Beer throwing, balcony bumping, yard hopping and hanging out on rooftops-the city of Keene only experiences this much hype and commotion once a year.
Because of this, many Keene State College students make sure to take advantage of such an exciting time and show off their Pumpkin Fest spirit.
Recent incidents at Winchester Court house parties where KSC students live have caused some concern as police intervened..
Lieutenant Steven Tenney of the Keene Police Department explained the process the KPD underwent to regulate a party of this size. “There was a large party at the end of the street on the left side that was pretty well contained just to their back yard, so we didn’t take any action with that, although it was very large and very loud, they were contained amongst their back yard and none of the neighbors were complaining,” Tenney said.
According to Tenney, a complaint was made later that day by the landlord of the house who asked the police for their assistance in breaking up the party.
“We pretty much just saturated it with police officers, we made announcements. We kind of just herded people from the owner’s property,” Tenney said.
He also added that this year, the arrest and incident report numbers were very comparable if not higher than previous years.
One of the tenants of a house on Winchester Court, KSC junior Jack Anderson, hosted one of the outdoor parties on the street. Despite the injuries resulting from glass beer bottles that were thrown, Anderson believed the party went extremely well. “I think it was absolutely perfect in every single way possible, except for the bottle throwing,” Anderson said.
As soon as the party seemed to be getting out of hand, the residents of the home said they notified the police themselves.
“We actually called them [KPD] to break everything up by the end of the afternoon,” Anderson said.
As soon as the police came into the yard, party-goers began to leave the property.
“My friend came to me and said that one of the police officers told him directly that he was thankful that we had this party because it kept drunk kids out of town,” Anderson said.
According to Anderson, the KSC men’s hockey team made a great contribution to helping clean up the mess the following morning.
Caylyn Bowser, a KSC sophomore, believed that the partying KSC students partake in is under control for the most part. However, one aspect that could be regulated more thoroughly would be the amount of fights that take place, she said.According to Bowser, many of the men on campus had gotten rowdy this past weekend and let their aggressive side get the best of them. “I’ve just seen a lot of fights. All guy fights, no girl fights,” Bowser said. Apart from the fights, Bowser argued that the Pumpkin Fest partying had not yet reached a level too extreme.
“I think it’s all in good fun. To me, it’s all in the good spirit,” Bowser said.
She continued, “I don’t think it’s too much. I think the cops intervene too soon for the day parties. What are they really going to do? It’s like two cops versus so many Keene State students.”
Two KSC alumni shared their perception of Pumpkin Fest and how similar the students act now, in comparison to when they attended KSC.
Rick and Debby Latham are both KSC alumni from outside of Concord. It didn’t take long for the married couple to look at each other and realize how familiar the partying all seemed.
“We drove past the parties on Winchester Court and it’s pretty much like when we were here. You couldn’t see the roof because there were so many people on it, and the deck looked like it was ready to collapse. It was almost the same thing,” Latham said.
According to the Latham’s, although the parties are what attracts the most attention due to all the blaring music and huge congregation of drunken students, what many don’t realize is what the college students contribute to Pumpkin Fest behind the scenes.
“I think you guys do a lot of volunteering in carving the pumpkins and doing the clean up afterwards and most people really don’t see that, but we know it happens,” Latham said.
In reflecting on his time as a KSC student, Latham agreed. From past to present KSC students, they both seem to think that the partying is inevitable and really just all in good fun as long as you avoid fights and are cautiously aware of your surroundings.
“I think it’s a great thing and I don’t think the partying has gone too far at all. People are going to party at every school. But I think a big part of it is just knowing when to walk away as student,” he said.
“You can go have fun, you can go to these parties and partake in everything else but there’s a time to walk away and you have to be able to time that. If you don’t walk away at the right time you could find yourself in trouble,” Latham said.
Sabrina Lapointe can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org