Multiple perspectives on college name


Many students frequently hear someone say, “Oh, that school [Keene State College] is a party school,” or some variation of that phrase. In recent years, KSC and it’s student population have run into some partying instances where the actions of some have not benefitted the college’s image.

“We are considered a party school I’d say, because I think the students focus on having big parties and having as many people as they can,” Molly Alderman, a KSC senior, said.

Every year, the city of Keene holds the annual Pumpkin Fest. This weekend-long event full of festivities brings in visitors from all over the surrounding areas. This weekend is also notorious for KSC students causing a ruckus. KSC and the city of Keene hire extra police forces to patrol the areas around the college and downtown.  During the 2012 Pumpkin Fest, police had to go to drastic measures to control a large party off the KSC campus.

Photo Illustration by Leah Mulroney / Equinox Staff

Photo Illustration by Leah Mulroney / Equinox Staff

Police used pepper spray to control the crowd of students and their visitors. This year, the police did not need to break out the pepper spray, but they did have to break up another large, out-of-control party. Once party-goers began throwing objects and getting out of hand, it was time for them to step in.

The most recent incident that occurred at KSC that caused a scene and drew criticism were the celebrations of the Red Sox World Series win. In order to keep students safe and contained with their celebrations, KSC offered students free ice-cream on the student center lawn. However, this plan did not quite work the way it was intended to.

According to a police report from KPD, there were approximately 1,000 students rioting after the win. Students flipped over a fellow student’s car. Some KSC students had mixed feelings about whether or not the school did a good job at handling the situation.

“I think it was kind of stupid. I think the school tried to contain it by having the ice- cream thing and that just backfired completely because they got everyone together in one place, and they [students] just went ballistic after that,” Alderman said.

However, KSC students Caitlin Smith and Tristan Benedict said the school handled the incident in the best manner possible.

Students seem to agree that KSC has a bit of a reputation as a party school, “Especially for big events like Pumpkin Fest,” Alderman said.

Ivy Stafford, a sophomore, said she also thinks the school has a party reputation, especially from the outside.

“I think that it can definitely  seem like it’s a big party school but when you’re actually here [KSC], it’s not all parties all the time.”

Stafford said she thinks this because students walk around with ‘Keg Stand College’ shirts on.

Both Stafford and Alderman said they heard the school had a party reputation before coming to KSC and they both say that is has not affected them so far. Alderman said she thinks the school’s reputation could impact incoming students.

“I think it depends on the person. I mean, if they’re into parties and drinking, then they are going to come to Keene because they hear it’s a party school. I mean, if you’re not into that then I think that you wouldn’t really consider going to Keene, I guess,” Alderman said.

Some school officials seem to have a different perspective on the party reputation.

Liz Cahoon, the associate director of admissions said she has never been told that the school has that reputation.

Associate Director of Academic and Career Advising, Kelly Graham, said that from her perspective, the school does not have a party reputation. Graham said she believes that employers look at what the students have done academically and during their free time.

“I do believe what an employer is looking for is what a student has done during their time here at Keene State College. I think those have the largest influence on employers view of students and Keene State College and the skills that they have developed here,” Graham said.


Shannon Flynn  can be contacted at


Share and Enjoy !