Albrightians prepare to raise the ISA flag, Feb 1.

Multiculturalism flourishes at Albright

by Veloie Mastrocola ’23

ON A CHILLY TUESDAY AFTERNOON, Albright College raised a new flag on its campus. The flag, representing the college’s International Student Association (ISA), now waves alongside Albright’s Pride+ flag as a representation of inclusivity — one of Albright’s core values.

Albrightians prepare to raise the ISA flag, Feb 1.
Albrightians prepare to raise the ISA flag, Feb 1. [Photo by John Pankratz]

The new flag is the design of Jana-Rose Donnelly, an international student who studied textile art and design at Ulster University. Donnelly is one of a small number of students selected for the Study USA’s Irish American Scholars program, which allows Albright College to send up to three students to study abroad at participating universities in Ireland each year. In exchange, students from Irish universities come to Albright’s campus to supplement their own academic studies.

“It’s definitely one of the scariest things I’ve ever done,” Donnelly said, reflecting on her choice to leave home. “It’s not only the scariest thing but probably one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

After arriving at Albright, Donnelly almost immediately joined the ISA, which functions to support an inclusive environment for international students. Open to all students, the ISA aims to celebrate the diversity of Albright’s campus and to create an environment where students can learn more about each other, gain a greater understanding of other cultures, and most importantly, develop long-lasting friendships. The ISA has hosted numerous fun activities on campus throughout the past year, including movie nights, trivia events, a tie-dye station and a day trip to a pumpkin patch.

Donnelly was impressed by the efforts made by various Albright organizations, including the ISA, to help students actively contribute to their community. “I feel like students matter to them and students have an opinion,” she said. “They ask you what you think and what kinds of things you want to do, so I think there really is an effort there to try and get people involved and make it the best experience for them.”

The ISA functions as a part of the college’s Council for an Inclusive, Thriving, and Equitable Community (CITE-C) initiative. Through initiatives like CITE-C, Albright works every day to recognize and celebrate the wonderful diversity of its campus and the wealth of valuable insights and experiences its students bring. Part of the CITE-C initiative includes the proposal and approval process for campus flags that represent Albright’s diverse community. 

“It really speaks to their mission statement,” Donnelly said. “They’re all about inclusivity of different cultures, so going that one step further for representing all the cultures on campus is cool.”

After the new ISA flag rose into the air, Albright President Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D. ’82 noted that there is still room for three more flags, and Donnelly is hopeful that more student organizations will apply for a flag. “The fact that [the flags] are there to represent the thought behind associations that are there for inclusivity is really nice, and it’s a good opportunity for other associations to get involved.”

Student organizations that are interested in proposing a flag can do so through the CITE-C application.

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