The American University in Bulgaria condemns the war in Ukraine and expresses its support for the country and its people during these tragic times. The university community has always been multinational and multicultural, and AUBG is proud to educate students from across the region in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding, tolerance, cooperation and peace. Currently, AUBG is home to 24 Ukrainian students and 13 Russian students.
“Our thoughts are with all innocent people on both sides who are suffering and losing their lives in this senseless war,” said AUBG President Dr. David Evans. “Even before the war began, the university leadership contacted our Ukrainian students to let them know that we were monitoring the situation and that we were there to support them. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we organized a meeting with the Ukrainian students to understand how we can best support them and their families and how we can assist them in continuing their education. We also met with our Russian students who too are suffering the consequences of the war and who need our support.”
The AUBG Faculty Assembly accepted a formal statement that condemns the war: “The AUBG Faculty Assembly strongly condemns the Putin government’s violent invasion of Ukraine and supports all initiatives to restore peace to Ukraine. The Faculty Assembly will continue to work with other university bodies to strengthen our AUBG community as a place that respects the individual and maintains the values of liberal democracy.”
In solidarity with the Ukrainian people, AUBG students are organizing an anti-war protest, which will take place on Wednesday, March 2, at 4:30 pm in front of the America for Bulgaria Student Center. AUBG also organizes a number of activities to support both students and their families. Among them is a fundraising campaign that aims to raise funds for students affected by the war. The AUBG community will also host a Spring Cleaning Bazaar on March 6 and an exhibition for International Women’s Day on March 8. All proceedings from both events will go to support all affected students.
It is a part of AUBG’s mission to build relationships and partnerships for a better future among the people in its community and society as a whole. To do so successfully, we often have to break down stereotypes that are at the root of such conflicts. Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have had to help students during a conflict – our students from the former Yugoslav republics were also suffering the consequences of war in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Young people around the world are in general quite similar – they want to develop personally and professionally and be active and responsible citizens who can contribute to society and who can communicate and travel freely across the world. Young people do not want to live in a world where war is still an argument. We hope to hear good news about the end of this war soon.