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.