State College

'You Are Welcome Here': New town-gown campaign highlights international students

Banners are displayed in the State College Municipal Building during the “You Are Welcome Here” banner unveiling ceremony Monday, April 2, 2018.
Banners are displayed in the State College Municipal Building during the “You Are Welcome Here” banner unveiling ceremony Monday, April 2, 2018. psheehan@centredaily.com

State College and Penn State's University Park Undergraduate Association want international students to know that they're welcome in this community.

In a joint effort, the borough and UPUA launched the "You Are Welcome Here" banner campaign to highlight their continued commitment to equity and inclusion in State College.

State College borough workers will hang 90 banners around downtown. The majority of them are already up.

Lauren Halberstadt, of Penn State's Office of Global Programs, said the students who were chosen to be featured are involved with and represent their community.

"For an immigrant or a person of color, for a member of the LGBTQ community, for someone that's here on a visa or a dreamer who may be a Penn State student, and no matter what your religion is, your very presence strengthens our community," Evan Myers, State College Borough Council president, said at Monday’s press conference for the banners' unveiling.

The international students featured on the banners include Shreyash Manak Bohara, of India; Isabel Bejarano Diez, of Colombia; Qifeng Liu, of China; Harmonie K. Ngamuyeka, of Democratic Republic of the Congo; Charles Drury, of Sweden; and Shams Alyahya, of Saudi Arabia.

The first time Bohara saw his banner hanging, he said, he screamed in excitement and called his mom.

Borough officials say the banners will remain up as long as possible.

  Comments