Street signs ripped from the ground, glass shattered on the street, fires burning and community members bleeding from the riots of the 2014 Pumpkin Fest weekend.
This horrific scene, which cursed Winchester Court, Blake Street and other areas in the city of Keene, were a gross misrepresentation of the true nature of Keene State College students.
The KSC motto “enter to learn, go forth to serve” exemplifies the spirit of the students seeking a Keene State College diploma.
We are a community comprised of many high-achievers venturing to improve the world and ourselves.
Kathleen Langlands, a senior double majoring in nursing and biology at the college described her initial views for KSC and the love she now harbors for the school and community.
“I was only going to be here for a semester, I wanted nothing to do with it here,” Langlands said. After she became a part of the college community Langlands said she discovered the true nature of KSC.
“I got here and fell in love with the people and the campus,” Langlands said.
Following the riots, the students at Keene State College are looking to enlighten the country with the true identity of a KSC Owl. Students expressed that despite the stereotypes, the college is a place to develop into a successful citizen.
Sophomore at KSC Andrea Morganelli said the stereotype of ‘Kinda Sorta College’ might be amusing, but is a misrepresentation of the ambitious KSC student.
“Everyone is here to better themselves. You go to college to get a degree; you don’t come here to start riots or destroy things,” Morganelli said.
Unfortunately, people promoting a distorted image of our students’ intelligence are over-looking the honest work and love for our community shared by KSC students.
Quotes like, “Keene State: where if you can count to 10, you’ll get accepted,” were sited on the Twitter page called Smack College. This post and others describe the events of the Pumpkin Fest riots as KSC students wreaking havoc for entertainment.
According to social media, some college students from other universities are proud of the destruction caused.
University of New Hampshire students’ social media was cited bragging about the atrocities that occurred in our home. Statements included, “We basically hit it and quit it this weekend at Keene.”
“We go to Keene to party and [obscenity] up their campus then come home #we.used.keene.”
Students from other colleges commented on the destruction they orchestrated in our home, “Love how my entire campus goes to Keene gets [obscenity] up beyond belief then comes back to our nice and clean campus. #FrankieP.”
Though we have been labeled as unintelligent rioters, the label does not apply to our students, just as the social media from other universities should not define the intentions of their entire community.
Regardless of the immature and destructive attitudes of some outside students, the spirit of Keene State College was not trashed by this event. We have already come together to clean the community we love.
Unfortunately, aided by the trash talk online, some KSC students are now ashamed to be associated with the school. As seen on the New York Daily News website, students are embarrassed to be Keene State College students.
One student, Eliza Quill, tweeted and said, “I’m ashamed to be a Keene State College student this morning.”
On the Twitter page entitled “Smack College,” an anonymous KSC student said, “As a Keene State Student, I am sad. I am embarrassed and I am disheartened to call myself an Owl. I love my school but so many destroyed it.”
As members of the Keene community, we should not be ashamed of ourselves.
The majority of students take great pride in the beautiful New England campus nestled beneath the hills of Mount Monadnock.
Langlands said she believes KSC students should ignore the misguided accusations and display pride as a Keene State College student.
“I know what we truly are, and that’s what matters to me — that I know where I’m going to school and I don’t care what other people think about it. I am so proud of being an Owl,” Langlands said.
We should not be ashamed of occurrences that we took no part in.
The effort seen to repair the hurt experienced during this weekend’s events are the true determinants of a KSC student’s nature.
Many Keene State College students long to show the community and country that they are not defined by flawed representations strangers place on the entire student body. We must eliminate the distorted view of the Keene State College community as a whole.
We have been labeled and scorned by strangers. Lets show them the true passion of a Keene State College Owl.
We must demand the recognition of #KeeneStudentsCare, the hashtag that will show the true vitality of KSC students and their determination to repair a hurt community.
Anna Glassman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org