spent with a bottle of Jack. Valentine’s Day carries the  reputation of being full of love and happiness, but it seems most Keene State College students aren’t really that ‘Keene’ on the holiday—in fact, some laugh at the thought of February the fourteenth even being noted as a “holiday.”


Liz Clark, the supervisor of mail services on campus, said that KSC students seem to be happy when at the mailroom, “They tend to be excited here because they are always getting cards and packages from us.”

Clark added that the mailroom is not slow during Valentine’s Day, “We actually have a Valentine’s week here. We get packages throughout the week, not sure the exact count, but anywhere from two to three hundred a day. And then we’ll get fresh flowers even.”

Clark said that this is their busiest time of the year because, “We’re not open during Christmas time, and that’s another big package day.” Clark said she thinks Valentine’s Day is special because of its tradition.

Krystal Bunnell, a sophomore, said she doesn’t consider Valentine’s Day  a holiday.

“I think it’s pretty stupid, but I have a boyfriend. I mean the flowers are nice, but he goes to a different school so it doesn’t really mean anything to me. I actually forgot it was Valentine’s Day,” Bunnell said.

Bunnell added she doesn’t think Valentine’s Day plays a large role on campus, “I think people talk about it a lot, but I don’t think people really care.”

Keith Simpson, a freshman at KSC, said, “I don’t really have a preference on it [Valentine’s Day]. I could care less. Even if I had a girlfriend I wouldn’t even want to celebrate it that much so sorry for the girls that are looking for a guy that wants to celebrate it. It’s just kind of a stupid holiday I think, I wouldn’t even consider it a holiday actually.”

Simpson said that he used Twitter to find out what people’s feelings are towards the fourteenth. “There’s mixed emotions on Twitter right now and that’s what I’m going by, people I follow on Twitter,” he said.

Simpson added he considered Valentine’s Day more of a “girl” holiday.

“I would say girls like it [Valentine’s Day] more cause it’s an excuse for guys to be extra cute towards them, so they like the attention I guess is what I’m trying to say.”

Some on the KSC campus thought along the same line as Simpson and went as far as to host an “Anti-Valentine’s Day” event. On Wednesday, the day before the holiday, in the Night Owl Café, the KSC Feminist Collective hosted a full crowd for an evening of live entertainment.

Guests decorated mugs and enjoyed musical performances and fresh fruit while listening to acts from peers such as real-life couple duo Courtney Thorpe and Brian Casey, and poet Shane Merritt.

Junior Krista Sullivan, KSC Feminist Collective president, said she and her group were not against love; rather, “We provide a spectrum of love differences, different relationship styles, just kind of to create an alternative vibe at Keene State [College].”

Sullivan said she thinks Valentine’s Day gets a “bad rep” because of how commercialized it has become.

“It really makes you feel bad if you don’t have someone to love, which is totally ridiculous because there are a lot of people that should just say I love you everyday.”

She continued, “This is kind of an alternative event to honor that and give everybody a chance to celebrate. We’re anti-Valentine’s Day, not anti-love!”

On the theme of spreading the love, Brandon Roy, a junior member of Active Minds, took it upon  himself to give out free hugs in the Young Student Center.

Roy said, “Originally we had paper hearts with chocolates that we were handing out to people and then those kind of went really quickly. People took really kindly to them. I was surprised. Spread the love you know? That’s what we’re trying to do.”  He added, “Then we have a free hugs sign and we’ve been going around and giving people free hugs because if you can’t spread love one way spread love another way.”

Roy said he likes Valentine’s Day, “I think Valentine’s Day is a very fun day. Like even if you’re single it’s still a fun day, because everyone can get together and have a good time, get a few laughs in, free hugs.”

Roy also said the campus seemed to be in the Valentine’s Day spirit.

“There’s a couple people who seem relatively solemn and buried into their phones. Other people, however, are very receptive, but the majority of the population is very happy I would have to say.”

Sophomore Laura Heavey, vice-president of the Fair Trade Club, said that the club helped people get in the spirit by selling flowers, “Well basically we ordered eight dozen flowers from Ecuador and since it’s fair trade they were treated with organic materials and the farmers who produced them were treated fairly.

They got paid the right amount of money and then they were shipped to us and we sold them for 2 dollars for one and 3 dollars for five.  And we sold them all, which is great.”

Heavey said that she’s never had any dislike for the holiday, “I’ve never hated the holiday. I know a lot of people hate it since they don’t have boyfriends but I just like seeing couples you know celebrate their love with each other. I’ve never been one of those jealous types so I just like seeing the love.”

Heavey shared what she thinks Valentine’s Day is about, “I think it’s just a day to recognize each other and just to appreciate it because I know every day you go through troubles and school work and everything, you don’t really have time to just sit there and appreciate each other so I think it’s just a day to take a break from the world and hangout.”

Heavey said her favorite part of Valentine’s Day is, “Seeing couples walking around holding hands. One boy even just came over and bought a flower for his girlfriend and walked away and gave a her kiss on the cheek, and it was just adorable.”

“Mostly guys bought flowers and they were scared they were going to buy the wrong ones for them and it is just the nervous happiness that I really like to see.”

Whether this past Valentine’s Day was a day of roses and chocolates or just another Thursday, students’ wallets and single ladies’ hearts can rest knowing this “holiday” won’t happen again for another year. Until then, St. Valentine.


Julie Conlon can be contacted at


Morgan Markley can 

be contacted at 

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