Like many of you, I am gripped by the coverage of the military invasion unfolding half a world away in Ukraine and find myself trying to make sense of what has occurred and what might happen next. We have witnessed this situation escalate to a climax over several weeks as troops have amassed on Ukraine’s borders and appeals for peace from world leaders have saturated the global discourse, but effectively gone unanswered. In these early days of war, the people of Ukraine are in our hearts and on our minds. Images of people fleeing for safety on city streets, at the borders, and in subway stations evoke our empathy for the fear, loss of life, and turmoil being experienced on the ground by those most directly affected by senseless acts of aggression that challenge a sovereign nation’s rights to choose a democratically elected government and freely associate in the global community.
Since all this began, I have heard from and about members of our community whose families and friends are directly affected by the conflict, some of whom have loved ones living in Ukraine. Others are deeply concerned for members of our Armed Forces who may be deployed from bases in Colorado and elsewhere as the military conflict escalates. We are here for each of you and I encourage our students to utilize UNC’s Counseling Center and faculty and staff to make use of resources through our Employee Assistance Program if you need them.
As this situation continues to develop, please be kind and compassionate toward one another. We are all dealing with the shock and uncertainty of this military conflict together.