As a result of the war and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine sparked by the Russian Federation’s military invasion of the country, over two million citizens have been displaced and tens of thousands of Ukranians are facing a lack of food, water and electricity.
The Editorial Board stands in solidarity with Ukraine. Though this conflict is happening thousands of miles away, affiliates of a University with over 5,500 international students coming from over 130 different countries are deeply connected to global events, both this one and those that receive less attention.
We recognize how heartbreaking this crisis is, particularly for Hopkins affiliates who have personal ties to Ukraine and Russia. The University must do more to acknowledge this reality and support its affiliates.
While we appreciate the statement made by University President Ronald J. Daniels, we note that this statement came days after a petition was circulated by students asking the University to make a statement on the war.
Even without concrete University guidance, we applaud students for taking initiative in supporting Ukraine. On March 5, a coalition of student organizations from across the University’s different divisions held a vigil as a sign of solidarity with the local Ukrainian community.
Clearly, students want to get involved and support in their own ways. The University should provide students with this opportunity by facilitating direct ways to support Ukraine and those impacted by the conflict. For example, Hopkins could facilitate a donation drive on campus while also providing support to students who need it.
We acknowledge that Hopkins has taken some action already: This past week, the School of Medicine, alongside the University of Maryland Medical System, donated over $4 million in medical supplies to Ukraine. However, the University should provide ways for students to get involved in supporting this cause in addition to helping affected students.
In the meantime, as students, you can provide support through donation to organizations and volunteer work. Catholic Relief Services, based in Baltimore, is accepting donations to provide resources to those in need. You can also donate to organizations like UNICEF, Save the Children, International Committee of the Red Cross and many more.
Though we urge students to take action where they can, we also implore that you be cognizant of your own mental health. Students should take advantage of resources the University has provided to us. TimelyMD is still accessible for telehealth needs, and students can reach out to the Homewood Counseling Center to request support. We also hope that professors will show a degree of leniency, understanding and support to those impacted by the conflict.
The events unfolding across the world are heartbreaking. For now, we must look for ways to help those affected overseas and make sure we take care of one another during this time.
Michelle Limpe, who wrote the article about the Ukraine vigil, was not involved in the writing or editing of this editorial.