Arianna Otero/Contributing Writer
The Student Government Association passed a resolution to support FIU’s Ukrainian students and others affected by Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The resolution, created by Graduate senator Joshua Mandall, passed on April 4. The fully amended resolution gives a history of the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, condemns the actions of Russian and Belarussian presidents Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko and details ways to support students affected by the conflict.
“This is a massive humanitarian crisis and needs to be given attention,” said Mandall. “So many don’t think about the students that are impacted by this war and this was my way of saying ‘We see you and we stand by you.’”
The resolution had a contentious debate back and forth as some senators disagreed with the original formatting and word choice of the resolution. CASE Senator Delano Cicconi felt that the unamended resolution did not support international students affected by the conflict.
“This paper has absolutely no substance and will only be used negatively to bully and discriminate against Russian students,” said Cicconi during senate on March 28 in reference to the original resolution.
In response to those opposing the resolution, SIPA senators Manuel Soltero and Alexander Sutton, who are both sponsors of the resolution, worked to amend it. They met with Ukrainian students to see what more could be done, in which the students suggested support for food and housing.
“[Ukranian students] were very active in this resolution; the first time that it was tabled they were actually quite disappointed and reached out to me,” said Soltero.
At the April 4 meeting, Soltero invited Yaroslav Sulym, Maksim Kazimir, and Olena Dyba to speak on the resolution in favor of passing it. After speaking to the senate, during a recess, the students worked with senators to come up with final amendments so the resolution could be passed.
The resolution passed with a final vote of 1 nay to 16 yays.