Student Services sent an email to all UCA students Sept. 1 regarding the difficult situation unfolding in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan fell under the control of the Taliban, putting many Afghan and U.S. citizens in dangerous conditions. 

Evacuations at Kabul airport in Afghanistan were constrained by obstacles ranging from armed Taliban checkpoints to paperwork issues, causing major barriers for Afghans and Americans who feared the Taliban and were trying to leave Afghanistan by the Aug. 31 evacuation deadline. 

Many Afghans went into hiding after the Taliban took power, afraid that they would have to endure negative consequences from the Taliban and hoping to be granted asylum in other countries. 

The U.S. completed its official withdrawal from Afghanistan on Aug. 30, ending an extensive war that spanned over 20 years. 

America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan led to the deaths of 167 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. 

Some American citizens were left behind in Afghanistan after the withdrawal and are still trying to leave the country. 

The email shared resources and support for any UCA students, faculty and staff affected by the recent challenging events in Afghanistan. 

“We recognize that some members of our community may need additional support at this time. Respectfully, our care and concern extend to our veteran and military-connected community members. It is important for you to know that you are not alone,” Veteran Services Coordinator David Williams said in the email. 

The email shared on-campus resources for members of UCA’s campus community, such as the UCA Veterans Services Office, the UCA Student Veteran Resources Center, the UCA Counseling Center, and the Arkansas Employee Assistance Program. 

“We have several veterans on campus. They may be students, staff or faculty. As the war in Afghanistan has been so long-lasting, it is likely that many of our veterans served in Afghanistan. In addition, we have many family members of veterans,” provost and executive vice president of academic affairs Patricia Poulter said.

The email also shared veterans resources from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs such as the Veterans Crisis Line, the VA Mental Health Services Guide, the VA Caregiver Support Line, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, community-based veteran counseling centers and more. 

“Let us unite in our care and concern for those impacted, and consider what we can do to help, as individuals and as a global-minded university,” Williams said in the email. 

UCA earned the 2021-2022 Military Friendly School designation after being evaluated by public data sources and an exclusive survey. 

More than 1,200 schools were in the running, with 747 schools earning the designation. 

UCA is committed to providing support for veterans within the UCA community to aid these students in attaining their educational goals through the variety of challenges they may face. 

“Major military actions present an opportunity for us to reach out to our veteran and active duty individuals, as well as their friends and family that are part of the campus community, to remind them of the support available from a variety of services,” Poulter said. 

For any affected students, faculty, or staff, appointments for the UCA Counseling Center can be made online at uca.edu/counseling/

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