1970 Peace Retreat

Cathy Sterling recalls the response of universities nationwide to the Kent State student shootings and discusses the development of the Peace Retreat on the NC State campus in May 1970.

Interview on 2010-10-21


00:00:00.000 I think there was like a little bit of a shockwave at first, but when the whole idea of the peace retreat came about, because it really wasn't about closing down the university,
00:00:12.038 it wasn't like going on strike, because certainly at many campuses around the nation things had gotten violent, things were about really shutting down the university, and that wasn't anybody's interest here.
00:00:23.876 What the interest here was, well here we are at the end of the semester and in a few weeks everything's over with, we're off to summer vacation, summer jobs, whatever,
00:00:35.478 was that that was a time that then needed some response. It was certainly felt by many people that the university needed to address what was going on in the nation and look at the issues,
00:00:51.735 so how do we do that in a way that's going to be most productive, a genuine examination and talking things out where people of all persuasions how they felt and thought could come together and do that.
00:01:10.395 It wasn't about taking a hard stance. There were people who wanted to bomb the ROTC here, there were, but they were sort of like, pfft. I mean everybody was like, pfft. They got no support, they really got no support,
00:01:24.841 and though there were times I wondered do they want that support? Is there going to be some wild card out there who's going to go do something? They didn't, they didn't,
00:01:35.783 and it was really about how do we--. It was both the content, the times, but it was also, I felt like, a way of saying these are extraordinary times so what's the format in extraordinary times?
00:01:52.525 Peace retreat can be done any time. It could still be done today, if the students wanted to do it and the faculty wanted to do it,
00:02:03.900 that we need to be talking about some of these things and not just going off into our little curriculums and our little classes and maybe not ever knowing what your professor thought.