Campus Reacts to Ukraine Crisis 

Owen Whaley ’24

Features Editor

Photo courtesy of Sergey Bobok:Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

Students, faculty, and staff are expressing solidarity with those affected by the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

“I am disheartened and deeply troubled by the escalation of violence in Ukraine,” President Vincent Rougeau wrote in an email to students earlier this week. “Following Russia’s unjust invasion, many around the world hoped for a speedy resolution to this crisis. But that hope diminishes with each passing hour, as we witness Russia’s blatant disregard for human rights and international law.” 

Rougeau invited students, faculty, and staff to a weekly Prayer for Peace in Mary Chapel on Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. “I hope that you will join me in praying for peace and reconciliation in Ukraine,” he said, “and in all nations afflicted by violence and war.” 

Days after Russian troops landed in Ukraine, students gathered for a candlelight vigil on the Hoval. A forum was held in which faculty experts answered questions about the crisis. The Alexander Hamilton Society hosted a discussion on the implications of the invasion, featuring Professor Noel Cary and Roger Zakheim, Director of the Ronald Regan Institute. 

“The people of Ukraine deserve our greatest admiration and steadfast support,” John Pietro ‘22 tells me. “They know just how precious and fragile freedom is, for they are on the frontlines of the struggle for liberty. We in the West would do well to stand with them in their fight because the world is a hostile place for free peoples.” 

“Putin has overlooked something that has been both the most painful yet advantageous aspect of the war for Ukraine,” Martha Wyatt-Luth ‘25 says. “The war is not merely a tug-of-war over Ukraine, it is a personal attack against the Ukrainian people. In this moment of grave uncertainty, allied countries must support Ukraine in its defense against one of the world’s largest bullies.” 

“This is not a fight where we can stand back and watch,” Pietro says. “It is a fight that will, eventually, come to our shores in one form or another. Those countries that disregard human rights and freedom will not stop at the periphery — they will push until they are compelled to stop. Ukrainians exemplify the power and strength of a free people in the face of authoritarianism and tyranny. We cannot abandon them.” 

“The United States has stumbled over itself in Iraq and Afghanistan for the last twenty years but we now have a renewed sense of purpose,” Milo Fallon ‘24 tells me. “The fate of democracy is at stake, and we will either stand by and watch it disintegrate or support Ukraine.” 

“As individuals, we need to contribute more than our words,” he continues. “Please seek out places to donate and support Ukrainian refugees. Slava Ukraini, Heroiam slava!”

Photo at the College of the Holy Cross’ campus
Thoughts + Wishes for Ukraine

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