UCO students comment on Russian invasion of Ukraine

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, members of NATO recently met in Brussels for an emergency meeting to discuss how to respond. But, as President Biden addresses how the U.S. will be involved, how do people in Oklahoma feel about the U.S.’s actions so far?

At the University of Central Oklahoma, far away from the conflict in Ukraine, it can be easy to overlook events going on elsewhere. ” I think here in Oklahoma it can be hard to find a receptive opinion, where people just say “That’s what’s going on” and move on,” said Damon Gipson, an audio production major at UCO.

When asked to comment on the situation in Ukraine, a majority of students asked declined, saying that they didn’t want to discuss the topic. Those that were willing said that they weren’t following the situation closely. “I’m not much of a news guy,” said Brad Bowes, a mechanical engineering major, adding “I had first heard about it on Twitter, then asked about it to friends who were more versed on global politics.”

That’s not to say, however, that they didn’t have any thoughts on the matter. When asked about the U.S.’s involvement, theater education major Taylor Lowell said “I believe that (the U.S.) should have more involvement, and that how we are established as one of the more powerful countries and we should have our hands in the right place,” with both Gipson and Bowes sharing similar opinions.

This view is shared with nearly half of Americans, according to a recent study by the Pew Research center, which approve of the Biden administration’s handling of the conflict in Ukraine. In fact, nearly 42% of Americans believe that the U.S. should be doing more than just sanctions on Russia and its leaders, wanting more direct involvement.

Despite this, however, all three students share a similar view of exercising caution when dealing with Russia, with Bowes saying, “my only opinion or advice is to keep out of it as far as possible,” adding ” I feel bad for Ukraine but I don’t want another world war.”

As the U.S. recently announced that it will be getting further involved by taking on more than one hundred thousand refugees from Ukraine, the potential escalation may force people at home to pay more attention to what’s going on around the globe.

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