Students question Keene State College’s decision to put on a required orientation program in order for upperclassmen to live off campus.
In order for upperclassmen to live off campus next year, they are required to attend a 75-minute Off-Campus Orientation program this upcoming spring. The program is being put on by KSC’s Residential Life.
Allison Riley, coordinator of Student and Community Relations, said the orientation program will be split into four sections: tenant and landlord responsibilities, information about city codes, law and city ordinance and the student conduct system.
Riley also said the presentation will include video interviews with students who currently live off campus to show their perspectives on off-campus living.
“I’m hopeful that students will react positively. I’m sure there will be a range of feelings about it. I think it is likely that some students feel like they don’t have to have the information, that they have the tools they need to live off campus,” Riley said.
Riley also added, “I’m sure, like anything else, there will be students that come and participate in the program maybe unwillingly, but again in that case I’m hoping that those folks, even if they come in the door unwillingly, will leave with useful information. Our planning team is working really hard to make sure that hour or so is really useful to people.”
Riley said that the team has not yet come up with a punishment for students who do not attend the required meeting.
KSC sophomore Rachel Anthony said she is planning to live off campus next year. Anthony said the program should not be required. “I think by the age that you’re living off campus it’s kind of up to you to have your own responsibilities and deal with your own house owner and deal with your own problems at that point,” Anthony said.
Another sophomore living off campus next year, Julia Hahne, said “I don’t think the program is a bad idea.” She also said, “I don’t think it’s necessary to have the program mandatory. It’s kind of when we’re at that time in our lives we should know what to do anyway. So, it’s kind of if we want to go we can and it will benefit us, but for the people who don’t go then it’s kind of only hurting themselves.”
Both students, Anthony and Hahne, said that the required program is being put on due to the events that occurred in the college neighborhoods on Pumpkin Fest.
Riley said to a degree Pumpkin Fest made this program mandatory. Riley added, “The incidents that happened around the Pumpkin Festival brought to light even more, so for us, we want to be sure that students are educated about all of the things related to their off-campus experience. It contributed to a degree, but I think we were heading in that direction anyways.”
Landlord of Keene Cribs Trevor Grauer commented on the program and said he thought it was a great idea. He said this is the first time many students are living on their own, and the more information they receive the more prepared they will be for the off-campus experience.
Grauer said that even though dorm living is a sense of freedom, it’s no where near what students will experience living off campus since there is no one looking over their shoulders.
Property Manager of Arcadia Apartments Jeff Goller also said he fully supports the initiative and that students should be educated of details prior to living off campus.
There are four classes being held this spring: March 10 at 6:30 p.m., March 22 at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and April 8 at 6:30 p.m. All classes will be held in the Mabel Brown Room.
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