An open, dynamic, and easy-going Francophonie

Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Yves Pelletier and Anjolina Hamel

Photo : Yves Pelletier, Associate Vice-President and Anjolina Hamel, Francophone Affairs Commissioner at UOSU

Anjolina Hamel, who is the Francophone Affairs Commissioner at the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU), shares her vision, goals, and hopes for the Francophonie. She is the voice of uOttawa’s French-speaking student population. A third-year Canadian Francophone studying both health sciences and law, Anjolina Hamel was elected to this position in May 2022. She has always studied entirely in French and has lived in Quebec, Alberta, and Ontario.

Creating spaces for discussion in French

Anjolina Hamel sees the Francophonie at the University of Ottawa as enriching, accessible, and easy-going. It is not characterized by any specific accent or dialect; it simply embraces all its expressions as equally valid, whether in learning, academic activities, or campus services. She also believes that bilingualism, far from being a compromise, must adapt to the expectations of the Francophone community at the University.

On a more practical note, this representative of Francophone students hopes for the creation of more spaces in which students can hold discussions in French, practise the language, and share experiences. She hopes that such spaces will be judgment-free zones that encourage everyone to speak French because she says, “so long as we understand each other, that should be enough to join the Francophone community.” In this post-pandemic environment, she underscores the importance of re-establishing spaces and activities for Francophones so that they can rediscover living in French on campus..

Revitalizing the Francophonie through partnerships

Moreover, the UOSU’s Francophone Affairs Commissioner has plenty of projects in mind. First, she would like to establish a strong partnership with the Francophonie team at the Office of the Vice-President, International and Francophonie to benefit from their knowledge and experience in Francophone affairs. Next, she’d like to partner with the Carrefour francophone to revitalize the student experience and explore various opportunities for expanding projects in French. She dreams of creating a space to showcase the Francophone student experience, where the Francophone community can gather to create initiatives or activities that would breathe new life into the Francophonie on campus. Finally, she also aims to establish more partnerships to broaden the horizons of the Francophone student population.

On a personal note, Anjolina Hamel is a fan of Francophone movies, especially Ricardo Trogi’s trilogy, 1981. In terms of music, she loves Belgian singer Angèle and French performer Nell Widmer, especially the song La Flemme. In general, she likes to vary her playlists, which combine various African influences, such as Afrobeat, urban, and Francophone rap.

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