Lindsey Arceci

Opinions Editor


emily fedorko / photo editor Around 30 students gathered in front of the Mabel Brown Room to demand support for diversity from KSC on March 29, 2013.

When students made their silenced voices heard two weeks ago at a silent protest, they expressed many concerns about acceptance and bullying on campus. This concern can only be answered when the Keene State College community collectively changes its views to become one of complete equality. The other big concern, which is not the responsibility of the student body or community to fix but one for administration, was broached when students asked, “Why was my diversity scholarship cut?”

Yet these scholarships were not exactly “cut” as many students thought, according to Karen House, the vice president of finance and planning at KSC. She said budget for the Office of Multiculturalism and Diversity comes from the revenue of the college, which is a combination of tuition and other things. It is essentially just part of the operating budget.

“It was something that didn’t exist and then there was a proposal to create the office, and that proposal was approved by the college’s planning process,” House said. “And because [the office] was in a start-up mode, it didn’t get cut when we had the cuts [the 45 percent state funding cut].”  The office was something that was deemed to be important and therefore the institutional and financial support was there, House said.

“We’ve increased [its budget] because, as you can see, it was a new office,” House added.

In regards to the concerns students had with budget cuts or not being fully supported by the school financially, House said she is not sure where the students heard this information.

“I’m not sure what’s going on really. They didn’t come to me and get the information,” House said. “We understand that it is very important to provide as much financial support as we can.”

When it comes to the term “financial aid,” that doesn’t mean there is one place that aid comes from or one type of aid students receive.

According to House, the majority of financial aid from the school comes from the KSC E and G [Educational and General] Fund. She said the primary contributors to the E and G Fund come from tuition revenues and state operating appropriation. This fund does not include federal PELL grants, state grants or state scholarships.

“When they [the state] cut the state appropriation support to the college’s budget, they also cut out state scholarships,” House said. “So it used to exist and then it didn’t, but that was two years ago. So the 45 percent cut would not have had an effect on students who received school-funded diversity scholarships.”

But it looks like the “diversity scholarships” the students were referencing were not a state scholarship, but in fact a KSC scholarship. Staff from the financial aid office at KSC refused to comment on the subject unless questions were provided prior to an interview via an e-mail. This was not permitted since it goes against The Equinox’s policy.

According to the financial aid website on the KSC webpage, the only scholarship that includes anything about diversity is the Leadership Award. In the description online, it states that in order for a student to be eligible to receive this scholarship or have it renewed to them, the student must “demonstrate commitment to the school and/or community organizations that promote understanding of diversity, tolerance, and difference, or active participation in improving civility within school or community.” The award amount is $8,000 that will be awarded in increments of $2,000 annually to full-time students only.

For a student recipient to continue to receive this scholarship, the student must continue to be a full-time enrolled student, and maintain an average GPA of 2.5, according to the guidelines specifically under the Leadership Award. But under the subject of “general criteria and guidelines” on the online financial aid section, it states that a student’s scholarship may be forfeited if a student withdraws from KSC or takes a leave of absence. So unless all 30 plus students who were protesting took a leave of absence or had a drop in their GPA, there is no accountability to date to explain why these students’ scholarships were “cut.”

All the students at the rally who said they had a “diversity scholarship” must have had a minimum SAT score of 1400 [critical reading, math, and writing] or a minimum composite ACT score of 21-23 [writing test required], and a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher to have obtained the Leadership Award from KSC.


Students can visit the scholarship and grant page online at


Lindsey Arceci can be contacted at



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