The Winter Festival is a popular annual event held at Keene State. Above, students create their own ornaments at the 2019 Winter Festival, the semester before COVID restrictions arrived at KSC.

One of the most noticeable changes from the last three semesters at KSC is the return of frequent live programming and events across campus. This semester there have been in-person events planned every week from the many clubs, organizations, and departments on campus.

Although the live events this semester had some extra challenges with COVID-19 restrictions to follow, they were planned and executed well. “I thoroughly enjoyed attending on-campus events so far this semester,” Ciatlin McCracken, a junior, and the class of 2023 Student Body President said. “I felt that the events were executed well and also followed Keene State’s COVID guidelines.” McCracken also stated that she felt safe at all the events she had attended this semester. “No [I’m] not really [worried], especially if there are protocols in place like enforcing mask wearing at these events, or even providing proof of vaccination.”

To continue holding events, the organizers have been keeping capacity limited and enforcing proper mask usage indoors, as well as making sure several of this semester’s events were held outdoors so that more people could attend, and mask restrictions could be loosened. Some of the largest outdoor events included Pumpkin Palooza, Rocktoberfest, and the Involvement Fair.

While students are less worried about the risk of COVID, not everyone has found an event that really stood out as something they’d want to go to. Sawyer Pippin, a first year student at Keene State said, “I am not worried about the amount of people, I just haven’t heard of an event yet that strikes my interest.” Pippin stated that he would like to see a more recent and mainstream catalogue of showings at the Putnam Theater on campus. “I think the movie selection should be newer movies. Classics are great, but newer movies are going to attract more of an audience.” The Putnam Theater’s screening this week is the newer, albeit not well known film Pig, starring Nicholas Cage. It will be playing at 7:00 P.M. at the Putnam from December 3rd to 5th.

Live events are important to many students, especially during a pandemic when opportunities for socialization are more limited. Caitlin McCracken said that giving students these opportunities for socialization goes a long way. “I think they are a great way for students to build connections and make Keene State feel more like home,” McCracken said.


Gabe Schatz can be contacted at

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