Have Your Say: Students Reflect on Military Action in Gaza

By Beth Lederer and Kristina Hayrapet

For this issue’s segment of ‘Have Your Say!’, City College students answered questions and gave their opinions on the conflict in the Middle East between Hamas and Israel. The Guardsman thanks all the students who took time to give their honest opinions. Many of the students who participated had the issue on their minds. Students were asked: Are you following the news on the latest events in the Middle East? How and where are you getting your news from? Has the conflict personally affected you?

David Lowe shares how he is receiving his news on the conflict in the Middle East, and how he feels as though history is repeating itself. 24 Oct. 2023. San Francisco, Calif. Photo by Kristina Hayrapet/ The Guardsman.

David Lowe 

Major: Game Design 

I usually watch local news KTVU- Channel 2. I’ve heard about the war since it began. I’ve heard some people talking about it. I’ve known people who are both Jewish and Palestinian. Like really guys, another generation that didn’t really learn from what went before. That’s when the old Hamas became politicians because they realized fighting doesn’t work. They’re a new generation of morons. I’m not really affected, I know people who would be more affected on both sides. My best friend when I was in elementary school was Jewish. The eighties seemed to be calm around the Middle East. It was more of a conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. I was graduating high school during Desert Storm and it seems history is repeating itself. 

Ryan Minnis, a psychology student at CCSF, reflects on fears of United States involvement. 24 Oct. 2023. San Francisco, Calif. Photo by Kristina Hayrapet/ The Guardsman.

Ryann Minnis 

Major: Psychology 

I’m following the news loosely, I would say, maybe not as intentionally as I should be. I am receiving info through both news and social media, it’s everyplace on social media right now. On Instagram everyone’s posting their opinion and not always an opinion that is super informed. So I try not to guess what’s happening on social media though it’s always there. I don’t go to Instagram or TikTok to look for it, but it’s always popping up. I think sometimes it’s a bias because people don’t actually know what’s happening. They feel a certain way about something and then they just post it and that’s not an informed opinion of what’s happening. I want to say that it’s not personally affecting me because I’m not Palestinian or Jewish though it’s war and I think it’s affecting all of us. It’s definitely scary especially because the US is trying to get involved and that could escalate to a more personal affiliation with what’s happening. I look at my friends’ college campuses, and it’s being brought to college campuses and that’s where it’s gotten really scary. 

Rochelle Schott, a nursing student at CCSF, says people need to stop being quiet about the conflict. 24 Oct. 2023. San Francisco, Calif. Photo by Kristina Hayrapet/ The Guardsman.

Rochelle Schott 

Major: Nursing

I am following the news though if I can be honest, I mainly do get my news from social media. I mainly get it from Instagram though I read it a little bit on Twitter. I have a friend who is Moroccan and she’s been posting a lot and that’s how I’ve been aware of a lot what’s going on. It’s really hard seeing what’s going on, it’s making me really sad especially last week because we’re living here in the States. I know what we can do, you can post, reach out to the government, donate but at the same time I wish I could be there helping. It’s so sad all the kids are dying. I work hard at a restaurant and all my tax money is going to kill children. The way I’m coping is reposting everything I see in social media. A lot of people don’t understand because they only hear one side, Israel got bombed or Middle Eastern people are terrorists. That’s what a lot of people still believe in and it’s not true. If I can be honest I always heard about the ongoing conflict with Palestine and Israel though I didn’t know the history about it. I’m learning a lot about the history of what’s happening, its a genocide happening in our eyes, in 2023. I feel guilty. I’m here and nothing is happening to me, I wish I could do more. I would say to people they need to stop being quiet about it.


Michael Harper  

Major: History 

I receive my news from BBC, Al Jazeera, Democracy Now, MSNBC, Washington Post, religious and non-religious articles and friends. The Gaza Strip is 25 miles long and over 2 million people, yes it’s heartbreaking to know the Prime Minister has always hated Arabs and it has made it a goal to destroy them. With someone like that in authority, I don’t think that people in Palestine will be able to survive regardless of what the negotiations will be. I am coping with it by writing about it on social media and making it known to the Muslim community what my feelings are. I’m also connected internationally and have friends that live there and I communicate with them. I have a non-profit. There is so much stuff and that’s part of the reason why I am a history major. I also spent time and lived there, and I have friends from Lebanon that I’ve known for over 40 years. I’ve been doing this for thirty years, so this is nothing new to me. Talk to the younger people, the one I want to talk to is Netanyahu. 


Nick Stepanyuck (left) and Arlo Nelson (right) both reflect on how they are loosely following the Middle Eastern conflict, with Nick receiving news mainly from activism on the streets of San Francisco, and Arlo gaining information mainly from social media. 24 Oct. 2023. San Francisco, Calif. Photo by Kristina Hayrapet/ The Guardsman.

Nick Stepanyuk 

Major: Undecided 

I’m not following the news or on the internet. I remember when it came out, specifically online in general I don’t really see it around as much. So I don’t really hear about it. Besides people like writing stuff on the street or giving out pamphlets. I went on the bus one time and there was somebody holding a sign about the issue and they went off to a protest. It’s not really personally affecting me. 

Arlo Nelson

Major: Animation 

I haven’t done extensive research on it but I’ve seen some of the information coming out mostly online. I don’t watch the news, I mostly get it via online or on Twitter. It’s not affecting me personally but I do feel very strongly what’s happening to Palestine. 


Carlos Zabala shares how the conflict in the Middle East is affecting his life personally. 24 Oct. 2023. San Francisco, Calif. Photo by Kristina Hayrapet/ The Guardsman.

Carlos Zabala 

Major: Marketing 

I am definitely following what’s going on in the Middle East. I get my news from social media, I definitely don’t watch the news on TV anymore but I try to keep up with different news outlets. I also like to read a lot of non news media, that’s more on the scene coverage rather than what they want to tell you. The place I’m reading a lot of articles right now is The Atlantic compared to watching Fox News. I feel it keeps a real scope of what’s going on across seas. I think the news on TV can be very one sided. Social media is on the ground and it’s getting us the most accurate with what’s going on everyday. 

I definitely feel empathy for the people with Muslim backgrounds, or just every background because there are women and children being affected on both sides. Interesting, what it’s costing, I see people giving me weird looks on the street. Last week I had an incident when I was walking, I had a beanie on and they mistook me as being Muslim, they asked all these questions and I was randomly walking. Something like that and I feel if this was any other time it wouldn’t have happened. I still look the same. Thank You! For what you are doing, trying to spread awareness and trying to get the message out.

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