Statement from President Huot Regarding Keene Pumpkin Festival
Last night we held an all-campus meeting to begin the healing process and discuss how we can move forward together. To my amazement, about 900 students and 100 faculty and staff members turned out, spoke up, and joined the conversation. It was an important step in the right direction. Student after student expressed the desire to make amends with the Keene community and those invested in the college.
As I've said before, please be assured that we are actively taking steps to hold individuals accountable. As pertinent updates are available, we will reach out to those affected. I thank the many campus and community members who have demonstrated their unwavering support for Keene State College. Below are the remarks I offered at the beginning of our meeting.
"Let me open tonight’s dialogue with the following thoughts. Our city suffered a terrible event on Saturday and we own a piece of what happened. Not only do we own it, we must address it. I am heartened by the tremendous turn out tonight of students, faculty, and staff. Students, I want you to look around and notice the members of the administration, our campus security, the faculty and the staff who are joining you tonight in support of you and in earnest desire to help you be the catalyst for meaningful change.
I want to recognize the countless members of the College’s administration, staff, and faculty who worked tirelessly to prepare for the weekend and were there to help keep you safe. I am extending a very special thanks to our Campus Safety Director and her team.
I was so heartened when I was out on Apian Way on Sunday morning by the outpouring of students joining in the effort to clean up the mess that was made and help restore the damage done in the city neighborhoods. And, how proud I am that you went to the local businesses and expressed your sorrow about what happened.
You are the ones that can lead significant change. In fact, without your commitment to that change, it will be slow and largely ineffective. Your presence here tonight gives me hope that change is possible.
You are part of a great college. We were a strong and vibrant college on Friday morning and we are still that tonight. We are focused on your education, classes, and programs. We will deliver on our promise to provide you with an excellent education.
Yet, our name has been tarnished and the citizens of this community want answers. We will pull through this, and we will be stronger for having had the courage to stand together and do what will be necessary to address why last Saturday’s mayhem occurred. I have great confidence in you. I took this job for you. I am going to do everything I can to help lead you down the path forward."
Keene State College
Statement from Monday, October 20
We continue to identify individuals who were involved in the unlawful and disruptive behavior over the weekend. We have identified several individuals at this point, and we are determining their affiliation with Keene State College. We continue to work with Keene Police to gather additional information and are coordinating with other colleges and universities when students who visited from other institutions are identified. We are expediting the conduct hearing process at Keene State to impose consequences as efficiently as possible.
I am proud of the positive contributions that many of our students, faculty, and staff offered to the community over the weekend.
Keene State College
Statement from Sunday, October 19
The City of Keene and the Keene State College campus are calm and safe. Regretfully, Keene endured a great deal over this weekend. We care deeply about the citizens of Keene and our students, and we lament the impact of inexcusable behaviors on our city. I also want to share that we are appreciative of the efforts of the city over the weekend. We continue to work closely with the city to help repair damage, and find long-term solutions.
We are actively working to identify the individuals who participated in unlawful behavior, and those who are identified will be held accountable. We are reviewing images, videos, media coverage, social media postings, and information we have about off-campus residences. The most serious offenders will face interim suspension, followed by conduct action up to, and including, expulsion.
To be clear, Keene State College does not tolerate the outrageous behavior that occurred over the weekend.
Also, understand that it does not represent a great many of the students who attend this college. I am proud of the positive contributions that many of our students, faculty and staff offered to the community this weekend.
At this point in time, details about arrests and citations are being processed by the city. We will keep the public informed of our actions and the information that is available, on www.keene.edu.
Keene State College