SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The war between Russia and Ukraine has rippling effects on the local Syracuse community. At Syracuse University, there are numerous Ukrainian students who have direct ties to the war.
Freshman Bohdana Colopelnic has grandparents who live in Romania, just over the Ukrainian border. Her uncle is the pastor at St. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Auburn, New York.
“Being Ukrainian myself, my roots mean so much to me. And like just seeing people suffer for the last so many years is just so hard on me and my family,” Colopelnic said.
Colopelnic is the secretary of the Ukrainian Club at SU and is taking to social media to spread awareness of the ongoing violence in Ukraine. She works with the club’s instagram account @urkclubsyracuse to send out donation drives for Ukrainian relief efforts.
“The best way to help is if you don’t know anything about the situation, just educate yourself. Take the time to understand what’s really going on because everyone is about to be affected by this,” Colopelnic said.
Bohdana is also a member of the Catholic Center on campus. Chaplain Gerry Waterman has served the Syracuse community since 2016 and is adding additional prayer services for Ukraine in this time of crisis.
“As I tell some of the students, I know they feel helpless, but the best we can do is pray. The best we can do. We can’t get over there. We can’t send them a cup of coffee or some food. It just wouldn’t work,” Waterman said.