Protest March

We were recently contacted by the May 4 Visitors Center at Kent State University to participate in the 45th anniversary of the Kent State shootings. According to the email WKU was one of 1250 universities and colleges that held protest demonstrations in the week that followed that Monday tragedy.  And indeed on Tuesday, May 6th WKU students joined the nationwide protest against the shootings and the escalation of the Vietnam War.   That protest began a two week sparring match between students and WKU administration.

May 5th – rally notices appear on campus

May 6th –

  • students gather on plaza 11 am – 1 pm wearing Strike Western t-shirts
  • a small delegation met with President Dero Downing
  • vigil in stadium 6:30 pm
  • Governor Wendell Ford addressed the group 7:30
  • meeting at the Newman Center 8:45

May 7th –

  • students gather on plaza 10:30 am – 1 pm with bullhorns
  • march around campus
  • Dero Downing addresses students

May 8th –

  • administration provides PA system
  • students met on lawn in front of Wetherby Administration Building
  • march around campus
  • present resolutions to President Downing
  • students camp out in front of Wetherby all night
  • Counter-Demonstration Group met

May 9th – public address system provided to students; fewer students met; several speakers including Mark Villarina

May 10th – Braxton Crenshaw met with students in Garrett Student Center

May 11th – administrators meet with students regarding student demands; President Downing meets with Regents and staff at his home 6:00 pm

May 12th –

  • students gather at stadium and move to plaza 9:00 am
  • WKU obtains restraining order against non-WKU student protesters
  • administrators meet with WKU student representatives 7:30 pm

May 14th – The Volunteers elect new leadership

May 15th – Wetherby evacuated twice due to bomb threats; small group met on plaza; restraining order modified

For more information check out these sources:

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