Student Life Editor
“This is just unnerving,” was the response from Keene State College senior Alyssa Arcieri, in relation to the April 17 shooting on Marlboro Street in Keene, N.H.
Arcieri, who lives on Willow Street, explained what she considered a development of crime in Keene.
“After (the shooting) happened, it’s kind of a new trend that’s been going on. A lot more crime has been taking place,” she said.
Arcieri continued, “It’s been pretty safe up until recently, like this year. I’ve felt a little more unsafe just because that shooting was so close.”
Similarly, senior Julie Fallon agreed with Arcieri and expressed concern regarding what she stated to be an increase in crime in Keene.
“I definitely thought it seemed like it was part of a trend that has been happening over the past four years,” Fallon stated.
“It seems like there’s more violence in Keene these past two years than when we first got here,” she said.
Different from Arcieri, however, Fallon lives on campus in Pondside II.
She said the April 17 shooting did not change how safe she felt both on and off campus.
Director of Campus Safety Amanda Warman commented on the hype around the Keene shooting and reminded students and the Keene community that crime holds a presence in every setting.
“I guess it’s just news here because it doesn’t happen that often. If 53 percent of crime happens in the city, then 47 percent happens someplace else—we’re someplace else,” the director explained.
“Virginia Tech was someplace else, the Amish schoolhouse shooting—whoever would have thought that? Crime happens everywhere,” she said.
Warman continued and stated whether or not a person feels safe on or off-campus is particular to an individual’s previous experiences.
“It is that sort of internal idea of perception that people have. You hear people say, ‘How could you not feel safe here?’ Well you don’t know where people come from. I don’t know what happened to you the 18 years before you got on this campus, and we have to take that into consideration.”
Senior Adam Shaw echoed Warman’s comparison with his own. Shaw, who lives off campus on Davis Street, compared Keene to his home in northern Virginia.
Shaw said, “I feel pretty safe. I come from northern Virginia outside of D.C. Compared to that, this is nothing. It’s just not unusual.” Shaw said for those reasons, he has never felt the presence of imminent danger in Keene.
Shifting back to the campus, Warman explained that in most cases, the “emergencies” Campus Safety responds to are students in need of medical assistance.
“We get a variety of calls, and when we talk about students needing assistance, usually it’s some type of medical assistance, if we’re talking about something that’s really an emergency,” Warman explained.
“Emergency calls—it happens, but it’s pretty rare that it happens that somebody is being engaged by somebody they have no familiarity with,” she said.
KSC student Katie Levesque said for the most part, she feels safe on the KSC campus.
“I don’t really feel unsafe necessarily,” she said. “You have Campus Safety that you can call.”
Levesque explained she has witnessed Campus Safety respond quickly in emergencies on campus, and would therefore rely on campus safety herself if need be.
In relation, Warman explained how safe KSC students are on campus.
“College campuses are far safer than non-campus environments,” she explained.
“I think that happens for a couple of reasons. One of them is the environment itself. The other thing is you have lots more supervision,” Warman said.
The director defined this “supervision” as the presence of resident assistants in residential halls, campus safety officers on campus, and the adults and professors on campus.
Warman added, “Plus we have more security and technology. Most people don’t have to swipe a card when they go into their house, and they don’t have cameras watching them walk through their backyard,” she said.
Warman explained some of Campus Safety’s services available for students on campus. Warman said that at any time of day, students may call for an escort to walk them from one point on campus to another.
Warman said she thinks students sometimes feel foolish asking for this type of assistance, but encouraged students to advocate for their safety.
“We really want people to be able to ask for help–We want to make sure we’re providing a service that we can hopefully increase that perception or that level of safety,” she said.
Warman noted more safety measures her and her team have taken on campus and mentioned the blue light phones and the addition of cameras on campus, specifically the installation of cameras on the bridge to the Winchester commuter lot.
Warman expressed great appreciation for Campus Safety’s relationship with the Keene Police Department.
“I’ve worked at five colleges and universities in my 28 years and l have to say the relationship between the city of Keene and Keene State is probably one of the best that I’ve ever seen in terms of relationships with the Keene Police Department,” the director stated.
Warman concluded and stated, “I think everybody wants the same thing. We want the students to be safe, we want them to have a good time, but we also want to make sure that our presence here is welcome and not creating an imposition on other residents of the city,” the directed concluded.
Julie Conlon can be contacted at