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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Supporters calling for Gaza ceasefire return to Student Senate, resolution in progress

At least 25 people came to the Student Senate on Wednesday to again emphasize why the Student Government Association should pass a resolution supporting a ceasefire in Gaza.

Following the previous call for a ceasefire resolution at the Feb. 28 Senate meeting, where over 45 supporters attended, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and SGA have partnered on creating the resolution, according to SJP member Kendah Ballout.

She said the resolution is in progress.

“Tonight’s purpose was really more to just hype up the bill, so to speak,” Ballout said. “We’re just trying to explain why Wichita State is connected to Palestine, why it’s important to vote on the bill when it eventually does come.”

Supporters of the ceasefire resolution filled two rows in the back of the Senate. A few held up a poster brought at the previous meeting, which included the updated death toll: “31,000+ dead, 13,000+ children.”

According to Aljazeera, over 32,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza as of March 27, with UNICEF stating over 13,000 children are dead. The death toll in Israel is over 1,100 from Hamas’s attack on Oct. 7. In 1948, Israel’s creation displaced over 700,000 Palestinians and led to the capture of 78% of the region’s land.

Three students who support the ceasefire resolution spoke before the Senate. Two said this resolution is relevant to Wichita State because Wichita is connected to the military industry.

Wichita is home to McConnell Air Force Base, which has contributed to the development of the aviation industry and national defense, according to its website.

Student Trevor McKeown speaks to the Student Senate in support of a ceasefire resolution for Gaza. (Allison Campbell)

Student Trevor McKeown said various WSU graduates could contribute to military equipment used in attacks on Gaza.

“Aerospace majors design the aircrafts,” McKeown said. “English majors write the instruction manuals for the weapons we send. CS (computer science) majors program guidance systems. Human factors majors make it usable by on-the-ground infantry. Graphic designers make it look pretty.”

McKeown said with Wichita being a “military-industrial complex,” a local movement supporting Palestine can lead to change and reduce companies recruiting students.

“In this age of imperialism, there’s no such thing as isolation, especially when one is in the middle of the biggest empire the world has ever seen,” McKeown said. “Whether for good or ill, actions here decide the fate of billions.”

Student Michael Miller echoed McKeown’s points and criticized Israel’s “horrid actions,” including its bombing of hospitals in Gaza. According to the Associated Press, roughly 12 out of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are only partially functioning, damaged from fighting or running out of fuel or medicine.

“It should be within all of our minds to immediately call for a ceasefire, given the rampant disregard for humanity that the Israeli government and the Israeli army has done within the occupied territories of Palestine,” Miller said.

Michael Miller addresses the Student Government Association on Wednesday, March 27 to support the call for a ceasefire in Gaza resolution. (Allison Campbell)

At-large Sen. Gracie Lamb is writing the resolution supporting a ceasefire in Gaza. She said she reached out to SJP asking if she could help after proponents first spoke before the Senate.

Lamb said she and other supporters have sided with major human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, who have condemned Israel’s actions.

“Hostage-taking is never an excuse for mass genocide and mass murderer starvation,” Lamb said. “We’ve chosen to stick with that (human rights organizations) because we have a duty as governments to take care of people, regardless of whether they’re our own citizens or the citizens of a foreign country.”

Lamb said she submitted the resolution this week, but due to formatting issues, the group was unable to present it on Wednesday.

Ballout said SJP plans to return to the Senate to present the resolution once it’s finalized. Updates can be found on SJP’s Instagram: @sjp.wsu.

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About the Contributors
Courtney Brown, News Editor
Courtney Brown is one of the news editors for The Sunflower. She previously worked as a reporter and assistant news editor. Brown uses she/her pronouns.
Allison Campbell, News Editor
Allison Campbell is one of the news editors for The Sunflower. Campbell is a junior pursuing a journalism and media production degree with a minor in English. Campbell hopes to pursue a career in writing or editing after graduation. They use any pronouns.

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