#YouAreWelcomeHere at PNW

PNW celebrated International Day of Peace with a campaign called #YouAreWelcomeHere on Sep. 21. This was PNW’s first year participating.

#YouAreWelcomeHere is a national social media campaign for foreign students who may feel apprehensive about studying in the United States.  It is a welcome message from higher education to international students around the world. According to youarewelcomehereusa.org, there are now over 250 colleges and universities participating in this campaign as of June 2017.

Kristen Bunter, assistant of International Programming, explained the importance of hosting the event at PNW.

“Although we are in a country that isn’t always welcoming or made to seem unsafe, we wanted to send a message that PNW is different and is a safe learning environment,” Bunter said.

A total of 75 faculty and students gathered at the Welcome Center in SULB to send their own unique message to the international students. Scripts and signs were also provided for those who needed help making their message. Some students who participated came back with their friends and encouraged them to make their own message as well.

Brooke Hewson, director of International Programing, understood how uneasy international students and the parents of those students feel and wanted to make a visual impact.

“It’s a very simple but effective campaign. Being able to see a video and being told ‘You are welcome here’ by a student can change everything,” Hewson said.

Jaeyeon Park, an international student from South Korea, had a similar attitude.

“The event is really cool because now I can recommend coming to this school by showing the video,” Park said.

Park said it is exciting to come to a diverse country and campus.

“No matter who the president is, I still believe that not all Americans are racists or discriminators and events like this prove my point,” Park said.