As the clock struck 8 p.m., students lined in front of the stage on the student center lawn, eager to receive a shower of paint. Whether they were by themselves or in a group, everyone was dancing to the music at PaintU, an outdoor dance party that featured a DJ and washable paint that sprayed the crowd of students who attended. Among the arsenal of paint-launching weapons were squirt guns, super soakers and large buckets of paint.

Vice President of Student Activities Council (SAC) Justin Mahan said this was the first time ever that SAC has hosted PaintU, and its members expressed not only their enthusiasm, but also their precautions leading up to the event.

“We have all of the speakers covered because of the paint itself and a matter of making sure everyone is in the right place and the right time to make sure everything was good to go,” Mahan said.

Colton McCracken / Equinox Staff

Colton McCracken / Equinox Staff

The DJs sprayed the crowd multiple times throughout the evening and showed no signs of slowing down. The quantity of each shower seemed to increase with each spray. However, it was not just coming from the stage, but also from around the group of students. SAC members who were armed with paint-filled squirt guns snuck behind and soaked the unknowing individuals in the crowd.

In an attempt to boost attendance of the number of students at PaintU, SAC not only had posters and online reminders of the outdoor dance party, but also a trailer. The video was posted on the student organization Facebook page and offered a visual representation of what Keene State students should expect.

Mary D’Orvilliers is a sophomore at KSC and said, “I think the posters were a good way to publicize the event and also the trailer was a good visual aid to help students know what they were getting into,” she said. To make their event stand out from other PaintU occurrences at other colleges, SAC held its event outside. The heavy advertising campaign paid off, as many students were drawn to the student center. Over the course of the night students walking by stopped to observe people get soaked at PaintU.

Clear skies and mild weather helped draw in approximately 50 students to the event. Individuals conveyed their happiness about the event, and many left in good spirits once PaintU had concluded. When asked if she would attend another event, Keene State sophomore Courtney Heck said that she would definitely attend another one if it was put on in the future.

Although this was a new style of activity for SAC, this is not the first paint-related festivity that Keene State has seen. The college is also host to the annual Holi: Festival of Colors sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Support and by Common Ground. With that in mind, SAC members said they wanted to make PaintU stand out from the Festival of Colors event.

With the noted success, SAC members said they plan to continue the event next school year, and perhaps make it last longer. Usually the student organization is known for bringing in magicians, comedians and hypnotists to the college, but Keene State senior Connor Turmelle illustrated that PaintU could “open doors for events that pertain to different interests.”

With that in mind, it looks like SAC will not have to make many changes to PaintU.

Colton McCracken can be contacted at

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