Hall of flags to showcase STU’s diversity

A hall of flags representing the home countries of St. Thomas University international students will soon be installed in James Dunn Hall.

It’s not actually a hall.

It’s a wall.

“For each given year, we’ll be looking at which countries are represented and making sure that those flags are present,” said Carrie Monteith-Levesque, the international student advisor.
“We’re hoping to add more and more flags.”

The flags will hang in JDH between the brick wall bearing the STU crest and the main second floor area. The original plan to put the flags on the brick wall was changed due to fire restrictions. JDH was chosen for the hall due to its high traffic. Installation will begin once new flags are purchased.

Wasiimah Joomun, STU’s Students’ Union international student representative, is from Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. She said she feels proud of the hall and her flag being hung.

“For me, it means that STU is accepting diversity and different cultures,” said Joomun.

“I haven’t seen my flag flying since I left home.”

(Lauren Hoyt/AQ)

The idea for the hall of flags was brought forward by Sam Titus, former STUSU vice-president education, and the plan was recently approved.

Monteith-Levesque, was on board with the idea from the beginning.

“We have quite a large representation here at STU, so it only made sense,” said Monteith-Levesque,.

It’s anticipated the hall of flags will spark  conversations about the diversity of STU students.

“At any given time, we will have all the flags representing the international community here at St. Thomas,” said Brianna Workman, STUSU vice-president education.

“It’s to really promote awareness about where our students are from.”

STU has a student population of just under 2,000.  As of January 2018, there are 37 countries represented at STU. Some countries may be represented by one student, some by 10. The Canadian flag will be a permanent fixture of the hall.

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