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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

Kansas representative criticizes Student Government’s Gaza ceasefire resolution

Allison Campbell
Maria, the vice president of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), sits alongside at least 25 other attendees who came before the Student Senate to again advocate for a ceasefire in Gaza. Maria and other SJP members presented to the Student Government Association on Wednesday, March 27.

A Kansas state representative criticized the Student Government Association’s resolution, which calls for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Rep. Pat Proctor, a United States Army veteran who teaches at Wichita State, said SGA’s resolution didn’t fully reflect the student body.

Proctor, along with all Kansas Legislature members, received copies of SGA’s resolution after it passed during the April 10 Student Senate meeting. The resolution calls for the end of genocide in Gaza, including a permanent, immediate ceasefire and the end of unconditionally arming Israel.

Student Body Vice President Sophie Martins read Proctor’s response to the Student Senate during Wednesday evening’s Senate meeting.

Proctor said that while he had defended SGA’s right to free speech while serving, the student senators must also “accept the responsibility” to reflect those they represent.

Proctor said as an assistant professor in the homeland security program at Wichita State, he has held “repeated vigorous discussions” with his classes “on the topic of the Israel-Hamas war,” and he said the most often sentiment from students is “horror” toward Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

“I see none of these sentiments reflected in your (SGA’s) resolution,” Proctor said. “I find that deeply disappointing, and its absence fatally undermines the credibility of your resolution as an accurate representation of the views of (the) Wichita State University student body.”

Students for Justice in Palestine and other WSU students and community members advocated for SGA to pass a Gaza ceasefire resolution for over a month; at least 45 people attended the Feb. 28 Senate meeting.

According to Aljazeera, over 33,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza as of April 18. After Hamas, a Palestinian political militant group, attacked Israel on Oct. 7, the death toll in Israel is more than 1,100.

SGA’s At-large Sen. Gracie Lamb, who authored the Gaza ceasefire resolution and partnered with SJP, said Proctor’s response was disappointing. She said while she had hoped the resolution wouldn’t come off as “one-sided,” the resolution’s stance and support of Palestine is based on human rights organizations’ views; Amnesty International has condemned Israel’s actions.

“The human rights organizations that we were basing our findings off were not saying Israel was the one being treated with genocide,” Lamb said. “It was the Palestinians who were being treated with genocide.”

In January, the International Council of Justice (ICJ) found that it is “plausible” that Israel has violated the Genocide Convention, calling on Israel to immediately ensure Gaza received humanitarian aid and to prevent and punish those inciting genocide toward Palestinians. 

According to CBS News, Israel has impeded the “delivery of food and other vital goods,” which goes against ICJ’s ruling.

Lamb also said the term “Israel-Hamas war” was “very misrepresenting” due to the imbalance between Israel, which is being funded and armed by other countries like the United States, and Palestine. According to Newsweek, Israel is “one of the world’s nine nuclear nations.”

“Israel is a nuclear power, getting funded by other nuclear powers like the United States,” Lamb said. “It wouldn’t be an even playing field … At the end of the day, the only people that have the power to stop this are the United States government and the Israeli government.”

SGA’s Gaza ceasefire resolution has expired as of the end of the current SGA session on April 18 and will need to be reintroduced into the Senate.

The resolution can be read here.

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About the Contributors
Courtney Brown
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
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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