Mohammad Tariq Jamal (B.S. ’18), president of the Graduate Student Association, reports on the March 11 virtual discussion “Russia and Ukraine: A Virtual Conversation and Safe Reflection Space.” The event featured a conversation about the conflict, ways to support those impacted most, and how to find reliable information and mental health and wellness resources.
This virtual event was a crucial and important one to ensure all students, staff, and faculty who are affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine have a safe and supportive space. Assistant Provost for Student Engagement and Development Tiffani Blake, M.Ed. , and I started the conversation by welcoming the attendees, followed by a viewing of the BBC production The History of Ukraine-Russia Tensions, which provided an educational and historical background of the region.
In my opinion, this was a much-needed event to provide assistance to the students affected by the crisis and let them know they are not alone. “Even though my family and I are here in the United States, and we have no direct family members back home affected by the ongoing war, my parents are going through a traumatic experience right now,” said Darya Ryndych, a student in the College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM). Ryndych added that she is grateful for this event and any future events New York Tech may host.
Anu Raj, Psy.D., assistant professor in NYITCOM, spoke about how situations like this can take a toll on mental health and what people can do to avoid the negatives and focus on the betterment of our mental, physical, and emotional health. Some tips she recommended include having a routine, social contact with others, joining local support groups, and helping others.
During the conversation, it was mentioned that there are students within the New York Tech community who are facing financial difficulties due to the crisis and not sure what the future holds for them. All students were directed to contact the Dean of Students or the Office Student Life at their campus for assistance. Additionally, students at the New York campuses were reminded of financial assistance available to students via the Student Emergency Fund and New York Tech CARE Grant as well as the food/resource offerings at the Grizzly Cupboard.
At the end of the conversation, students walked away with information on numerous resources, knowing they have endless support and reassurance from New York Tech.
“Russia and Ukraine: A Virtual Conversation and Safe Reflection Space” was organized by the Office of Student Engagement in collaboration with the Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Association. Planning committee members include Assistant Provost for Student Engagement and Development Tiffani Blake, M.Ed., Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine Nicole Wadsworth, D.O., Senior Director of Career Success and Experiential Education Amy Bravo, Anoushka Guha, president of the Student Government Association on the Long Island campus, and Mohammad Tariq Jamal (B.S. ’18), president of the Graduate Student Association on the New York City campus.