Brantford – Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus is celebrating its diversity with the grand opening of its Hall of Nations, Feb. 15 in the Davis Fuels Walkway.
“Laurier is a home away from home for many students, and the Hall of Nations acknowledges the country of origin of our entire student body,” said Adam Lawrence, dean of students at Laurier Brantford. “Being an inclusive community involves celebrating and educating all individuals at Laurier. We hope this initiative will be a positive addition to the Laurier culture.”
Approximately 50 flags will be hung in the Hall of Nations, each recognizing the country of origin or aboriginal community of a current student on campus.
“Thanks to a generous donation from the Student Life Levy, we are able to celebrate the incredible diversity within our student population on campus,” says Jessi Calberry, co-ordinator: Centre for Student Life and Engagement.
The Hall of Nations, a joint effort between the Centre for Student Life & Engagement, Laurier International and the Dean of Students Office, is an ongoing project that celebrates Laurier’s student community.
“The Hall of Nations is an important acknowledgement of the diversity of students who together make up the Laurier student population,” said Mike Boylan, co-ordinator of Global Engagement Programming with Laurier International in Brantford. “The space created by the various international flags will become a wonderful way to welcome all students and especially international students, to our campus.”
Five of the 50 flags will be recognizing students from First Nations territories: Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, Anishinabek Nation, Metis Nation of Ontario, and Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation.
The five First Nations flags will be joined by: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Botswana, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, England, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Ghana, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Iraq, Ireland, Jamaica, Jordan, Myanmar, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.
The flags will be updated on an ongoing basis. A similar project was established on Laurier’s Waterloo campus in 2010, with flags hanging in the campus-dining hall.