Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Shalom, JSA: Campus introduces Jewish Student Alliance

Mia Hennen
Jewish Student Alliance Vice President and Treasurer Jacob Unruh and Secretary Vishnu Avva speak at the first meeting of the semester on Oct. 24. The first meeting served as a vigil for lives lost in the Israel-Palestine conflict, as well as an intro into the organziation.

The Jewish Student Alliance (JSA) was officially approved to be a campus organization last month. The executive team includes president Kian Williams, vice president and treasurer Jacob Unruh, and secretary Vishnu Avva. 

Williams, who uses they/them pronouns, shared their vision on educating Wichita State students.

“It starts with education,” Williams said. “It just starts with teaching students how to identify antisemitism.”

The intent of JSA is to provide students with the information, contacts and resources necessary to condemn acts of Jewish hate. Last year, Williams decided that they would found JSA to combat rising antisemitism on campus and throughout all of Wichita. Williams also submitted a letter to the editor about antisemitism at WSU

“I don’t think that people on campus really saw the issues that were happening until last year … antisemitic incidents were not being widely publicized and condemned by students at Wichita State University, and I don’t blame them,” Williams said. “Sometimes antisemitism is not very clear to a non-Jewish person.”

As for meetings, Williams said there will be a variety of educational content about Jewish culture and antisemitism, fun social activities ‒ including special events around Jewish holidays ‒ and bringing plenty of academic speakers. 

They emphasized that JSA is open to everyone willing to give them a chance, not just Jewish students.

“We need the support and assistance of non-Jewish students to be able to be successful, to be able to make a difference,” Williams said. “It’s not just Jewish students running this organization. It’s all students at Wichita State that are going to help this alliance succeed.”

This includes “a lot of collaboration with other advocacy groups and other identity based organizations” in which the organization will host joint meetings and discuss how Jewish people have been impacted by the same issues other advocacy groups are discussing and how Jewish people can be supported.

If, for nothing else, Williams said everyone can join JSA for the food.

“We have great food. Jewish people love to cook, I mean, all of our holidays are just built around feasting and having meals and sharing love and passion with each other,” Williams said. “So, you know, once we get rolling, come on by and we’ll feed you. That’s for certain.”

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Genesis Merriett
Genesis Merriett, Reporter
Genesis Merriett is a first-year reporter for The Sunflower. She is a sophomore majoring in mathematics, however, Merriett enjoys writing as well. She is originally from Missouri, but lived in Colorado for most of her life until moving to Wichita five years ago. Additionally, she enjoys drawing, crochet and exploring new places in her free time.
Mia Hennen
Mia Hennen, Editor in Chief
Mia Hennen is the current editor in chief for The Sunflower. Before becoming editor, Hennen was the news/managing editor. They are a junior at Wichita State majoring in English and minoring in communications and Spanish, hoping to pursue any career involving writing or editing.

Comments (0)

All The Sunflower Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *