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Statement from Keene State’s president

The president of Keene State College in New Hampshire released the following statement after today’s events in Keene.

I am saddened and disheartened at the events surrounding this year’s Keene Pumpkin Festival. Despite the concerted efforts of organizers, city officials, police, and Keene State College, there continued to be disruptive behavior at parties in multiple locations around the city, injuries, and property damage.

We are mindful that Keene State students played a part in this behavior and we intend to hold those individuals accountable for their actions. We deplore the actions of those whose only purpose was to cause mayhem. And we are grateful for the swift response of law enforcement and first responders who worked to minimize injuries and damage.


Yet, despite the well-coordinated plan and best intentions of so many, including weeks of communicating to students, parents, meetings with landlords, and coordinating efforts with local and state authorities, together, we were unable to influence the outcome of this event that was predetermined a year ago.

We can expect that the promotion by individuals and organizations of Keene and the Pumpkin Festival as a destination for destructive and raucous behavior, will only increase. And we are certain that the negative behavior will continue if nothing changes. This is an issue that we can only solve together and we, at Keene State College, are eager to renew in earnest the conversation that leads to meaningful change.

Anne Huot


Keene State College