WSU community gather together to remember those affected by anti-asian violence


Khánh Nguyễn/ The Sunflower

Members of Chi Sigma Tau fraternity during the #StopAsianHate vigil on April 30.

In light of the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes, Wichita State student Jordan Cao and other community members hosted a #StopAsianHate candlelight vigil Friday evening.

“[The purpose] is to honor and remember the victims of Asian hate crime whilst also looking towards the future for a better foot forward in our community,” Cao said.

Cao said he decided to host the event when he noticed a lack of events in Wichita.

Wichita State student Jordan Cao and other community leaders hosted #StopAsianHate candlelight vigil on April 30 in the east courtyard of the Rhatigan Student Center. (Khánh Nguyễn/ The Sunflower)

“Since the tragic shooting in Atlanta last month that left six members of the Asian-American community dead, essentially I was waiting the entire time that someone else here in Wichita, Kansas would start a program or event, or have a vigil like this,” he said. “I realized that as days went to weeks and weeks went to over a month nothing was going to happen and around that time I realized that if you want something to happen you have to do it yourself.”

Part of Cao’s motivation was to encourage the university to support the Asian community more.

“I wish there was more university support considering Asian-Americans constitute a good portion of the diversity here on campus, I reached out to a few administrators, but on a collective effort for the university, there wasn’t much of a mobilization,” he said.

The crowd was not all students. The Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Aaron Austin was in attendance in hopes of educating himself about the present events.

“It’s important for me to support our students and I know that our students, especially our Asian-American, Pacific Islander, and Desi-American students have been the recipient of a lot of hate for the community across the country, and so if any of our students are hurting I want to be there to do what I can to help support them,” he said.

After reading the names of many who lost their lives and telling their stories with several moments of silence throughout, several student speakers shared pieces with the audience.