SGA Sells Bracelets for Ukrainian Foundations

Lydia McFarlane, Staff Writer

This past week, the University’s Student Government Association organized a fundraiser in partnership with the University’s Russian Club for Ukraine Crisis Relief. SGA member Thomas Dessoye and Russian Club President Angel Sarni wrote a bill called the “Russian Club Co-Sponsored Ukrainian Crisis-Relief Fundraiser.” The bill was presented on March 16 and was passed unanimously. The bill proposed the fundraiser, where money would be going once raised, how to get students to donate and the timeframe for the fundraiser. 

For those who are unfamiliar, Ukraine is in a state of crisis since neighboring country Russia invaded a few weeks ago on Feb. 24, 2022. Around the world, leaders and dignitaries have been expressing their support for the Ukrainian people and encouraging citizens to donate to relief funds. 

In the United States, many citizens have become united once again in solidarity for the Ukrainian people affected by the invasion across the bipartisan divide that has been present in the nation throughout the past few years. President Joe Biden gave a speech on Feb. 22, encouraging American citizens to denounce the actions of the Russians and unite in support of the Ukrainians, who gained refugee status virtually overnight. 

Whatever Russia does next, we’re ready to respond with unity, clarity, and conviction,” Biden said.

The University has held several events regarding the crisis in Ukraine. On March 10, the University held a vigil on the Rowan Campus Green at 3:45 p.m., which was followed by a prayer service held in the Corr Chapel in the Ukrainian Orthodox tradition at 4:00 p.m. 

According to an email sent by Sarah Peters, a program coordinator within the University’s Theology and Religious studies department, the services were meant to “Protest the illegal invasion, stand with Villanova students from the region and pray for the people of Ukraine as they resist, mourn, and seek refuge.” 

The University also released an official statement sent from the office of University President Father Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D., on Feb. 28 in support of Ukraine. He closed the email by saying, “In God’s name, we pray that humanity prevails, and peace returns to Ukraine.” 

As the crisis in Ukraine wages on, it is important to not forget what the people living there are going through. Just because it might not show up in the news as much as it was about a month ago does not mean people are not still suffering and in need of help. Because of this, SGA decided to organize the bracelet sale in which funds raised will go to Ukraine Crisis Relief funds. 

The flyer advertising the sale said  that the money raised will be going to “Humanitarian aid for: The United Nations crisis relief fund, the Support Vulnerable Black Community in Ukraine GoFundMe, and the support LGBTQ Ukrainians outright relief efforts.” The “I STAND WITH UKRAINE” wristbands were being sold for $2 each. The sale took place at the Oreo on main campus from Tuesday, March 22 to Friday, March 25  from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and on Monday, March 28, with an additional pre-sale day on Monday, March 21. 

“To have the opportunity to support vulnerable communities in Ukraine on Villanova’s campus shows that no matter where you are, your help and support can truly have a global influence,” Dessoye said.

SGA’s partnership with the Russian Club encouraged students to stop by the Oreo to buy a wristband and show support for those in need in the current times of crisis in Ukraine. 

“In the end, we hope to help communities in Ukraine by providing them with necessary resources to sustain their lives,” Dessoye said.