Faith Monahan ’24
Members of the Trinity College community gathered during common hour for a peace vigil for Ukraine on Thursday, Mar. 3. Participants expressed solidarity with Ukraine and they were invited to offer poems, reflections, and remarks in the Chapel.
The service brought a large turn-out from the community and local news station WFSB Channel 3 EyeWitness News. Students and faculty shared readings and voiced support for peace in Ukraine. The event helped spread awareness of the support systems offered on campus as the Russian invasion continues.
Vice President of Student Success and Enrollment Management Joe DiChristina spoke on the horror of the crisis and the lack of humanity in the invasion. Katie Clair, an international student advisor at Trinity, shared a poem by Ukrainian poet Kateryna Kalytko titled “Make Love” from the collection Words for War. Assistant Director of Hillel Leah Staffin discussed the bombing of Freedom Square in Kharkiv that destroyed multiple buildings including the local Hillel center. Joshua Jacoves ’23 shared a prayer for peace and humanitarianism in Ukraine and the surrounding countries. Reverend Halley then proceeded to open up the space for participants to share remarks on the crisis.
Gabriel Sorondo ’23 called attention to the group of students protesting in front of Mather last week in support of Ukraine. Responding to a post on the social media smartphone application Yik Yak making light of the protest and some of the interactions the group had with passing students, Sorondo stated “when do these vigils, when we do these protests, when we do sharing in spaces, it is to keep information flowing and, most importantly, to show empathy with what is occurring right now.”
After members of the community shared their remarks, Reverend Halley led a call and response: “We stand in this moment with the people of Ukraine…May all of us choose peace this day and every day.” In a call to action before the closing song of the service Reverend Halley stated: “I just want to reiterate that as we think about ways that we can be empowered as agents of peace on our campus and in our city and in our world, to keep the information flowing, to keep talking about the stories, to have hard but necessary conversations with one another, but to also care for one another.”
Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sonia Cardenas wrote a letter to the editor on Ukraine that was featured last week in the New York Times. “Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has captured the global imagination in a different way from other crises, and it isn’t just because of its objective seriousness or our ‘wired world.’ It’s because the pandemic has triggered our capacity to imagine global catastrophe as a real possibility,” wrote Cardenas. “As we watch events in Ukraine unfold, the power to imagine the previously unimaginable should inspire us to act differently. We’re all global citizens.”