After nearly six months since its removal, the Student Union Society’s (SUS) international flag display — now called the SUB atrium community flag display — is flying strong again.
The display was an initiative created in partnership with UFV International, and was implemented in July of last year in the atrium of the Student Union Building (SUB).
“About a year ago, we had an idea to create a flag display in this building as a welcoming gesture to our international students,” current SUS president Sukhi Brar explained in an email. “Originally we had planned to launch a flag display that represented the home countries of all of our international students.”
The original plans also included updating the display every semester with the flags of the home countries of new international students coming to UFV. However, the changes ended up including the Sto:lo Nation, Métis, Canadian, and pride flags, as well as flags with logos for each of UFV’s student societies (CIVL Radio, The Cascade, and SUS).
“After our initial launch we received a lot of student feedback on additions our student community wanted to see and we went to work expanding and redefining this flag display,” Brar said. “What emerged from that is the SUB atrium community flag display.”
However, the addition of the new flags stalled the process and it wasn’t until over the reading break last week that the display was installed again.
“Expanding the international flag display to the SUB atrium community flag display required commissioning custom flag orders,” Brar explained. “Submissions for the flag display rolled in from our respective partners throughout the fall semester. We received our last flag addition this month.”
For Brar, it was worth the wait.
“We expanded the flag display because we want to be welcoming to our diverse student body in this space,” she said. “My hope is that when any member of our campus looks up in the Student Union Building they see a flag that they can identify with and that makes them feel welcome and celebrated in this space.”
The expansion also saw the installation of a plaque, which Brar noted was “to explain the intent behind the SUB atrium community flag display” after confusion arose from students wondering why only some countries flags were included.
The plaque, which is mounted outside of the SUS office, outlines what flags the display includes, and states that it will be updated to “represent the current student population” at UFV.
Going forward, the display, which is also supported and funded by UFV’s President’s Office, UFV International, and the Chief Financial Officer’s Office, will be updated on an annual basis.