LUU officers announce action in support of Ukraine and call for an end to racism in war and peace

Leeds students will also be able to donate to the appeal at various LUU outlets

Leeds University Union (LUU) announced today (Friday, 11 March) it will be providing opportunities through its outlets for students and staff to make donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) in support of the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Students will be able to make donations to the DEC via a donation via tills at the following LUU outlets: Balcony, Common Ground, Old Bar, Terrace, Gear and the Union Shop; with the policy remaining available for “as long as necessary”.

At a vigil held in on the Leeds University Precinct, LUU officers Aysha Burton and Natasha Fowler-Ekar outlined why they are choosing to act and how students can show their support.

The LUU Student Exec also called out the racism observed in recent weeks, both at Ukrainian borders and in the media, and called for all people to be treated equally, no matter the colour of their skin.

As an organisation striving to be more actively anti-racist, LUU called for the eradication of racism in both war and peace.

Speaking on behalf of the Exec, Aysha Burton (Union Affairs Officer) said: “This horrific invasion by Putin-led Russian forces is an attack on the Ukrainian people, and on democracy and freedom itself. It is also a dereliction of duty to the Russian people.

“We condemn this action and offer our support and sympathy to all those affected, in Ukraine, in Russia, in surrounding nations, the UK and around the world.

“This isn’t a war of the people, but a war of one man – Vladimir Putin – and his own ambitions.

“We know that so many Russian people do not support this invasion, and continue to wholeheartedly stand by our Russian students, staff and alumni; our thoughts and hearts are with those in and from Ukraine and its neighbouring countries; they are directly impacted by conflict and upheaval that they never asked for.

“While countries will be affected differently, we acknowledge the widespread damage that this war is having and will continue to have for millions of people across the region. Showing our support for the people of Ukraine we hope will provide some solace and help them to know they are not alone.

“Students have a long history of campaigning for peace and democracy. The National Union of Students was in fact established in reaction to the First World War, as a way of bringing students together to work towards peace.

“Today, we stand with students across Europe and around the world continuing this tradition, with the same call for peace.”

Natasha Fowler-Ekar, Liberation and Equality Officer said: “As many of you will know, LUU is on a journey towards becoming a more actively anti-racist organisation. A big part of this work is calling out instances of racism when we see them, in order to help us advocate for change in a meaningful way.

“Sadly, in all the heartbreak of the past fortnight, we’ve witnessed multiple instances of racist reporting, as well as racism on the ground. We feel that it’s our duty to speak out about this, and to call for better.

You can see further information on how LUU is responding to the ongoing situation in Ukraine by clicking here.

Help and support available

Students at the University of Leeds affected by the war in Ukraine are being encouraged to contact the LUU Help and Support team. Visit for more details.

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