Students Bring Awareness to International Flags

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The international flags are to be permanently hung in the Greenwood Student Center through a student driven initiative.

The international flags were brought to Snow College in 2002 for the Winter Olympics to show inclusiveness when the torch was being run through Ephraim, Utah. Since then, they were on display until 2013, though they were put up every spring during the International Food Festival since that time.

International students speak up about displaying flags of all nationalities at the GSC. Photo courtesy of Flickr.com

International students speak up about displaying flags of all nationalities at the GSC. Photo courtesy of Flickr.com

In response to the flags being taken down, there have been some efforts to reverse the decision. International student and Snow College Ambassador, Brais Marchena, started a petition in January of 2016 to have the flags reinstated all-year round. However, nothing changed. According to Marchena, there have been mutltiple efforts by other individual students that proved unsuccessful. When another international student, AneUnhu Gwatidzo, was informed of what has been going on, he decided to get involved and recruit other students to join the movement as well.

Other students disagree: AneUnhu Gwatidzo, an international student from Zimbabwe, says, “I haven’t been back to my country in almost two years. As much as I am surrounded by students on campus, I’m alone in a sense because I am different. Walking into the Greenwood Student Center and seeing my flag makes it little bit more welcoming in a school where I pay fees and am involved a lot with the campus.”

There has also been opposition from some staff at the GSC as to putting up the flags year-round.  Some reasons include fire hazards, the interference of the natural lighting and school decorations, and how it would be unpatriotic. Staff have said that it was never the school’s intention to offend anyone by taking them down.

Another Snow College student, Erik Larsen, says, “Speaking as a pure-blood American, flags of other countries have been prominent in my life. My elementary school and high school had international flags on display. The origin story of America is we came from somewhere else to come here and founded our own flag and nation. Other people are coming here not to find their own nation, but to be part of that nation and they should be able to bring their flag, and everything that comes with that flag with them.”

A collective group of students brought forth a proposal meeting on March 23rd to discuss the display of the flags in the GSC with President Carlston in attendance. The meeting covered the history of the flags, arguments towards putting them up, and rebuttals and solutions to arguments in opposition of the flags.

The proposal meeting ended with President Carlston announcing that the international flags will be permanently placed in the Greenwood Student Center in the following week of the proposal meeting.

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