As a proud Kent State alumna, I was disappointed on a recent return trip to my beloved alma mater. While in town (I now live in New Hampshire), I brought my boyfriend to KSU to show him where I spent my college years. Of course, part of this tour included a solemn visit to the May 4th Memorial near Taylor Hall, where I was shocked to discover that the memorial was covered in weeds – weeds in the cracks between the sidewalk, weeds in the stones of the memorial, weeds everywhere. The memorial looked disheveled and dirty, unbefitting of such a meaningful memorial. Others visiting the memorial commented on the appearance as well; as an alumna, I felt ashamed.
Perhaps this lack of attention can be attributed to the season, but I find it nearly unconscionable that Kent State’s most famous landmark should go unattended at any time of the year, whether students are on campus or not. We owe it to the memory of May 4th and the students who died there – we owe it, in fact, to the rest of the country, which still sees Kent State as an important symbol of an era past – to keep this area well-groomed and tidy. Anything less is a display of disrespect.