Anyone walking through the Student Union Building recently may have noticed the addition of over 50 flags belonging to various countries hanging from the ceiling of the building.
The flags are the result of an initiative between former Student Union Society (SUS) president Thomas Davies and UFV International.
“The idea behind this display is to represent the UFV international students that are attending UFV this current semester,” explained current SUS president Sukhi Brar at SUS’ July board meeting on Monday.
The flags will be changed every semester as new international students arrive at UFV.
“It’s supposed to switch over every semester to represent students from different countries,” Brar said. “It’s not a permanent installation.”
While Brar noted that the display has come with positive response, she also said that it has caused confusion among students that don’t understand exactly what the display is representing and why only certain flags are displayed at times.
Currently, SUS is exploring avenues to make the intentions of the display known and accessible to students.
“Eventually there’s going to be a plaque on the wall there that explains ‘this is what this is and this is why it’s changing a lot,’” Brar said.
Although it has not yet been officially decided, Brar noted that UFV International will take responsibility for changing the flags every semester.
Brar also has plans to expand the current display to make room for six more flags at a projected cost of $1,500.
Although SUS has not yet verified with the involved parties, the additional flags are intended to represent SUS, The Cascade, CiVL Radio, the Sto:lo Nation, and the UFV Pride Collective. Brar commented that the decision to include these flags is a way of moving forward from previous contention between SUS and the groups.
“We need to show support there,” she said. “I think there’s importance in having those up as a statement that this is our student membership broadly.”