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Drew University Students Discuss Ukraine-Russia War

President, professor, dean join students at emotional gathering

March 2022 – Drew University’s Tilghman International Student Center hosted a somber and sensitive conversation surrounding the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

President Thomas Schwarz opened the hybrid in-person/virtual event by condemning the actions of Vladimir Putin, referencing lessons learned from the Holocaust, and offering his support to Drew’s international students effected by these events.  

“The Holocaust taught us that obeying orders is not an excuse—legally, morally, or ethically—for one man’s inhumanity towards man,” he said.

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Drew students from both Ukraine and Russia shared their feelings and experiences at the event held in Seminary Hall.

Carlos Yordán, associate professor of international relations and director of the New York City Semester on the United Nations, discussed the history of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. He also offered insights from his research on the effects of the Cold War and gave his predictions of what may happen globally as the situation progresses. 

Five students—three from Ukraine and two from Russia—gave short speeches and shared personal videos and messages they’d received from their hometowns. Messages of support from students, faculty, and staff flooded the virtual event’s chat feature.

“All this hate cannot prevail, the people of the world will come together. I will not speak his name, but he will fall,” said one Russian student, referencing Putin.

“This is a threat to all of us, and we must help the Ukrainian people because they determine the future for us all,” added another Russia native.

“I am ashamed that I am not home with my family and that I am not with the other volunteer boys in the streets,” shared a student from Kyiv, Ukraine.

Through tears, Tanya Linn Bennett, associate dean of vocation and formation, ended the event by tearfully thanking the students for their bravery, and offering the support of everyone in Drew’s administration.

“This kind of violence affects our moral fiber,” she said.

This story was written by Morgan Alley C’22.

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