Dear UMPI Community,
The University of Maine at Presque Isle stands with those across higher education in our unequivocal condemnation of Russia’s invasion of the democratic nation of Ukraine. As a public institution, our mission and values are grounded, first and foremost, in democracy and the processes by which individuals and their elected representatives make decisions and pass legislation on behalf of the people. A respect for the international rule of law and the independence and self-determination of neighboring states is a necessary obligation of democracy and itself a pre-condition of any government claiming to protect the rights of the individuals it represents. As we think about our campuses in terms of inclusion and diversity, it is important to remember that our view of the world is based upon our understanding of people we have known and who have influenced us in our lives. The Ukrainian people and the subsequent acts of Russian leadership are indeed such influencers. I urge us all to stay informed and take part in discussions, both classroom-based and extra-curricular, in order to continue the conversation and ensure greater understanding. You can read the Chancellor’s statement on the Ukraine crisis here, released earlier today.
The University does not have students currently in Ukraine, but we have members of our community, including employees and students and alumni, who are Ukrainian or of Ukrainian descent, and who have family in Ukraine. Our thoughts are with them and all who are concerned about families and loved ones impacted by this illicit and autocratic invasion. Those wishing to help impacted individuals within our community can provide resources here, through the UMPI Cares Fund, used specifically for emergency assistance. In addition, UNICEF, Amnesty International, and the International Rescue Committee, amongst other international organizations, are providing both direct and indirect support to victims and refugees. I have instructed facilities to fly the Ukrainian flag as a symbol of our solidarity.
I encourage students or others in need to contact UMPI’s Student Support Services (768-9732, firstname.lastname@example.org), our Dean of Students (768-9518, email@example.com), or our counseling services (768-9791, firstname.lastname@example.org) for support and resources.
Most importantly, we stand with the people of Ukraine and their allies around the globe as they resist this invasion, defend their freedom, and protect their democracy.