BYU students gather to show support, love for Ukrainian people

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BYU students and members of the community gathered in Brigham Square on March 1 to show support of Ukraine through song and shared resources on how to help.

BYU senior Alix Hess had the idea for the Blue Out Tuesday event. Although the event was quickly put together, Hess was grateful for the traffic her initial post received and she was happy to see that BYU students seemed to be as invested in it as she was.

“The idea of the event is to empower BYU students to be able to reach out to their representatives,” Hess said. “I know a lot of BYU students that have felt powerless about how to help the situation in Ukraine and wanting to do something.”

Hess said the event was created to give “action tools” to students to know how to help Ukraine in the way they feel fit. Hess provided a QR code that provided contact information of government officials in Utah, representatives by state, how to find senators and sample letters to legislators. 

“The main focus is to promote the cause of peace. We want wars to end. We want people to not feel forced from their homes. The point of reaching out to legislators is to show our support and to allow legislators to hear our voices,” Hess said. 

Hess said Blue Out Tuesday was also to show support to Ukrainians. She said she hopes the event is able to promote change by getting information to the right people and showing that they care. 

Iryna Olah, age 29, is from Ternopil, Ukraine and she heard about the Blue Out event during the Utah State Capitol rally on Feb 28. She and her husband moved to Utah less than six months ago due to their love of hiking. 

After the rally, people joined BYU choirs in the Harris Fine Arts Center to sing “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing” in Ukrainian. Olah helped the students with the pronunciation of the song. 

BYU senior, Daniel Hatch said the idea to sing in Ukrainian came during Men’s Chorus. Hatch said his professor, Brent Wells, sat down and talked to the chorus about trials and difficulties in life. 

“He said that we can be a support to one another and invited us to think about things we can do to help out no matter who or what situation it is,” said Hatch. 

Hatch said after pondering the idea of singing in Ukrainian came to him. All choirs were invited to participate and the invitation was posted in Ukraine mission groups. After the choir sang, Olah shared her personal remarks. 

“You are young people. People who have never seen war and are not related to Ukraine anyhow are here right now doing this. It’s very inspiring,” Olah said. 

Olah said that if anyone has friends in Ukraine, or are related to Ukraine, to support and show love. She said to reach out to Ukrainians to see exactly what kind of help they need. 

People joined BYU choirs in the Harris Fine Arts Center to sing “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing” in Ukrainian. Ukrainian Iryna Olah helped the students with the pronunciation of the song. (Hailey Deeds)
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