DVC Students Speak Out About War in Ukraine


Photo by Jernej Furman via Flickr. CC BY 2.0.

For three weeks, the nation of Ukraine has fought against Russian forces before the entire world. Hundreds of lives have been lost, heroes on the city battlefields have emerged and millions of Ukrainians have fled their homes and been separated from their loved ones.

Reflecting on the tragedy and chaos unfolding in eastern Europe, Diablo Valley College students weighed in to share their opinions and concerns about the ongoing war.

Anonymous film major: “I feel helpless”

A DVC student majoring in film, who chose to remain anonymous, said she feels the conflict going on in Ukraine is heartbreaking to watch, especially from an outside perspective isolated from the event.

“I feel helpless because I don’t know what to do and I don’t have the power to do anything,” she said.

She said she has been feeling bystander guilt as she continues her normal life while others in Ukraine are suffering and dying in a war.

“I go about my daily life and then get an Apple news notification on my phone about something new happening, and it brings me back to that helpless feeling, and I don’t know what to do,” she added.

She said that everyone should be aware of what is going on in Ukraine, and those who are not should educate themselves and stay informed. Directing a message to Ukrainian and Russian students at DVC, she added: “I want them to know that they are not alone and that people do care.”

Nicky Amen: “I hate violence”

DVC drama major Nicky Amen, 19, said the war in Ukraine is scaring him. “I hate violence,” he said.

Amen said he thinks the war is pointless because Russia has no reason to invade Ukraine, and explained there are other ways to resolve conflict – like using words instead of violence.

Amen said he fears an escalation of the war, but is trying his best to focus his attention away from the negative insights he gains from the news. “I always want to see the good in life, not the bad,” said Amen. “That’s why I am against the war.”

Oma Dike: “It’s heartbreaking because they don’t deserve this” 

Oma Dike, a 19-year-old public health major at DVC, commented with similar pain about the war in Ukraine. “It’s heartbreaking because they don’t deserve this,” she said.

Even more disheartening, Dike said, was seeing some of the racial resentment that arose in the midst of the war, as African and Asian students were denied the right to board trains out of Ukraine. Dike said she has friends who are studying medicine in Ukraine and she frequently checks in with them, fearing for their safety and hoping they’re not suffering.

“There is so much to deal with at once,” said Dike. “It’s adding more people to the war.”

Dike extended her full support to Ukrainian and Russian students at DVC, telling them to “keep standing up for what you believe in.”

She encouraged her peers to do their part and help from afar by attending protests and spreading the word about the events unfolding in Ukraine.

“It takes a lot of people to pass on the message, and I want people to come together and show their support,” Dike said.

She added that she feels the Ukrainian war will be unlike anything we have experienced in the past, and will greatly affect society moving forward.

“It will be a learning experience,” said Dike. “It can either unite us to stand up for something together, or it can break our communities apart.”