Hall of Nations unveiled

On Oct. 27, Wilfrid Laurier University’s new “Hall of Nations” was unveiled in the Dining Hall including 68 flags as a visible representation of the nationalities of all current Laurier students.

A joint effort through the Diversity and Equity Office as well as Laurier International, the Hall of Nations is a notion of welcome and acceptance for the international diversity of all students. “We are a culturally and internationally diverse campus,” said Adam Lawrence, manager of the Diversity and Equity Office, adding that the addition aligns with his office’s goal of making diversity more visible on campus.

The Hall of Nations was installed in the dining hall for its prominence on campus. Lise Pederson, manager of programs and services for Laurier International, stated that the Dining Hall fit the criteria of showcasing the flags in a high traffic area, as well as being accessible and visible to all students.

Released Oct. 25 was the Globe and Mail’s Canadian University Report, in which Laurier was ranked fourth in a student survey as having “homogenous” student body. Both Pederson and Lawrence assured that the timing of the unveil was coincidental, as the Hall of Nations has been planned for several years. Lawrence stressed that Laurier is much more than what the stereotypes portray. “Sometimes we have a perception of what Laurier used to be without realizing what Laurier actually is,” he said.

The flags represent a sense of belonging to international students on campus. Pederson stated that the flags “Tell international students that [Laurier] is their home away from home.” She furthered this by explaining how the Hall of Nations embraces the commitment towards global citizenship outlined in the university’s academic plan.

There are still a couple additions to be completed in the Hall of Nations, including additional flags that were not received in time and a plaque explaining the display. At the beginning of each fall, flags will be added and removed to accurately reflect the origin of all current students.