First-year orientation had some major changes made to it this year.

Prior to these changes, orientation consisted of a number of events taking place immediately upon moving in at the end of August.

Students this year got the chance to come to campus in June to get acclimated and avoid the usual high stress of move-in and the days that follow.

Danielle Scadova and Lynsey Beatrice, orientation coordinators, said they worked hard on the June program in hopes of making the new students comfortable with Keene State College.

“The way the June program looked is that we had four different sessions that they could choose from, and each session was two days and one night. They came with parents, and would spend the night on campus,” Scadova said.

“We felt as though there was a pretty big gap between the time when students would turn in

Contributed Photo / Will Wrobel

Contributed Photo / Will Wrobel

their deposit, which could be in April or May, and when they came to Campus for orientation in August, and we wanted to start building that community and campus connection with them early on so when they came in August they already felt that they belonged, felt comfortable and knew some familiar faces,” Beatrice said.

Kelsey Perrault, orientation leader, said the addition of the June program was helpful to new students.

“We’re being more proactive by having them come here and getting to know the campus before, instead of just throwing them into the environment right away. I was nervous to be here in August when I was a first-year because I had to meet all these people and go to all these events and I knew nothing about the campus,” Perrault said.

The introduction of the June program helped with what is known as the ‘Summer melt’ according to Alicia Berry, orientation leader.

“In previous years, there’s a melt of students who think ‘I’ll go to Keene’ then think ‘oh wait nevermind’, and that’s usually around nine percent and by the time we got to August it was just at four percent, so I think that that shows a real sign that they connected with campus and that they personally enjoyed what they did in June,” Berry said.

First-year student Madolyn Chavez said she benefitted from the program.

“It definitely made me a lot less nervous for the first couple of days of school, and I met a lot of people that I probably wouldn’t have said hi to otherwise. I liked how we got to spend the night and see what it was like to live with a roommate. We also got to eat the food and feel like a real student,” Chavez said. “I would have felt really lost if we didn’t do it.”

Additionally, first-year student Alexandra Esandrio also  said she enjoyed the experience.

“I definitely met a lot of people who it was nice to hangout with, because it is kind of terrifying coming in not knowing anyone,” Esandrio said.

Another new addition to this year’s orientation was Community Service Day, where students

Contributed photo / will wrobel

Contributed photo / will wrobel

participated in a number of projects, such as packaging meals for those undergoing crisis and a roadside cleanup, to help benefit the community.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction. Getting recognized by the community is something that we wanted to emphasize on that day, so really that day was all about branching outside the campus and learning about the community relationship,” Scadova said.

“I think that community service is a big part of going to Keene State, getting involved, so having the first-years start right off the bat with community service day, I think that sets a great tone for their next four years,” Berry said.

One of the goals of community service day was to help repair the negative reputation KSC has with some members of the surrounding community.

“I know of one group where someone actually stopped and thanked them for the work that they were doing, and the work Keene State has been doing,” Scadova said.

“I think that something that should be known is that on the first night there were zero conduct violations. Nothing (harmful) happened the first night, so that hasn’t happened in six years,” Berry said.

“I don’t know if that’s on the specific students that came here this year or if the orientation leaders set a good tone of ‘Hey don’t do anything stupid’, so I think that those numbers reflect, hopefully, the attitudes of the incoming first-years,” Berry said.

Devon can be contacted at

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