Four Acres of Land Donated


ST. JOHN – On Wednesday, Sept. 10 four acres of land were donated to University of the Virgin Islands on St John from compassionate locals with a flare for education.

The St John Academic Center held a reception in celebration of the generous donation from Marva Applewhite and Gloria Samuel, who are sisters and former teachers.


“Education has been the number one priority for our family,” Applewhite said.

Applewhite taught in New York before she came back home to the Virgin Islands and taught at Charlotte Amalie High School.

Samuel also taught at Charlotte Amalie as well as Ivanna Eudora Kean High School.

The sisters, in addition to the four acres, gave two acres of land to UVI back in 2002. All six acres are located in Estate Zootenvaal in Coral Bay and are valued at over $1.2 million.

“We decided to give back to the people of St John, the Virgin Islands, the Caribbean and the world,” Applewhite said. “I am very happy to donate the land and hope that it will be used to achieve goals that meet the needs of the institution.”

Applewhite and Samuel are the daughters of mason James Alfonso “Harry” Samuel, who built the original Cruz Bay Pier and the Benjamin Franklin School, now Guy Benjamin Elementary School.

“It was a generous token towards the advancement of education on St. John and I am eagerly awaiting its development,” said Dionne Wells, a relative of the sisters who came to show her support.

Linda Hill, who attended the donation ceremony, said, “I always admire people who give back to the community.”

Dionne Jackson, vice president of Institutional Advancement at UVI, said, “They wanted to be a part of UVI’s next 50 years of service to the Virgin Islands and St. John communities.”

UVI President Dr. David Hall noted, “Most people who make donations to the university are ‘folks of great wealth,’ Samuel and Applewhite are people of the soil. This is an example of sincere generosity and an investment to the people of St John. I am proud to be the president at this time.”

STJ_Land Donation

President Hall plans on building a Cultural Convention Center where visitors can come and learn about the rich history of the island. He also made sure to stress the importance of lobbying for funds as the project has been estimated to cost over $2 million.

This donation adds to the St. Croix campus, which is 130 acres and the St Thomas campus, which is 388 acres.

Excitement will be mounting until the unveiling of St John’s expansion. This land will not only broaden the UVI campus, but also allow students and visitors from everywhere to get familiar with Love City.

A leader among peers

A Profile of SGA President Kevin Dixon

ARIGE SHROUF| Sept. 15  

ST. CROIX — Jack Welch once said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

SGA President Kevin Dixon
SGA President Kevin Dixon

St. Croix— Jack Welch once said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

There are leaders of large nations and small organizations, but great leaders strive to help and inspire others; they “have a heart for outreach.” Student Government Association (SGA) President Kevin Dixon has been described as one such leader.

Since being elected president last year, Kevin has made it his mission to “move the organization forward” in order to better serve the student body. Under his leadership, SGA has become an organization that junior Zoe Walker believes “could really make a difference.”

A senior majoring in business administration with a concentration in marketing, Kevin Dixon is a very busy person. On his second year at UVI, he decided to “get involved” on campus and that has been one of his goals ever since.

In addition to being second-term SGA president, Kevin Dixon is also a member of several other clubs, organizations and committees on campus. These include the UVI Senate, the Honorary Degree Committee, the Voices of Inspiration Choir and the St. Croix Presidential Advisory Committee. With so much on his plate, Dixon still manages to excel in his classes and is even the student ambassador for the Thurgood Marshal College Fund.

How does he do it? “Long nights and weekends” and learning to “balance and prioritize.”

“It’s stressful, but knowing the stress is worth it, makes it okay. When you have a purpose, it makes up for all the stress and when it’s over and you know you did things right and people enjoyed it, it’s all worth it.”

One word Kevin Dixon tries to live up to is “ambitious.” He is motivated by “that sense of having an impact.”

Even at sixteen he had taken on leadership positions in an effort “to help change lives.” He led walks in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in which his group raised the most money.  During his second year at UVI, Kevin joined SGA and became its public relations officer. He then became treasurer and worked his way “up the scale” to president of the organization.

However, Kevin has not always been the confident and charismatic young man you can see walking around campus greeting people with a smile. Before becoming a leader, Kevin faced his own struggles to “grow himself.”

When he moved here from St. Kitts in 2003, Kevin was “shy and quiet” and he “did not like speaking in front of audiences.” Today, he can be seen giving speeches and representing various organizations at events.

He credits the change in him, in part, to the “support of his family members,” and Ms. Washington, Ms. Finch and Ms. Elliot. However, the greatest influence in Kevin’s life has been his pastor, who acted as “a mentor and role model” to a young Kevin Dixon.

Without the influence of people such as his pastor, Kevin believes he “would not be as involved on campus as he is.” He also “would not have grown as much as he has in the past few years” in which he has overcome most of his shyness to become the public figure he is on campus today. For that influence, says Kevin, he is “really grateful.”

Just as others have inspired and influenced his life, Kevin hopes to use his leadership skills to “inspire others” and “touch other people’s lives.”

As John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

For Kevin Dixon, “it is always a pleasure serving.” He advises students to “get involved” and “set themselves apart from other students by showing they are well rounded.” Kevin says about every situation, “make the best of it.”

Sophomore Felicia Emmanuel describes Kevin as “not only a strong leader, but also a visionary.

Using fresh ideas such as the SWAGG (Students with a Greater Goal) movement, he not only improved the appeal of SGA, but also how SGA stays current with the student body” Emmanuel said.

Because of Kevin’s dedication and effectiveness as a leader, several family members and individuals have been encouraging Kevin to run for government office. It makes sense, they argue, “since he has been setting himself up to do so.”

“It’s definitely something to think about,” says Kevin, but right now, he is focused on his last year at UVI and intends to “go out with a bang.”

Peace on Campus

International Day of Peace Cease-fire on violence needed in the V.I.


ST. CROIX – Wednesday, Sept. 18, students, faculty and community organizations will gather at the University of the Virgin Islands to observe International Day of Peace (IDP). This event hopes to be a continuation of the local dialogue begun in the “Hurt to Healing” forum held this spring in the Great Hall at UVI.

When asked why one should attend, one of the student organizers, Denver Mike, shared, “I believe this form of engagement is crucial for our community – not only to speak openly on such a dire issue, but also to enjoy the camaraderie of a shared goal.”

In 2001, the United Nations officially established Sept. 21 as an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire.

Just over seven months ago on Jan. 24, the Daily News noted the V.I. homicide rate was still among the worlds highest. It seems the Virgin Islands need their own cease fire.

April 22, former student, twenty-two-year-old Troy Joseph was shot on campus in the parking lot after a college event. Students say there was an argument about a gold chain he was wearing.  Apparently the expensive piece of jewelry was gotten through questionable means, and the original owner wanted it back. Many students have reported that Troy was unwilling to give up the chain and lost his life because of it.

This tragedy could have been prevented. The university is not immune to the violence that plagues the island. But, it is not enough to merely call for peace.

Carolyn Keys Alternatives to Violence coordinator and guest speaker for the IDP observance explains that violence is a disease, and we must begin to heal from the trauma of violence or we will continue to implode or explode. Though the subject is complex, there are answers for the healing.

The university’s IDP observance is scheduled from 9 to 11am in the theater (EVC 401). There will be a range of solutions offered that students can begin to work on to heal the trauma in their own lives. Ms. Garcia, staff member in the office for student success, will review the characteristics of a healthy self and thereby a peaceful one.

Serena Sundaram from CommuniChi Central will give a brief overview and demonstration on acupuncture and its use in other trauma sites like New York after 9/11 and New Orleans after Katrina.

Counselor, Patricia Towal, will share ways to ease interpersonal relationships with loved ones.

The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council, DVSAC, speaker will also discuss healthy and unhealthy relationships.

Alternatives to Violence trainer, Xawntoia Franklin will discuss how the AVP training is reducing violence in the housing communities.

Students will also share reactions and pledges to the call for peace.

When stopped and asked what he thought about the event, Professor Gould explained that his grandmother, an activist in her time, used to say, “peace or parish!”