Students Supporting Israel Gains Momentum At Kent State

Students Supporting Israel Gains Momentum At Kent State

A movement for peace.
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As a woman that grew up in the Western World, I feel like sometimes it is hard to grasp the very real and very horrific state of countries on the opposite side of the globe. I had growing interest in what is happening in the Middle East and wondered how we could achieve peace. It all just seemed too big and too hard to change anything. However, in the past couple of years being in college and creating friendships with people of so many diverse religions and cultures, I am learning so much more about the world and how I can help out.

Today I had the chance to sit down and talk with the president of the Students Supporting Israel at Kent State University, and a good friend of mine, Sophia Witt. SSI is a new movement at KSU this year, but it is growing rapidly. Students across campus are coming together to show their support for Israel and call for peace in the Middle East. Since she is the president, I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about SSI and ask her some questions about how to get involved.


What is SSI?

SSI is Students Supporting Israel at Kent State. We are a pro-Israel grassroots peace movement that supports co-existing, human rights, and peace, all of which Israel represents.

Why is it important for students to stay aware of the issues in the Middle East?
It’s happening in the world around them. Even though we’re in the United States, it is important to pay attention to everything. Eventually it all gets back to the United States. Everyone comes to us because we are the land of the free and the home of the brave. The U.S. is always involved. So I believe it’s important for everyone to know about allies as well as enemies in the Middle East.


How can students get involved at Kent State or other universities they may attend?

Staying active in news and reading articles and being informed. Students Supporting Israel is just a statement, really - that you support peace. You support Israel. A country that is so diverse and so accepting in all things. And being an informed citizen and human being that supports peace in Israel is being a member. Share articles and information. Write articles. Talk about Israel with friends. Talk about peace in the Middle East.
Also, feel free to come to our meetings on Thursdays from 7:30-8:30PM – we usually have food. We talk about current events and how to get more people informed. The overall message of SSI is to be informed and know what is happening in Israel.

Are there other branches of SSI in other universities?

Yes! There are 48 chapters officially now, spreading across the world. It was founded in Minnesota and since then it has prospered and branched out to different campuses in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. It is a movement. It’s not just a club, it’s really like a way of life. It’s being a Zionist. I think there are members of SSI who don’t even know they’re members yet.


Do you have to be Jewish to be a member of SSI?
Absolutely not. SSI has a diverse group of followers. Israel itself is a Jewish state, however the country is so diverse. It’s accepting of all denominations. So any religion is accepted in SSI. If you support Israel, co-existence, and human rights, then you meet the requirements of SSI.

Is there anything else you feel should be known about the Students Supporting Israel movement?
I think that it’s important for people to know that we’re a family. We aren’t just a group or club. We are a force that stands together for something bigger than us. It’s not about who’s better than who, it’s bigger. We’re bonded together to create peace and I think that’s very important to understand.

Thank you for doing an interview with me, Sophia.
I want to spread awareness about SSI so thank you for writing an article about us!




I think it is very critical for young adults to keep up with what is happening in other parts of the world. It can be hard to do with so much going on and our media can be very selective in what they cover. But with the internet and social media it is much easier to stay in touch and informed than ever before. We have the opportunity to learn from the past and create ways to spread peace in the future. SSI is an incredible movement that is trying to achieve peace. I believe if we come together we can look to the future with hope and know that it’s not too hard to change.

Cover Image Credit: Sophia Witt

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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