Letter to the Editor: An open letter to President Hamilton

In this open letter, a Russian-Ukrainian NYU senior writes to NYU president Andrew Hamilton to ask for his assistance with enriching the NYU Student Emergency Fund to support students affected by the war in Ukraine.


Echo Chen

(Illustration by Echo Chen)

Finley Muratova

Dear President Hamilton,

Hi. My name is Finley Muratova. I’m a Russian-Ukrainian NYU senior, a student journalist and the child of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dmitry Muratov. And I need your help. 

I am writing this letter to ask you to personally donate to the Emergency Student Fund. On Feb. 27, Dean of Students and Associate Vice President Rafael Rodriguez emailed Ukrainian, Russian and other potentially impacted students with the resources for us to turn to at this impossibly difficult time. 

Financial Aid has offered to make the emergency funds consideration form available to students experiencing economic challenges,” the email read.

One of the resources mentioned was the NYU Student Emergency Fund — a fund students can apply for financial help from if they find themselves in an unexpected emergency. Such as war. Such as the death of a loved one. Such as being cut off from their family’s assistance. When COVID-19 shook the world and the NYU community alongside it, you donated 6% of your salary to the COVID Relief Fund to support students in a financial crisis due to the pandemic. 

I ask you to donate 6% of your salary or any other amount, sizable in relation to your annual pay of over $1 million from NYU, to the NYU Student Emergency Fund. Ukrainian and Russian students, especially international ones, need help more than ever right now. Many of us have lost access to any help from our families either due to the direct destruction of war or due to the economic sanctions preventing us from being able to use our cards or receive money transfers inside the United States. A lot of us can’t work paid jobs due to restrictions imposed by being in the country on a student visa. The list of limitations goes on.

In your address to the NYU community you wrote, “We have reached out to them to provide a variety of resources and support. We should make a special effort to be generous, and patient with one another at this time.” 

President Hamilton, we are your university’s students. And we need your help.

Finley Muratova was previously a member of WSN’s managing team.

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