On Tuesday, March 29, the University of Arizona's Department of Russian and Slavic Studies held the “Peace Rally: Stand with Ukraine” in Old Main. The purpose was to get the message across that the department and other members of the community do not support or condone this war.
Around 40 people attended this event, including students of the university as well as people who come from Ukraine or have family members still living there. These times have not been easy for the country due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but people still managed to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
Marge Stafford and Alex Bacon, the president and vice president of the Slavic Club, have spent their time managing this event. They said they both felt like they have the duty to help out at events like this and demonstrate their support.
Stafford expressed concern but also solidarity towards Ukraine and took a stand to make a change in the community.
“We will show that [the UA] is with Ukraine and that we are here looking to advance and support any way we can,” Stafford said.
Multiple people were invited as speakers to this event, and one of them was Councilwoman Nikki Lee who shared some words of concern towards Ukrainians.
“I see peace in three different layers. The outer layer feels as if there is nothing you can control, the second layer hits close to home,” Lee said. “Lastly, the inner layer is what we can do to move forward and challenge ourselves to see the pain and anger we are experiencing to find peace.”
College of Humanities Dean Alain-Philippe Durand was another invited speaker.
“We come in the name of peace. We urge citizens around the world to put an end to this war! We want to make ourselves visible and heard. Freedom matters as well as Ukraine,” Durand said.
The UA is home to multiple students who come from Ukraine and Russia or have family members suffering there because of the war. This rally's purpose was to educate and also empathize with the catastrophic events happening in Ukraine and also to try to do something to put an end to this.
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