FAIRMONT, W.Va. (WBOY) — In celebration of United Nation’s Day on Oct. 24, Fairmont State University (FSU) staff and students gathered to watch the raising of international flags at the Bryant Place Street entrance at 12:30 p.m.

A total of 10 international flags were raised in honor of countries that current freshman students have traveled from to come to college at FSU. The United States and West Virginia flag were in the middle of all ten flags. The ten flags included:

  • Brazil
  • Honduras
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

This was the first time this type of event was held since before the COVID-19 pandemic. FSU did not have much international activity throughout the pandemic, as well as the Educational Pathways for International Centers and Students (EPICS) office did not have somebody to make sure the flags were being changed enough throughout the years. When Sarah Sakaguchi, coordinator of EPICS started in her position in May of 2022, she wanted to help globalize the campus. When she was a student at FSU, she was taught how to be a global citizen and how to participate in it, so she wants to help make international students feel more welcome in their temporary home.

Oct. 24 marks the anniversary for United Nation’s Day and the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. The celebration of this day every year offers the opportunity to amplify the world’s common agenda and reaffirm the purposes and principles of the UN Charter that have been guiding us for the past 77 years.

Sakaguchi explained why the raising of these flags is important for the international students that live on campus. She said, “students who are local to, you know, the states, to the state of West Virginia, even to Fairmont and Morgantown, they have a level of a support system that is local to them. I also too want our international students to know that we do love them, we support them, and we want them here. Um, and that they can be proud of themselves, they can be proud of their culture here.”

FSU also has a Pride flag hanging inside of the Falcon Center to show students that no matter who they are or what their sexuality or gender is, they too are supported on campus.

As graduation approaches in the Spring, the current flags will be switched out with other international flags for the students who will be graduating from the university.