By the end of the fall, a General Studies flag will fly over Lewisohn Hall.
Last spring, Nicole Morgan, GS ’13 and then-vice president for student policy of General Studies Student Council, pioneered the initiative to design a flag for GS. The class of 2013 funded the project as a senior gift.
A GSSC design committee of around 20 students chose three designs to submit to administrators for a final decision.
“Flags are symbols,” Tom Harford, GS dean of students, said. “It symbolizes the integration of GS into the larger undergraduate community.”
Current GSSC Vice President of Policy Gardo Martinez, GS ’16, said he sees the flag as not only a symbol but also a long-term investment.
“Instilling this sense of pride in students while they are here will lead to proud alumni leaving the school, who will in turn give back to the school,” Martinez said.
For other GS students, the flag is also about feeling a part of the greater undergraduate community. As the only undergraduate school not to guarantee housing, and an average student age of 29, GS has long felt like a bit of a black sheep.
“I know that the undergraduate schools all have flags,” Amna Pervez, GS ’15, said. “This is just another step.”
Harford said that the prospect of GS having its own flag had not been raised before. The school started looking into it when students expressed interest.
“These types of projects rise organically from the motivations of the student body,” he said.
“I’m for putting up a flag,” Cesar Idarraga, GS ’15, said. “We’ve only been around since the ’40s—it’s about time.”
A flag, students say, would serve as a physical symbol of what they already know to be true: that they are connected to the other undergraduate schools.
“I don’t see a difference between the students that are here and the rest of the school,” Johanna Qvist, GS ’15, said. “Of course we should have a flag.”
Past GSSC members have worked to raise funds and build up excitement for the flag initiative, and many students are pleased to see their work come alive.
“It means a lot to them,” said Pervez, who is a former legislative assistant for the GS senator on the University Senate.
With the flag set to be unveiled later this fall, current and future students will soon share a common symbol that they can pass down from class to class.
“School spirit is very strong,” Harford said. “Students at GS have unique backgrounds that bind them together.”