This years EMU Lamppost Banner Campaign, “You Are Welcome Here”, features the faces, and stories, of 108 international students who attend Eastern Michigan University.
The international student spotlight blog series will highlight the many faces on the banners. These blogs will also give readers and inside look into the lives of the international students featured as well.
Zachary Belsky, a senior at EMU graduating this April, was a part of the “You Are Welcome Here” campaign representing South Korea. Belsky was born in South Korea, and now resides in Detroit, Michigan.
Belsky chose to be a part of the “You Are Welcome Here” banner campaign because he believes in the message.
“It just seemed like an obvious choice,” Belsky said. “The weirdness of seeing my face on a banner, was outweighed by my want to show support.”
When asked what the “You Are Welcome Here” messages mean to him, Belsky said, “To me, You Are Welcome Here is an announcement to people from situations where there may be some uncertainty as to whether or not they are welcome on this campus. I think that everyone who comes to this university has their own story and their own situation. Each person has their own level of comfort in being a part of the EMU community, whether it relates to nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or any other way a person may choose to identify themselves.”
At EMU Belsky is studying Graphic Design. In his classes, Belsky often found that he enjoyed making his projects and assignments look professional, rather on the assignment itself, which led him to choose graphic design where he can focus on look and design.
“It has a little bit of a behind-the-scenes aspect to it,” Belsky said about why he likes graphic design, “and I sometimes get to be a part of things before the general public.”
The personal relationships between professors and students is something that Belsky loves about EMU. Belsky said that he has benefitted from the amount of effort his professors put into his classes, and he feels that because of the dedication from his professors he is in a great position to be successful after graduation.
“Outside of the classroom, I appreciate the graphic design job and internship opportunities that I’ve been given,” Belsky said. “I think that those have been very helpful for my future career.”
Outside of classes, Belsky is very involved on campus. He recently joined the Intermedia Gallery Group which is a student organization that runs the small art gallery in the student center. Belsky also works with the Marketing Street Team to take pictures of campus events for social media.
Belsky believes that while EMU might face some challenges, he believes that the people on campus are working everyday to make EMU an inclusive place for all, because all should be welcome on campus.