Submitted to

Dr. Brage Golding, President
Kent State University 

All notes in this color are added by Mike and Kendra's Web Site.

{The May 4th Commemoration Committee (known as the Basi Committee after its chairman.) came on the heals of the Gym Controversy which proved once and for all that May 4, 1970 was NOT going to be forgotten by the students and the nation. The effort by the committee can be seen as a means by which the University tried to mute those who saw May 4, 1970 in more political terms rather than those who wished to limit remembrance of the event to an issue of violence vs. non-violence and away from politics ( such as war and U.S. foreign policy and its relationship to our social system.) It is interesting to note that even the mild nature of this report was ignored by then KSU president Brage Golding.}

The May 4th Commemoration Committee was established by action of the Board of Trustees at their meeting of May 12, 1977 to "harvest a genuine consensus" with respect to ways in which Kent State may appropriately commemorate the May 4, 1970 events and to make such recommendations to the University President.

The Committee gave itself the charge to develop such recommendations as would 1) seek to increase people's awareness and sensitivity to the events of May 4, 1970, 2) institute certain life-enhancing programs and measures that would, at least partially, compensate for the "unnecessary and unwarranted" loss of life and incapacitation that resulted, and 3) deepen people's understanding of the particular events and the milieu so that such a tragedy may not happen again anywhere.

Toward this end, the Committee sought suggestions from the various constituencies that comprise the University Community. In this effort local media and University media were used as well as individual appeals and personal contacts. Numerous suggestions were received not only locally but also regionally and nationally. These have been carefully considered and purposefully sifted. After comprehensive deliberations, the Committee wishes to make recommendations in the following categories.

1. Recognition of May 4, 1970

The tragic events of May 4, 1970 wherein Allison Krause, Bill Schroeder, Jeff Miller and Sandy Scheuer lost their lives and nine other students were wounded, took place at Kent State. It is part of our history, and, therefore, needs to be recognized as such. In particular, the following recommendations are made:

1) Publish a brief historical statement in the University Catalogues;

2) Prepare a descriptive brochure about May 4, 1970 events for distribution to visitors to the site.

Note: It is suggested that the Center for Peaceful Change be asked to commission the preparation of I and 2 above in consultation with other interested parties.

3) Although the Committee received many suggestions that the Memorial
Gym Annex be named in reference to May 4, out of consideration for the wishes of the families of the slain and wounded students, it is the recommendation of this Committee that the gym annex in no way be named with reference to the events of May 4, 1970. It is further recommended that, in as much as the HPER facility is an annex to an already existing building, it requires no separate name.

4) The Committee also recommends that KSU give careful consideration to the Department of Interior study for a possible national historic landmark designation of the May 4th site.


2. May 4th Site

The Committee defined the May 4th site as the area outlined on the map attached as appendix A. The Committee feels that the area defined in the map should be kept as far as possible the way it was on May 4, 1970. Therefore, it recommends that:

1) Other than that part of the site on which the HPER annex is now being constructed, there shall be no further surface alterations, except the following:

a) Close Prentice Hall parking lot to general parking, except for some short-term parking (non-metered) for visitors to the site, handicap and maintenance vehicles, and for vehicular access to Taylor Hall.
{It wasn't until 20 years later that the parking lot issue was seriously taken up by the KSU administration. See out Prentice Lot Pages.}

b) Place a sign including a map of the site and descriptive brochures about May 4, 1970 events at a suitable place in the parking area.
{When the incomplete May 4 memorial  was constructed (overlooking the Commons), brochures were placed within a nearby enclosure.}

c) Retain the marker erected in the parking lot by the University faculty.
{This marker is still present and is the focus for the annual candlelight vigil on May 3 of each year.}

d) Erect four cordons and place small individual markers where the four students were killed and similar markers where the wounded fell.
{Four markers were erected and dedicated on September 8, 1999. No such markers exist for the wounded students.}

e) Transplant the three saplings planted in the-line of fire to another area of Campus.
{This was never done}



3.  May 4th Each Year

The Committee feels that all the programs around May 4 each year should be planned with a view not to propagandize but rather, to provide inspiration and stimulation for people to think and reflect on their own. What happened here was tragic, but we need to move forward in a reaffirmation of the human prospect.

1) The Committee recommends that an annual memorial program be continued to increase people's awareness and sensitivity to the events of May 4, 1970 and to deepen people's understanding of the particular events and the milieu so that such a tragedy may be avoided in the future.
{The May 4 Task Force has been doing this since 1975.}

2) For May 4, 1978 and each May 4 thereafter the Committee recommends the following:

a) That the University remain open; but classes and all non-essential services be suspended from 12 noon to 6:00 p. m. and classes be optional at other times with no tests and/or assignments given or due.
{Classes were eventually suspended from noon till 2:00 PM on May 4. The Optional clause was never implemented.}

b) That the University declare May 4 a day of observance, and the public be made aware of the programs and invited to participate.
{The University administration has for the most part shunned or ignored the annual commemorations except in 1990 and 1995 when they sponsored events separate from the official May 4 Task Force program. They are currently planning another separate program for the year 2000.}

c) Over the past years certain traditions have been established which should be maintained, in particular the following:

i) The candlelight March and vigil 11 p.. m. May 3 to 12 noon May 4, overseen by the CPC.
{The Candlelight March and Vigil is now overseen by the May 4 Task Force.}

ii) The anniversary ceremony on the Commons organized by the May 4 Task Force to begin at 12 noon.

d) In as much as May 4 ceremonies are an all-University observance with significance for the wider community, it is critical that a committee representative of the various constituencies of the University community be constituted. In view of the criteria enumerated above it is recommended that this committee shall:

i) Entertain suggestions, evaluate them and deter-mine the program and space allocations for the activities surrounding the May 4 commemoration;

ii) Serve as liaison amongst the programming groups, and

iii) Assume responsibility for the overall activities.

It is recommended that this committee include at least one representative each from the May 4 Task Force, graduate students, Student Caucus, faculty, administration, civil service, alumni, and townspeople, and that its chairperson be appointed by the President and be directly responsible to him.

{Such a committee was never formed unless one includes the "committees" established by the University Administration in 1990 and 1995. The May 4 Task Force, although a student run group, is open to all individuals, including university employees, faculty and non-students. It is run on democratic principals and is answerable to its members.  Yet, the university, in the past has sought to limit its effect by implementing stringent membership requirements, controlling funding and unleashing its public relations department to defame the group. It is the opinion of this web site that any other type of committee would not be representative of a broad range of ideas, but would represent the narrow interests of a small group of individuals whose participation would be by appointment.}

An opposing view: The Committee feels that recognition must be given to an alternative view on the issue of responsibility for the coordination of May 4 activities. A minority of the Committee, three of the student representatives, feels that since the May 4 Task Force had successfully coordinated the May 4 activities for the past two years, there is no necessity for the formation of the committee recommended above and that therefore, the May 4 Task Force in conjunction with the CPC and the Student Life Office should continue to direct and coordinate the May 4 commemoration activities.

4.  Life-Enhancing Programs and Measures

With time "brick and mortar" become ravaged. The truly lasting memorial to this tragedy can only be the continued nurturing of life itself. Thus, it is important to sustain and institute life-enhancing programs and measures that would, at least partially, compensate for the "unnecessary and unwarranted" loss of life and incapacitation that resulted from the May 4 tragedy.

Suggestions came from many people both from the Kent 6tate Community and nationally, that such a memorial should be the already established "living memorial"--the Center for Peaceful Change.

The Center for Peaceful Change (CPC) was established in May, 1971 following a recommendation by the University's Commission on Commemorative Recognition representing Kent State 15 response to the violent tragedy in the form of an ongoing educational program focusing on the dynamics of peaceful change in social systems. CPC was established as an all-university program reporting directly to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The major in "integrative change" was approved by-the Ohio Board of Regents in February, 1973, and the program of study offered in conjunction with the College of Arts and Sciences and leading to the B. A. degree has been developing since.

The program has been a controversial one from its inception. It is time, however, that the program be freed from controversy, and under- stood on the basis of its merits. It is the recommendation of this Committee, therefore,

1) That the Vice President for Academic Affairs in consultation with the director of the CPC engage outside consultant(s) in the field of peace studies as quickly as possible to review the program, to assess progress to date, and make recommendations for its future development. Such a review should include the academic program of the Center as well as its co-curricular components namely the experientially oriented Living/Learning Community and the.outreach oriented Alternative Lifestyles Collective. For the past six years the CPC has sponsored a Lectureship in Peaceful Change. The basic concept has been to bring a well-recognized person in the field of peaceful change to the University to focus on some aspect of that topic for the betterment of the human condition.

2) The Committee recommends the continuation of this successful Lectureship in Peaceful Change and that it,therefore,be identified as a line item in the CPC budget.

3) In order to sustain the Lectureship and broaden its impact, it is further recommended that the suitability of a permanently endowed visiting professorship in the Center for Peaceful Change be explored by the President. (See Appendix B for details.) As part of the University's life enhancing measures, and a means of attracting students who show promise for making contributions to improving the human condition, the Committee recommends

4) the establishment of May 4 Memorial Scholarships to be awarded to undergraduate and/or graduate students on the basis of merit. A number of the above recommendations require funds for their implementation. The Committee recommends that

5) the KSU Foundation in collaboration with CPC launch a major national fundraising campaign for this purpose. KSU has been in the news and such a positive campaign would be timely. With an explicit commitment and adequate support by the University, this Committee trusts that sufficient funds can be raised to effect the recommendations contained in this report.

{The CPC still exists on campus in a very minor way. Over the years it has its funding cut, its staff drastically reduced, its building and office space changed and decreased, it's name changed to exclude the words Peace and Change and is scheduled to be phased out totally within the next year.}


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