The Associated Students of Madison Student Council met Wednesday night and discussed appropriate ways to honor the people who lost their lives in the brutal conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
The meeting began with a statement from Student Services Finance Committee Secretary and Student Council Member Steven Shi, honoring those who have lost their lives in the war.
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The statement followed a week in which Russia launched multiple attacks on Ukraine, even bombing a maternity hospital in the city of Mariupol, leading to multiple deaths and injuries.
“We shall have a moment of silence, we shall host a vigil,” Shi said. “Besides these gestures, if we wish to uphold the values of this institution, we must also urge the university administration and legislators to provide financial and emotional support for all those who are impacted by this unjust war.”
Expanding upon his request for financial and emotional support, Shi said support might take the form of tuition reductions and emotional support systems for those students feeling overwhelmed by the events taking place.
Shi noted that though this conflict is unfolding overseas, UW as a campus and as a community must acknowledge the ties many members of the student body have to these two nations.
“There are four Ukrainian citizens, one U.S. citizen with home addresses in Ukraine and many Ukrainian American students on campus,” Shi said. “There are also 33 Russian citizens on campus, and some turned out at the peaceful demonstration last week on Bascom Hill.”
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Diverse Engagement Coordinator and Student Council Member Ndemazea Fonkem volunteered to help organize and plan the vigil Shi requested in his statement.
Regardless of what happens in the coming weeks regarding the conflict, the vigil will “most likely occur in the week following students’ return from spring break,” Fonkem said.
In a press release sent out Thursday, ASM condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, unanimously approving the resolution and calling for a “democratic, peaceful solution.”
The next Student Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will take place in the Hearing Room on the fourth floor of the Student Activity Center at 333 East Campus Mall.