Emily Perry / Equinox Staff

Emily Carstensen

Equinox Staff

The once long-lasting tradition of Pumpkin Lobotomy is coming back to Keene State College after the 2014 Pumpkin Festival riots put a halt on fall festivities in Keene.

Coordinator of Fraternity/Sorority Life and Student Leadership Brandon Mathieu said Pumpkin Lobotomy was something students and the whole community really looked forward to every year, but after the 2014 Pumpkin Festival, things had to change in Keene.

“I think we wanted to try to be really thoughtful around what this time of year looked like. We used to donate the pumpkins to the festival, and I think there was a perception that because those pumpkins were donated to the old festival as part of the big count, lobotomy was a part of the festival,” Mathieu said.

Mathieu said that he hopes the fair is well perceived this year, as it won’t be as much of a big scale as lobotomy has been in the past.

“Pumpkin Lobotomy is pumpkin carving. We used to order a thousand plus pumpkins back in the day, but we’re not going to do that this year. I think we’re looking at 350 to 500 pumpkins on the Fiske Quad. We want to start of small because it is the first time bringing it back,” Mathieu said.

Along with pumpkin carving, Mathieu said students should be expecting a fair-like atmosphere. Student organizations and campus departments will have booths set up on the Fiske Quad where they can showcase themselves.

Co-Chair member of the Student Assembly’s Events Committee Sarah Dugas said there’s fun for everyone during Pumpkin Lobotomy: “This year, we will be having a variety of events, such as a Pie-in-the-face, Halloween themed crafts, fall foods and pumpkin carving,” Dugas said.

Along with those activities, Co-Chair member of Student Assembly’s Events Committee Sydney Olson said that through an online sign up form, the committee is able to better gauge what kind of activities to hold.

“There has been a Wufoo, which is an online sign up, sent out to all of the organizations on campus. It is through the Wufoo responses of the clubs and organizations that many of the activities will be coming from,” Olson said.

Mathieu said he hopes after this year, Pumpkin Lobotomy continues as a tradition at KSC, but that all depends on the response from students: “Of course, we hope to bring Pumpkin Lobotomy back as KSC’s classic fall tradition. However, the response from students is what will really decide if that happens or not. We also want to make sure that we’re really thoughtful with all of this. If the community perceives it as something else, we may not continue the tradition next year.”

While being thoughtful to the community is a big part in the decision to bring Pumpkin Lobotomy back next year, Olson said student feedback is also something that plays a huge role in the decision, “Personally, I do think that Pumpkin Lobotomy will go back into being a tradition on this campus! However, it all depends upon the responses from the students. It is quite important to do have campus-wide events that the students truly enjoy.”

Pumpkin lobotomy will be taking place Friday, October 26 from two p.m. to five p.m. on the Fiske Quad.

Emily Carstensen can be contacted at


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