After two years of dealing with a novel coronavirus and just when we thought life was returning to a different form of normal, Russia invaded the Ukraine.
This war has sent over a million people fleeing their homeland or picking up arms to defend themselves against Russian aggression.
For college students in the Ukraine, their classes have been suspended as the dormitories are under attack by rockets, forcing them into bomb shelters – or fleeing the country – or taking up arms.
What’s happening in the Ukraine, is impacting college students around the world.
College Radio Foundation
The College Radio Foundation (CRF) was founded in 2014. Its mission is to promote and support college radio. CRF works to raise the profile of college radio and “accelerate the professional development of gifted student broadcasters, inspiring them to reach their exceptional potentials.”
It all began in 2011 by Dr. Rob Quicke with the idea to bring college radio stations together and celebrate college radio as an important training ground for all sorts of careers, creating an event called College Radio Day. Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden have officially proclaimed and recognized the importance of this annual event, which in its first three years quickly grew to over 700 participating college radio stations in 43 countries.
In 2021, CRF held its 11th annual College Radio Day and announced that October 1, 2021 would be the inaugural World College Radio Day open for all college and university radio stations around the world.
February 24, 2022
On the 24th of February, Russia launched a military invasion of Ukraine, the largest such conventional military attack in Europe since World War II.
On that same day, Dr. Rob Quicke sent out an email to all the college radio stations in the CRF database.
We are emailing you to please ask for your support and solidarity for the people of Ukraine during this time, and especially the students in the country. We need your urgent participation!
The College Radio Foundation has reached out to college radio in Ukraine, and we made contact with OstRadio at National University Ostroh Academy, Ostroh, Ukraine. They are located to the west of the capital city Kyiv. We are sharing their message:
“I would like to start this letter with the words “Good afternoon”, but I cannot say that this day is good for Ukraine. Thank you for your support and wishes, it is very valuable for us. Our university teaches online. Teachers and the administration keep in touch with students, advising read only official sources.
The only thing left for us is to remain calm and not to panic, to pray to God, to believe in the army that protects us, to protect our health and life. Ukraine wants a peaceful sky over its head!”
We only have a limited window of time to show our support, so that is why we are asking all student radio stations around the world to record a quick message of support and solidarity for the students at OstRadio as well as the entire Ukraine. You can record in your native language. They also said this:
“We will be happy to share your voice message with words of support… Students of our university will be able to hear it there. In this difficult time, we really need to know that we are not alone and we have support. We hope that your words will calm people’s hearts.”
Please send an attached mp3 to firstname.lastname@example.org
We only have 24 hours to do this. We do not know how long the students will have access to social media and/or tools to communicate with us.
Stand with Ukraine, tell them that you are thinking of them and supporting them. Send us your message asap. We will then compile and send as one audio piece tomorrow.
Dr. Rob Quicke
Founder, College Radio Day
The College Radio Foundation
Two days later, over 50 college radio stations had responded from around the world, producing audio content and letting their fellow college students and the people of Ukraine know that they stood with them.
You can hear their voices, their emotion and see a full list of participating college radio stations by clicking on this link: https://soundcloud.com/collegeradioday/college-radio-stands-with-ukraine-full-version?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
“Thank you on behalf of all Ukrainian students.
We have already posted this link.
We want all our students to hear it.
We would like to play this audio on our radio.
We send the audio to all UA universities.”
-Roman Zajac, Head of STUD Radio, Ukraine
March 2, 2022
Roman Zajac said that students were unable to enter their radio station and had been using their cell phones to communicate with each other and the outside world, however as the Russian army continued their invasion, the students have dispersed and he no longer is in contact with them. Some of them are rooted in the city, some of them have left the country and are all uncontactable. Zajac says he simply no longer knows where any of his students are.
Dr. Quicke told me he knew they had a very short window to get Ukrainian students recorded and let the world hear these voices. One of the college students from the Ukraine that can be heard in the audio presentation is only 17 years old.
While you may not know or understand some of the languages heard on the audio presentation, you can’t help but be moved by their bravery and their emotion in listening to them. Dr. Quicke said he’s learned through World College Radio Day that there are times when he cannot understand the language but it’s almost not a requirement to comprehend what is being communicated, the emotion comes through very, very clearly. “I am very moved by the bravery of the students in the Ukraine to keep going and to make the effort to send a message to the world in such difficult circumstances,” said Dr. Quicke. “College radio stands with Ukraine and we must not forget them.”
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“It was a small thing that we did,” said Dr. Quicke, “but what we’ve heard back from the students (in the Ukraine), from hearing all the different voices of college students from all over the world was that it had an especially powerful impact in this moment…war is there now…and it redefines their reality in a very shocking way, when they see and hear bombs falling, people dying…any gesture can become crucially important for maintaining spirit and morale…letting them know, ‘we hear you, we support you.’”
One of the last messages Rob said he received from the Roman Zajac at STUD college radio in the Ukraine was, “when the war was over, maybe we can record together.”
“All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.”
― John Steinbeck
College Radio Update from Ukraine. March 4, 2022(multilingual).
“We ask international community for help because we are fighting not only for our freedom, but also we are fighting for Europe, and we are fighting for the whole democratic world.” -Roman Zajac
Dr. Quicke added: In extremely challenging circumstances, the students in Ukraine have put together an audio update for us. This time it’s in multiple languages for the world to hear. We were told that would probably not hear from the students again, as the situation in Ukraine is dire, so we are grateful to hear from them again.
Have a listen, it’s just under 2 minutes:
We are also planning a day/time when we can play the content together as a community at the same time. We are planning for Thursday, March 10 at 10 am ET / 4 pm CET. More info coming on Monday.
To stay update to date, be sure to check back with the CRF website often.
Produced by Roman Zajac at STUD Radio (Lviv, Ukraine) and Rob Quicke, the College Radio Foundation. (c) 2022.