KSU students aim to make largest human peace sign
by Marcus E. Howard
mhoward@mdjonline.com
March 29, 2012 12:00 AM | 5078 views | 14 14 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jessie Blowers, founder of the KSU Peace Project, talks with volunteers Katie Pugh and Julian Shiflett while selling t-shirts to promote the attempt to break a world record for the largest human peace sign. The event is Saturday on the university’s Campus Green.<br>
Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan
Jessie Blowers, founder of the KSU Peace Project, talks with volunteers Katie Pugh and Julian Shiflett while selling t-shirts to promote the attempt to break a world record for the largest human peace sign. The event is Saturday on the university’s Campus Green.
Staff/Jon-Michael Sullivan
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KENNESAW — On Saturday, thousands of Kennesaw State University students plan to get in the Guinness World Records by forming the largest human peace sign.

The students are inviting the public to help get at least 6,000 people to set the record. The free event will be from noon to 5 p.m. on the Campus Green near Kennesaw Hall. Parking will be available in the East Desk, Central Deck and East Parking Lot next to Waffle House.

Organizer Jessie Blowers, KSU Peace Project founder, had already made a name for herself on campus by the time she came up with the idea for the peace project. A senior and 2005 Kell High School graduate, Blowers persuaded the university to create an art history major, which she plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in next December.

About two years ago during the annual KSU Peace Conference, sponsored by the peace studies program, Blowers was inspired by that year’s peace in the arts theme to organize a live art exhibit, she said.

“I was looking online for some photos to put on a poster and stumbled across the current world record — which is not listed in the Guinness Book — and I was like, ‘Hey, if a 16-year-old can get 5,000 people out, then the university should definitely be able to do that,’” said Blowers, 24.

More than 2,000 people have registered to participate, but between 6,000 and 10,000 people are expected to show up, she said Wednesday.

Blowers said forming the world’s largest human peace sign will be a new category established by the Guinness Book of World Records.

The London-based record keeping company told her that, among other rules and guidelines, there will need to be measurements taken, a time keeper, photographs, video footage, witness statements, two people counters at each entrance and two official witnesses present, such as from notary or auditing firm.

While the effort has shaped up to be quite an undertaking, Blowers said she was prepared for the work. The project is estimated to cost $12,000 and is being funded mostly through a portion of student activity fees, as well as corporate sponsors, including LOL magazine and SnackLite, she said.

“This is about getting the community engaged,” Blowers said. “We’re the only public university in the Southeast with a peace studies program. So we have something unique to offer here.”

The university’s peace studies program prepares students interested in spending their lives in the pursuit of peace with theories, philosophies and methods to accomplish their goals.

About 20 student organizations have collaborated to organize the event. Various community nonprofits are also participating, including the Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, Invisible Children and Friends of Camp McDonald.

Dr. Michael Sanseviro, dean of student success, said the university supports the student-sponsored event. The university hosted the world’s largest dodgeball game a few years ago.

“The primary impact is to heighten awareness about local and international peace movements, and encourage students to engage in peaceful dialogue when conflicts arise,” he said. “I also think students will feel increased pride in their peers and the institution for undertaking this project. Whether we break the record or not, this event speaks to the values of our students and the institution.”

On Saturday, there will be a variety of vendors, student organizations and nonprofit present and free water will be handed out. Live musical performers include international hip hop artist Emmanuel Jal, Atlanta-based Finster and acoustic artist Sara Crawford.

Gates will open at noon and participants must be present by 2 p.m. To register to participate in the event, visit www.ksupeace.com.
Comments
(14)
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Might come over
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March 30, 2012
Where can people park their cars to be part of this? I've been to graduations and parking was difficult.
KSU Peace Project
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March 30, 2012
East Deck, East Lot, Central Deck. If you go to ksupeace.com there is a map available.
imeanwhatever
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March 30, 2012
give me a break. "peace studies program"...on the state dime nonetheless. another 99%-er in the making waiting to rail against the 1%-er's for supposedly making them go to school to get a worthless degree and wasting their time spent in worthless programs.

pathetic. to all these graduates, i like my coffee with a little sugar.
Big Daddy
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March 29, 2012
Corporate sponsers for a peace project. The original hippies from the 60's are kicking thier VW Vans right now
KSU Peace Project
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March 29, 2012
They are both local businesses actually, and they are owned by KSU students. Check them out:

http://snacklite.com/

http://lolmagazine.com/
Kennesaw Citizen
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March 29, 2012
Am so glad to see so many young people get out there and stand up for peace and other great causes. With all the negativity in the world from people like Veteran Observer, we need more events like this to tip the scales in favor of good.

The only thing sad is that there are still people out there who do not understand the concept of having to work and pay your own way through college, as apposed to having the government or parents pay for it. Kuddos to her for sticking with it so long.

Good Luck to Jessie and everyone else at KSU Peace Project! My son and I can not wait to come be a part of this wonderful event.
Veteran Observer
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March 29, 2012
As an employer, anyone showing up with a degree in "peace studies" will not get an interview! KSU graduates some great young people, but any school that pays for a "dean of student success" should take a look at it's budget and refocus to reality! Ms Blowers taking 7 years to get an art history degree is very sad. When I went to college 35 years ago, art history was a joke major for political activists who wanted to stay in school as they were unemployable! Well I guess some things never change!
Mother Teresa
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March 30, 2012
You are part of the problem why the world knows no peace. If you don't have anything nice to say do not say it at all. The kindest words are unkind words unspoken. It is so rude to criticize the efforts of KSU and Ms. Blowers and their decisions. Scrooge.
Mother Teresa
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March 30, 2012
You are part of the problem and why the world knows no peace. If you do not have anything nice to say do not say anything at all. The kindest words are unkind words unspoken. It is so rude of you to criticize the efforts of KSU and Ms.Blowers. Times have changed from when you went to college 35 years ago. Get over yourself and your pompous attitude. Scrooge.
Your worst nightmare
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March 30, 2012
@Veteran Observer. I AM an employer and I do not pay much attention to my applicant's degrees. Cheating scandals exist in Universities across the globe. Having a degree tells me nothing in regards to aptitude. All it tells me is that the individual can put their mind to a task and complete it.Also, most professionals do not work in their field of study so I'm having trouble sympathising with your point of view.

As for the "7 year" comment, the articles I've read on Jessie state that she stuck around KSU and helped create a major that did not exist.

You should have done your research before ranting.

This is an article about peace; what is there to hate about peace?!

Go troll on someone else's lawn.

I wish their was more activism in my community and applaud this event.
KSU DOS
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March 30, 2012
The "Dean of Student Success" is KSU's title for the Dean of Students. That position exists under various names every college and university in the country.
E. Ramirez
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March 31, 2012
This young woman organized an amazing, successful event. It was done with dedication and hard work. And the Dean of Student Success is an asset to KSU. He oversees programs that benefit all the students at KSU. He also attends events and supports students like Ms. Blowers on his own time. He truly cares about KSU students.

Today was an inspiring event. Thousands of people came out to support peace and to have fun. My daughter and I had a great time!
KSU Peace Project
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March 29, 2012
Thank you Trevor Dougherty for giving me the inspiration to do this! I hope we come close to your 5814!
Deangles Witsky
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March 29, 2012
Peace matters, in your home, your neighborhood, at work, and around the world. I believe in the Prince of Peace. See you on Saturday. Go Owls!
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