Filed under Opinion

St. John’s extends support to youth abroad

In recent weeks, both Venezuela and Ukraine have entered into a spiral of lethal conflict and civil unrest due to unconformity with the status quo in the countries’ governments.

That being said, the University community extends its unwavering support for the victims and students, faculty and staff members who have ties to those countries.

Rev. Joseph L. Levesque C.M., interim-President of the University, issued a personal note of support to University community on Tuesday.

“In light of the escalating crisis situations in Ukraine and in Venezuela, I am reaching out to the St. John’s community today to offer an assurance of support,” he said. “On behalf of the St. John’s family, our hearts and prayers go out to the Ukrainian and Venezuelan communities in this time and struggle.”

After reading about what’s going on in both states, the most captivating detail is that the majority of protesters were students like us: young, bold and full of ambitions.

Sometimes we forget how powerful the voice of the youth is and the ability we have to rally around social causes.

For instance, many of the folks involved with Relay for Life aren’t gray-haired individuals. They are students volunteering and raising money to fight cancer.

Another example happened over the weekend, when the Biology Honor Society put together a fundraiser dance for a fellow Johnny who was severely injured. It’s a group of young individuals banding together and deciding to make a difference.

That makes an impact no matter if it’s for one person or for a group; for one town or for a whole country.

The Torch admires the courage of the protesters for fighting for what they believe in and staying put until progress is made.

Unfortunately, in Ukraine, progress wasn’t even considered until its government killed over 80 people and injured countless more in the capital of Kiev. And that didn’t stop until the heads of the European Union, U.S. and Russia intervened politically.

Hopefully, Venezuela can learn from the worst tragedy Ukraine has seen since its split from the Soviet Union in 1991 and become more proactive in listening to the changes their protestors are shouting for.

As Levesque mentioned, students who feel they may need assistance during this challenging time should consult with the Center for Counseling and Consultation, the department of Campus Ministry or the Residence Life staff.

Nevertheless, now is a better time than ever to appreciate what we have here, at St. John’s and this country, in the midst of so much tragedy abroad.

Here’s to the hope that changes come about sooner rather than later for all who strive for peace, equality and believe in the spirit of the youth.

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