In case you’ve ever wondered, the United States, China, India and South Korea are the most widely represented countries on Main Campus.
And, if you haven’t already noticed, 44 flags hang in the Student Center, just above the stairs, for whoever’s coming and going to see. If you pay close attention, though, you’ll realize those 44 flags don’t encompass every nationality at Temple.
Many were unhappy to learn their countries were not represented in the Student Center’s atrium. Currently, Haiti does not have a flag up, and members of the Haitian Student Organization have noticed.
“When I didn’t locate my flag I was like, ‘What’s up with that?’” said Melissa Menardy, a senior tourism and hospitality management major and the vice president of HSO.
“Then, I came across the display detailing the purpose of the flags,” she added. “The board definitely helped me to better understand why my flag wasn’t there.”
There’s actually an explanation as to why some flags hang and other don’t – one that may quell any complaints by underrepresented Main Campus groups.
“The first four [flags], U.S., China, India, South Korea, have the largest student populations,” Jason Levy, director of the Student Center, said, “and the following 40 were alphabetically chosen from the remaining countries.”
Levy said that choosing the 40 flags alphabetically would ultimately make it impossible for students to have a problem with the flags currently on display. It is an unbiased system, based on statistics obtained from International Services and, quite simply, one’s ability to alphabetize.
Information on process of selecting the flags, located on a board by the Student Center elevator, clarifies why they’re up there. The sign explains that there is no random selection going on but simply a use of statistics and the alphabet.
It is also important to note that the flags will change next summer and every summer thereafter. For more detailed information on this schedule, visit temple.edu/studentcenters.
So bravo to Student Activities, Temple Student Government, International Services and the Student Center for introducing this project, which has been in the works for three years, to better represent the members of Temple’s community.
The Student Center has never looked better, and 44 countries being represented are better than none.
Tara Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.