October at Keene State College brings with it a number of fall-related campus activities and events for students to participate in.

It can also draw non-KSC students to visiting their friends on campus and staying as guests in the residence halls.

This year, a no-guest policy was put into place for on-campus students for the last three weekends in October.

Vice President for Student Affairs Kemal Atkins said that while the policy is not new in terms of not allowing guests for a specific time, it is new in the sense that it is being enforced for these particular weekends.

“While we typically throughout the course allow guests in our residence halls, the activities and events for October are focused more on students in our community,” Atkins said. “[It’s] a way for us to reinforce our expectations for students across campus [during] certain times of the year where behavior’s a little bit more unpredictable.”

Atkins continued, “I think without saying a number of people understand how we’re moving forward with regards to October this year.”

Students had mixed reactions regarding this policy.

Sophomore Cecelee Young said that while there are many who are unhappy about the policy, something needed to be done.

“I know a lot of people don’t like it, but I think that it was necessary this year because of the events of last year,” Young said. “We are Keene State as a whole, and we represent one another as peers. I think that the actions of our peers do represent every single individual and we do have to have consequences to what we participated in as a school.”

Additionally, sophomore Jon Savina said that there might be a better way to handle the problem, yet he understands why the policy is in place.

“When my friends came up last year, we weren’t involved in the rioting at all. In fact, we helped clean up the night of. But, it’s understandable,” Savina said.

On the other hand, first-year students who were not members of the KSC community during this time last year had opinions on the policy.

First-year student Callie Grotton said that she finds some things about the policy unfair.

“I think something is definitely necessary, but I feel like the people who are incoming freshman, it’s not really fair to us because we’re starting off not with a clean slate,” Grotton said.

In addition, first-year student Connor Haller said that the policy is understandable, but also unfair.

“We didn’t really have anything to do with it…Maybe they could [implement it] more for the upperclassman dorms and not for the freshman dorms,” Haller said.

Atkins said that there was a no-guest policy enacted for residence halls during the time of the Super Bowl last year, and that this is not a new idea.

“Every year is different, and as we look at information [from] previous years…if we feel with all that information and all that input that we need to put certain policies or practices for a period of time we’ll do that,” Atkins said.

Senior Natasha Young said that she is supportive of the policy.

“It’s in place for a reason, and I think that Keene State felt that they had to take some sort of action in response for the events that took place last year,” Natasha said. “I think students are upset about it…but at the end of the day they understand that Keene State did what they had to do and did what was necessary to take some sort of preventative measures to make sure what happened last year doesn’t happen again.”

Aside from support from the student community, Atkins said that he believes that the larger community of the city of Keene supports this among other measures KSC has taken.

“We’ve gotten a lot of support from the city and residents about a number of the measures the college has taken with our students, not against our students but with our students, to assure that we have the best possible environment,” Atkins said.

Atkins continued, “It’s a part of our larger efforts as a college to provide a supportive and safe environment…There are times where activities and events should essentially be with the family and we think of ourselves as a family here at Keene State.”

Devon can be contacted at droberts@kscequinox.com

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