Rachel Vitello

Equinox Staff

On Monday October, 22 the College City Commission held their meeting in the Young Student Center at Keene State College.

According to the City of Keene’s website, this commission serves to facilitate effective collaboration between the City and the College on issues of mutual concern.

Their meeting this week had conversations that ranged from the future renovation of Elliot Hall, to how to attract more students to stay in Keene after graduation.

The meeting began with amending minutes from their last meeting held on August 27. One of the first issues discussed was current Co-Chair of the commission and City Counselor, Bart Sapeta, will be stepping down from his position as Co-Chair. Director of External Relations Steve Fortier will be taking over this role officially on January 1.

“I’ve been on for four years, two years as chair. I’ve loved every minute of it, but it’s time to move on,” Sapeta said.

The 2018-2021 Strategic Plan for KSC was also discussed, as it relates to both College and City issues. According to Interim President Melinda Treadwell, “The commission would review and inform the Keene State College 2018-2021 Bridge Strategic Plan and our capital plan.”

One of the aspects of the plan the commission will be involved with is the renovation of Elliot Hall.

Treadwell said, “Elliot Hall shares a Main Street opportunity for us. What is the aesthetic of upper Main Street, and how might we create more of a continuity in that feeling between the campus adjoining Main Street and the City’s Main Street?”

Another issue covered was advertising of events (both at KSC and in Keene) generally to the community.

Program Manager for Diversity and Multiculturalism Initiatives Kim Schmidl-Gagne said, “I think students enjoy coming to the events. They’re free, they’re engaging, but we don’t reach a broad enough audience. Unfortunately, some of the costs of Sentinel ads and what not are prohibitive. The other mass media way of doing it is our website, but there’s a difference between pushing out information and hoping people discover what’s there.”

Other issues that were discussed included creating a directory of jobs in Keene so spouses of incoming KSC employees could find employment faster, the importance of student voices to inform how to keep students in Keene after graduating and the importance of the commission’s projects having set deadlines and data to review going forward.

The commission is scheduled to hold their next meeting on Monday November 26 at City Hall.

Rachel Vitello can be contacted at


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