At this time just 54 years ago, Keene State College students were already registering for their spring semester classes. Although it seems like we just moved back into our residence halls, apartments or houses, that time of the year is coming up quicker than we may realize, and now, although many may disagree, the process is almost painless.

In 1963, the online registration we use, also known as Student Planning or Self-Service, was non-existent. KSC student Tom Clow wrote a Letter to the Editor in the Sept. 19, 1963 edition of The Monadnock, the former version of The Equinox, explaining his frustration with the older system:

“Last Wednesday, registration was its usual drawn-out, tiring, but quite necessary self. The worst, however, was not the long wait in line, but the disappointment at the end of the line.

Dozens of students were turned away from courses that they wanted and in many cases, needed, because of the drastic shortage in teaching personnel at KSC.

Required courses were packed to their brim, with lines still waiting to get in. A good many students finished registration with a completely different schedule of courses than they had set out for.

We have been given a new name, a couple of new buildings, and a few new professors, but this is only a start. We need MORE professors– enough so that there are no longer students left waiting to get into courses that are already overcrowded.”

As Cox stated, registration required a wait in line, which may seem hard to imagine with the amount of students currently on our campus, but he also mentioned how the school was struggling with having enough professors available to run necessary courses. During a transition, where the school was changing its name, adding buildings and attempting to build up their faculty and staff, students clearly had some growing concerns.

In a more positive light, 1963 was the first year upperclassmen began helping first-year students get accustomed to the campus. As stated in The Monadnock, “Leading upperclassmen, instead of staying of staying home, or watching from the sidelines, got right in there and helped the newcomers find their way around.”

Helping first-year students find their rooms, sharing schedule suggestions and providing a welcoming and helping hand were all tasks upperclassmen took on during the first few days of what they called “freshman orientation.” Sixteen students participated in question sessions with the first-year students as well.

It seems that in more recent years, Keene State has kept the idea of having upperclassmen welcome first-years to campus, but now the college actually hires students, or orientation leaders, to do just that during both June and August during first-year student orientation.

In terms of construction and renovations, KSC was in the midst of building a married couples’ dorm, which contained 24 single bedroom apartments and eight double bedroom apartments. Single bedroom apartments could be rented out for $75 and a double for $85.

Highlights of the dorm included garbage disposals, telephone wiring and cable television. Additionally, coin operated washing machines were included as well.

Over the years, KSC changes in drastic ways; seeing how far we’ve come as a college, as well as seeing where we can improve is not only important to remember and document, but important to reflect upon as well.

Jessica Ricard can be contacted at

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