February 24, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

This morning we awoke to the devastating headlines of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine. We have all learned more over the course of the day, both from the media and from members of our own community with ties to the region, and the news is frightening. The dire implications of this violence—for the people of Ukraine, for peace in Europe, and for the globe—are only beginning to sink in.

As we follow the developments with increasing fear and concern, I write to ask you to do all you can to support those who are processing these horrific events, and to come together as a community. I am grateful to the Slavic Studies Department for organizing #NoToWarinUkraine: A Teach-in with Creative Responses to Putin’s War, to be held February 25 at 4:30 p.m. in the Walter Commons and the Ernst Common Room.

Early next week, our College Chaplain, Rabbi Schein, will also host a special PAUSE event for members of our community to connect in prayer and poetry, silence and solidarity. We will gather in solidarity with those most affected by Putin’s act of war, and in support of international efforts to end the conflict through peaceful means and diplomacy. Details about PAUSE will follow separately.

There will be other opportunities for us to support and learn from one another in the coming days. In the meantime, please know that there are many people here you can talk to.

Thank you for helping each other, for staying informed, and for making space for all who are suffering in this crisis.

Katherine Bergeron