Date: February 28, 2022
TO: The NYU Community
FROM: President Andrew Hamilton

Dear Members of the NYU Community,

In the few days since I spoke about Russia’s deplorable attack on Ukraine during last week’s University Senate meeting, some of our worst fears have begun to be realized.

Casualties are tragically mounting. The war’s destruction has not, of course, been limited to combatants — civilians have been killed and ordinary life has been upended, with hundreds of thousands now refugees even as others take refuge in bomb shelters or collect bottles to make Molotov cocktails to use against invading Russian troops. Worst of all, in an all-too-stark demonstration of how readily war can escalate, Russia’s president — ostensibly in reaction to non-military responses by nations opposed to his aggression — has rashly invoked his country’s nuclear arsenal, setting the world on edge.

These hostilities may be taking place far away from our campuses, but they are seldom far from our thoughts, and our hearts are with those suffering amidst all the senseless brutality. And as a university defined by and proud of its global character, no event such as this — which draws in so many nations — leaves us untouched.

In times such as these, coming together helps us overcome our fears and strengthens our resolve. We draw strength from one another. To that end, there will be a Vigil for Ukraine this afternoon sponsored by the Student Government Assembly and others at 5:00 pm at the Kimmel Steps; all are invited.

NYU has additional resources to assist those struggling with the alarm and bewilderment caused by what is happening in Ukraine. Among other resources:

While all these services are there to support you, sometimes what’s most needed is a friend, a colleague, a roommate, or a classmate being kind, listening carefully, or extending a hand to support us as we react to worrying news. Remember that those from Ukrainian backgrounds are under particular strain. We have reached out to them to provide a variety of resources and support. We should make a special effort to be generous, and patient with one another at this time. And we should all be mindful that this dispute is with the government of Russia, not Russian students, faculty or staff at NYU.

I feel certain I speak for our entire community in appealing for a swift end to the combat, urging a de-escalation of the hostilities, offering compassion and support to the people of Ukraine, and hoping for the success of diplomacy.

Andrew Hamilton