Simon Clarke / Equinox Staff

Ben and Jerry came to Keene State College for a second time on Thursday, January 23. The founders of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, have been long-time supporters of Bernie Sanders.

“He’s a once-in-a-lifetime candidate,” Cohen said.

Supporters of Sanders attended the event on Thursday. One of Sanders’ supporters came from Duke University to help campaign in New Hampshire. Duke University student Carson Termotto works out of Sanders’ Keene campaign office. 

“I support Bernie because he’s been so consistent all these years,” Termotto said.

Voter registration was also held on Thursday in the Student Center Atrium. NextGen America tabled on Thursday to help students and community members to register to vote.

NextGen America focuses on registering young people to vote in presidential elections. According to the organization’s website, their strategy is to have “organizers educate their peers on the issues at stake in the election, contrast the candidates’ stances on those issues and get young people to pledge to vote for progressive candidates.”

Keene State students are able to be involved with the upcoming election because Keene State is a popular site for presidential candidates to campaign. Many campus organizers host weekly meetings for the presidential candidates they work for. Keene State students are able to be involved in the different candidates’ campaigns.

“I think it’s important because students and young people are the most important catalysts for change,” Keene State student Benjamin Dionne said.

Stuart Kaufman wrote an article on Keene State and the New Hampshire Primary that was published on February 8, 2016 on Keene State College’s website.

In the article, Director of the UNH Survey Center and associate Professor of Practice in the Department of Political Science at UNH Dr. Andrew E. Smith gave some reasons as to why Keene State is a popular campaign site for presidential candidates. 

“Using students as a backdrop also looks good in your TV commercials—you want them to represent the future and not the status quo,” Smith said in Kaufman’s article.

College students are encouraged to attend the many political events on campus. Events are advertised around campus and organizers encourage students to become involved at these events.

Many college students volunteer for these campaigns. Students often perform important grass-roots duties for presidential campaigns.

“College kids are a great source of volunteer labor. They will work for beer and pizza and long hours, which would kill older people,” Smith said in Kaufman’s article.

Many Keene State students will be voting in their first presidential election this February.

Stuart Kaufman interviewed former KSC professor Chuck Weed, who spent 14 years in the New Hampshire state legislature, for his article, Keene State and the New Hampshire Primary.

“All the studies that I’ve read suggest that once students vote for the first time, it sets a pattern for the rest of their lives and their participation is a commitment to engagement,” said Weed.

Attending political events on campus is important for Keene State first-year student Julia Dzierzeski.

“For a lot of us freshmen, this is the first time we can vote,” Dzierzeski said.

The New Hampshire Primary is held on February 11 and is the first primary in the United States.

Kelly Regan can be contacted at

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