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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Students stand in solidarity with Ukraine

Photo by Paulina Veremchuk.
Washington, D.C. march for Ukraine.
Photo by Paulina Veremchuk. Washington, D.C. march for Ukraine.

Many students have heard in the news and in their classes about the ever-developing crisis in Ukraine, and they find themselves wanting more information or yearning for ways to help. The Interfaith Young Adults (IFYA) are doing what they can to make sure the Wofford community is educated about the war in Ukraine, as well as providing students with ways to help with the crisis. 

 IFYA is a group originally created by SJ Vaughn ‘22, Brady Wolfe ‘23 and Eliana Davis ‘22. Through this organization, students are able to support one another and celebrate events from different religions. 

Through working with the Chaplain’s office, IFYA was able to put on a vigil to show their support for Ukraine. During this event, members of the Wofford community gathered around the peace pole to pay their respects. 

“We wanted to host this event as we felt like there was a need for a space on campus,” Vaughn said. “We were surprised that Wofford hadn’t done anything (official to do so).”

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“Having an event around the peace pole is a way that focuses us on the concerns and lifts them up to the campus community,” said Reverend Ron Robinson, campus chaplain and professor of religion. 

IFYA wanted to emphasize the role that religion has already played in this conflict. 

“Religion is such a big actor in all of this,” Robinson said. “Putin really feels like he is doing this for religious reasons, and he is getting backed up by the head of the church in Russia.”

While Robinson was able to help support this event, students, Wolfe and Vaughn, took the initiative to plan the vigil and made sure that they were doing as much as they could for Ukraine.

Robinson also mentioned the efforts of another student in providing support to Ukrainians being affected by the conflict. 

“We have another student, Gracie Hicks, and she has a non-profit, Helping Hands Helping Families,” Robinson said. “She brought hygiene care packages that have now been shipped to Poland for refugees coming from Ukraine.”

Although many students have been involved in efforts to support Ukraine, there is still more that the Wofford student body could be doing. 

“Students aren’t monolithic. Some are doing a great job with it and you have to make your own decisions,” said Robinson. “For some it is overwhelming. I’ve talked with students who have said, ‘I have seen these pictures and don’t know what to do with it.’ You want the information to be constructive, not overwhelming.”

Vaughn agreed with these sentiments. 

“Sadly there wasn’t a large turn out (for the vigil), but I feel like due to midterms and because the war isn’t in our backyard, people have distanced themselves from the situation,” Vaughn said.

While this event is over, there are still ways for students to get involved and to know what is happening on campus. 

“IFYA has had some amazing events to bring more diversity of religions and cultures to campus and I think (students can) support it by following the Instagram @woffordifya and by attending our events,” Vaughn said. 

Students can continue to look for future events to understand what they can do to support other students and Ukraine in the future.

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