I hope your semester is off to a great start. Here we are already, with the recent arrival of fall, and an enjoyable season full of community activities coming shortly.

Pumpkin Lobotomy is one example of our campus community turning out to share this magical season together, and I look forward to seeing you there.

The Keene Pumpkin Festival is also this month. Pumpkin Festival is a long-standing tradition in the greater community of Keene, and a prime opportunity to positively represent our college to the many families and individuals who call Keene their home now and over the long-term.

Being fortunate enough to attend a college that is so closely connected to a city has both its rewards and responsibilities. The residents here welcome you and have a true appreciation for your community service work, your studies, and your enthusiasm and passions.

The city offers so much to you – shops, restaurants, close interactions with neighbors, employment opportunities – things that should not be taken for granted any time of the year.

Be assured, that while you are here, you are a resident of Keene, just like everyone else who lives in Keene.

I am taking this opportunity to personally urge you to remember your role as a resident of Keene during the days leading up to Pumpkin Festival, and during the Festival itself.

It is critical that you act as responsible citizens – represent our college positively, by showing the families here that you respect our community that is also their home.

This same expectation applies to anyone who visits you from out of town for this event.

Though your visitors may leave after the Festival is over, the impressions they make, whether positive or negative, do not. And they reflect on you and your future alma mater.

The Keene Police Department will be taking a much tougher approach to parties that are out of control during Pumpkin Festival this year, in order to keep safe those who are present.

But you have the first line of responsibility – to be respectful and contact an officer if a party is getting out of hand.

I am also pleased to announce that, through our Department of Student and Community Relations, we have extended our partnership with the City of Keene to provide education and assistance to students who live off-campus.

We hope it will help you to plan and prepare for an enjoyable weekend.

In addition, please remember that our Student Code of Conduct expects “all students and organizations to maintain a high standard of conduct both on and off campus”, so the College may also assert its jurisdiction to address behaviors by students who “may adversely affect the College community and/or its mission.”

You, meaning each and every student, must look out for one another—that is what we do at Keene State College.

I wish you an enjoyable, responsible, and safe Pumpkin Festival.

I personally look forward to hearing positive feedback from our Keene neighbors after this year’s Festival.

Please remember to Pumpkin Responsibly: Respect the Record, yourselves, the community, and Keene State College! Continued best wishes for a successful semester.


Kemal Atkins

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