Dear fellow Patriots:
Earlier this week I began to receive personal messages from Ukrainian students at George Mason University, and their words have moved me to reach out to the entire community.
“I came to the GMU seven months ago from Ukraine,” wrote one PhD student. “All my family members and friends are in bomb shelters in Odesa, Kyiv, and Kharkiv right now. It’s been six days already since Russian Federation attacked my home.”
I cannot conceive of what Mason’s Ukrainian students must be enduring today as their country faces a brutal and unprovoked invasion. First and foremost, we join the chorus of nations, companies and organizations in condemning the violence. I want our Ukrainian students to know that we hear their calls for support, and we are answering that call.
As we focus on Ukraine, it is also important to remember that a number of Russian students are enrolled at Mason. They are not responsible for or even connected to this war. They, no doubt, will also feel the impact of this war and, as Mason Patriots, if they need our help we will be here to assist them as well.
What these Patriots need most
We understand Ukrainian students are likely experiencing crisis in four primary forms, and here is what we are doing to help:
- Emotional trauma – The violence in Ukraine and the sense of isolation here in Virginia is taking an overwhelming toll. For this we offer our Counseling and Psychological Services.
- Financial emergencies – These students are likely cut off from their families and finances in their home countries, potentially leaving them unable to pay living expenses. The Ukraine Crisis Student Support Fund has been established to help these students cover expenses.
- Personal fears for safety – These students fear personal retribution for those who may have animosity toward their home country. Our Office of International Programs and Services is staying in contact with these students to monitor their safety and wellbeing.
- An uncertain road home – These students join nearly 30,000 Ukrainians who are temporarily in the United States, on work or student visas. Should this crisis stretch beyond their visa expirations, they should not be forced to return to their home country if it is not safe. I support those who encourage the Biden Administration to extend Temporary Protective Status for these students and all Ukrainians who are here temporarily.
What we do best
Our motto is “freedom and learning.” At our core, we are a place to teach, learn, and improve our understanding of the world. For most of us, this sudden turn of violence is confusing and frightening, and we need help to make sense of what is unfolding. That’s where our faculty are second to none. At the bottom of this message are links to articles, videos, and upcoming symposia, all hosted by our faculty in order to help the public understand this unfolding situation.
Beyond George Mason University, I encourage you to consider helping Ukrainians as you can. There are a number of worthy organizations to contact, and I offer several resource links below as a starting point to help.
A values moment: We thrive Razom
As we rally the services of the university to bear for these students, let’s also offer our hearts. One core value of Mason is “We thrive together.” This core value is now being put to the test. The Ukrainian word for “together” is “razom,” and I challenge us to approach this moment with the spirit of razom – togetherness – for our fellow Patriots in need. Because today, razom is what it means to be a Patriot.
Ways to help
- Razom – This organization that fosters connections between the United States and Ukraine is accepting emergency donations for medical supplies and emergency communications equipment inside Ukraine.
- US Embassy & Consulate in Poland – For those seeking information on humanitarian assistance and visa information for Ukrainians who have evacuated to Poland.
- CNN Impact – Donation portal for 20 nonprofit organizations working to assist Ukrainians.
Faculty links explaining the war and its implications
Schar School of Policy and Government
- VIDEO – The Ukraine Crisis: What It Really Means – The Michael V. Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy.
- UPCOMING SYMPOSIUM – The Ukraine-Russia Crisis – The Center for Security and Policy Studies will host the faculty symposium on Tuesday, March 8, 6-7:30 pm. Viewable on the Arlington Campus in Van Metre Hall 602, and on the Fairfax Campus in Horizon Hall 3010.
- NEWS ARTICLE – Russian money flows through US real estate – Louise Shelley, Director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, explains to NBC News how Russian oligarchs, real estate, and money laundering factor into the wider conflict.
- COLUMN – Why America’s Middle Eastern allies haven’t condemned Russia’s war in Ukraine – Schar professor Mark Katz writes for The Hill.
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution
- ESSAY – What the Montreux Convention is, and what it means for the Ukraine war – Dean Alpaslan Özerdem explains the role this convention plays in keeping the Ukrainian war from being even worse.
Antonin Scalia Law School
- COLUMN – If Russia invades Ukraine, what’s next? – Joshua Huminski, visiting fellow at the National Security Institute, outlines what must be done in response to a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- ANALYSIS – Experts paint dark picture for region, global order if Russia invades – Jamil Jaffer, founder of the National Security Institute, comments on Russia’s economy.
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- COLUMN – Tyler Cowen: Cancel Culture against Russians is the new McCarthyism – The economics professor and director of the Mercatus Center warns of the damage of condemning all things Russian.