Talking to students here at JSU, especially commuters, one thing has become evidently clear. No one is happy about the inflation going on with gas prices right now.
Because of this many look towards the news for an answer, and stumble across the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
While the attacks date farther back than this year, for instance the attacks of the crimean peninsula back in 2014, the media has exploded as of February 24 of this year.
People all over the news, social media, and even the entertainment industry including actors/actresses and sports figures have gotten involved in the conflict.
It doesn’t take long to find a wide variety of opinions on the matter. However, what are the thoughts here at Jacksonville State?
Through public opinion polling the positions at JSU have become more clear. On a scale of 1-10 respondents rated their self-perceived knowledge on the conflict and how worried they are about it.
On the first question a 61.8% majority rated their knowledge in the 7-9 range meaning they know a great deal about the issue. Another 67.7% majority have a level of worry in the 6-8 range, or have moderate to serious worries about the conflict and its results.
In terms of involvement 52.9% of respondents believe the U.S. should get involved on the side of Ukraine while a solid plurality of 44.1% wish for us simply to abstain.
However, this position of neutrality seems to shrink as an astounding 73.5% of those surveyed are willing to pay more on goods, like gas, in order to help the fight against Russia.
Economic involvement is where most individuals seem to want the U.S. to stop, however as only 29.4% of respondents want the nation directly involved with troops and an even smaller group ,20.6%, were willing to go themselves or let loved ones go.
A few basic observations can be drawn from this information.
First, JSU seems to be very attentive to the ongoing situation in Asia.
Secondly, while many claim to want neutrality the vast majority does seem to support economic actions such as sanctions against Russia.
These actions will affect the oil supply driving up the cost at the pump, a cost that JSU students are reportedly willing to pay to help Ukraine.
Lastly, very few want an open U.S. war.
The United States has had a history of isolationist tendencies from Washington warning not to get involved in European affairs on his way out of office to a claim of neutrality to both sides at the start of World War 1.
Not everything is about numbers though. Rikardo, a Ukrainian student at JSU, has a family still having to take shelter in the war zone.
He believes the U.S. and other countries should go fight for Ukraine because as he put it ”No one in Ukraine wanted a war. Russia just kept trying to take over Ukrainian territories which Putin still thinks [are] Russia’s territory all the way back since 1991.”
He blames President Biden and world leaders for appearing soft on President Putin and giving him quote “…an opportunity to attack Ukraine because he knew Biden would do nothing but stay and watch. The rest of the world does the same.”
He does however thank his friends at JSU and hopes the university can help show solidarity by lighting up the library with gold and blue, the colors of the Ukrainian Flag.
For now, he and the rest of JSU are watching as the events continue to unfold.