UFV students launch new assocation to celebrate diversity

Kelsey Williams is the Integration Officer of UFV's newly created International Student Association

This month, UFV students launched a brand new association to celebrate diversity at UFV.

The newly minted International Student Association (ISA) aims to promote internationalization on campus and enrich students’ learning and living experience by creating opportunities to socialize in an inclusive environment.

The latest addition to UFV’s growing roster of more than fifty clubs and associations, ISA launched on Thursday, Feb 23, at the All About Associations event organized by the Student Union Society (SUS).

Students have worked for two months to establish ISA, in collaboration with UFV International. They have formed an executive team who is responsible to carry out the association’s strategic initiatives, such as planning events, liaising with UFV clubs and departments, or facilitating new students’ integration in the community.

“University is not just about studying,” said Amritpal Cheema, ISA’s first CEO. “It’s also about having the best time of your life. International students tend to be shy about talking to people who are not from their culture. We want to make it easier for them to integrate on campus and in the community. Our goal is to create an environment that makes people feel included and valued.”

“We are going to work closely with ISA to serve students’ needs,” said Money Lalli, Student Program Facilitator at UFV International. “Team members will help us welcome and mentor new students and build connections between the dozens of cultures represented on campus.”

“As a whole, we can promote cultures among other cultures,” added Amritpal. “We’re going to connect with every cultural club on campus, such as the Chinese Students & Scholars Association, the Japanese Culture Club and the Vietnamese Student Society, to organize bigger and better events and activities.”

Of course, Canadian culture is an integral part of the new association. It is not only overseas students who seek an international experience. A growing number of Canadian students, like Renée Hartwig, are studying and travelling the world every year, thanks to UFV’s Study Abroad program.

“Multiculturalism is part of our Canadian identity,” said Kelsey Williams, ISA’s Integration Officer. “It’s an ideal that we can embrace every day, here on campus. I’m part of ISA because I want to help every student take advantage of the cross-cultural opportunities we have at UFV.”

ISA membership is open to all SUS members in good standing. To become a member, drop by Money’s office in room B223 and fill out a membership form.

ISA will hold a community dinner at U House on March 28 from 4 pm to 6 pm. Other activities and events will be posted on the UFV calendar when they are scheduled. For more information, contact Amritpal, at ISA.CEO@ufv.ca or join the member page on Facebook.

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