Facebook Addiction Disorder

Facebook Addiction


ST.CROIX- Facebook Addiction Disorder is a real disorder affecting Facebook users. Since Facebook has 350 million members who spend 10 billion minutes on the site each day. Many are developing Facebook Addiction Disorder and find it difficult to defeat.

Facebook Addiction Disorder is not officially a diagnosed medical treatment but it is recognized by psychologists as a new mental health disorder. At the University of the Virgin Islands, there are many students who use social media like Facebook.

According to Psych Central website, a mental health social network, over 95 percent of graduate students and undergraduate students have a Facebook account.

It is a major issue with college students mainly because of the growing addiction involved with it. Two UVI counselors plus a UVI student were interviewed about Facebook Addiction Disorder and the growing problem.

Shanice Rawlins is a nursing major at UVI and avid Facebook user. Rawlins admits that she is an abnormal Facebook user and spends more than six hours on social media every chance she gets, which is almost every day.

“It’s all about control and balance. [Facebook] is both light and dark and serves its purpose but it all depends on the user,” she said.

Facing reality: A happy user offline and living life
Facing reality: A happy user offline and living life

Rawlins defines Facebook as a way to connect to friends and relatives that are in distant places, including those she can not communicate with via phone. Although Rawlins considers herself a regular Facebook user, she says she is not an addict.

“If Facebook shuts down I would be happy, because it usually leads me to procrastinate,” she said. Rawlins realizes procrastination affects her work progress in completing assignments.

“I use Facebook to talk to people that I cannot call and leave a message for,” Rawlins said. “On the Facebook activity which takes up most of my time, I’d say games.”

When given the choice between Facebook and Twitter, Rawlins preferred Facebook.

“I prefer Facebook because although you can do a lot of stuff with Twitter, it turns into a boring routine,” she said.”However, with Facebook, you can always find something interesting and new happening on your page or another user’s page.”

For students struggling with F.A.D, Rawlins offers advice.

“Facebook Addiction can be helped if a person finds help from someone they trust,” she said.” Find professional sources out there that can help the addiction. Try to lessen the hours spent on Facebook or do a Facebook fast and go on a diet.”

Although Rawlins admits control any addiction can be hard, reiterates an earlier point.

“It’s not easy but with time, faith, and patience, it can be cured,” she said. ” I believe that [Facebook] Addiction can be cured. It’s all about control and balance.”

Students can find help from faculty members on campus.

Mrs. Sherrayn Garcia, a UVI counselor and Academic advisor, is a Facebook user who spends less than three hours a week on the site. Despite ever meeting a student who is a self-proclaimed Facebook addict or anyone clinically diagnosed as a Facebook Addict,  she has worked in the field of addiction and is aware that Facebook can become one.

“Facebook is a medium in which people all over the world can connect on a personal and professional basis,” Garcia said. However she states it has both its advantages and disadvantages.

Offline: Mrs. Garcia’s take on Facebook Addiction
Offline: Mrs. Garcia’s take on Facebook Addiction

“While many people use it to either connect to their family and friends by sharing recent pictures and stories, promoting a product and connecting to a wider market, or police investigators  using it to solve crimes; many people use it as a tool to commit crimes such as identity theft, stalking, assault and even murder,” she said.

Though not directly linked to Facebook addiction, Garcia mentions accounts of cyber bullying.

“I have dealt with students who have been victims of cyber bullying via Facebook, which has turned physically violent right here on campus, all because of what was posted on Facebook the night before,” she said.

This is why she educates her students on Facebook etiquette.

“I educate my students of the appropriate use as well as the dangers of Facebook in hopes that they will listen and use caution while they are on Facebook.”

Garcia encourages her students to reduce the amount of time spent on the site, especially when spending more time on the site than on studying for class assignments.

In addition, Garcia states that self-acknowledgement and willingness to get help for an addiction are key steps, an addict can take.

“While there are only programs for drug, alcohol, and sex addiction I am not sure about a program for Facebook Addiction,” Garcia said. “However, individuals can seek support from family and friends who are not addicted to Facebook themselves.”

Mrs. Patricia Towal, UVI Career Services Supervisor and  guidance counselor, has experience in helping students overcome social media problems, including that of Facebook.

Face to Face: Patricia Patricia Towal provides information about Facebook Addiction
Face to Face: Patricia Patricia Towal provides information about Facebook Addiction

“Yes, I have dealt with students on the problem of Facebook Addiction,” Towal said. “In fact, the faculty has discussed the matter of students spending too much time on Facebook.”

Towal mentions it can me tempting and distracting.

Referencing an episode of Star Trek, Towal recounts when two members of the crew were fascinated in playing a game and when more crew members became involved, nothing else was done.

Despite not having a Facebook account, Towal believes Facebook has many uses and can be an asset, yet says that it can be destructive when out of control and unsupervised.

“In general, social media is so comfortable that people develop an alter ego doing stuff regrettably and unusual– not normal,” Towal said.

Towal, like others, shared tips to overcoming Facebook Addiction.

“First, a person has to realize their awkwardness with the quantity of time spent on Facebook,” Towal said. “Second, once awareness of addiction has been realized, set a plan.” A plan which may include a limit or bar of oneself from Facebook.

“Finally, be disciplined and firm on going through with the plan.”

If one follows the advice mentioned, he or she can begin to live a healthier life without the constraint of social networking.

False Alarm



 ST.THOMAS- High-pitched sounds from a fire alarm abruptly woke on-campus residents of the North, Middle and Middle Annex dormitories on several occasions the mornings of Nov. 2 and Nov. 3.

The old fire alarm system was prompted by the heavy rain that triggered the alarms due to dust.

Resident assistants, or RAs, went to every dorm to alert their residents, but many students did not follow procedures and never exited the dormitories.

“The old fire systems are a hazard to the on campus students,” Amanda Bannis, a senior biology major, said. “The alarm goes off so frequently that most residents assume it’s not a drill or a real fire and stay in their rooms. It’s like the little boy who cried wolf.”

Many on-campus residents were upset when RAs scrutinized residents for not taking precautions and evacuating the dormitories.

“It is in the resident contract to evacuate anytime the alarm goes off,” one resident assistant said. “The Student Housing Department just needs to replace the fire alarm systems in North and Middle with brand new alarms.”

 “Even as a resident assistant I don’t know if Student Housing is budgeting funds to replace the old ones,” the RA said.

Some students also work during the weekends. There were many residents who were concerned about the frequent alarms because it interrupted their rest.

 “It was an inconvenience to be woken up three times in one hour,” Sharifah Matthew, a resident of middle dormitories said. “I work very early on the weekend and have a full schedule of classes during the week. It’s irritating when my sleep is interrupted for no reason.”

 Student Housing representative and RA, Lesa Royer confirmed that Student Housing has taken action and will be having someone assess the issue with the fire alarm system during the Christmas break.

WUVI embarks on new territory

WUVI Embarks on New Territory

Elisa Thomas|

ST. THOMAS- After only one year of existence, the student-run college radio station,WUVI AM 1090, announces upcoming additions.

A new studio will be created on the Albert A. Sheen campus on St. Croix, where technology will allow both the St. Croix and St. Thomas studios to communicate with each other and  also to the transmitter.

This addition allows students to create and produce radio shows and go live on the air from St. Croix.

The first steps of the process are already in progress due to allocating and purchasing carpets to soundproof the prospective studio’s walls.

“We already host a number of shows out of St. Croix, using a cobbled together telephone system,” Dr. Alexander Randall, faculty advisor and professor of digital media communications at the University of the Virgin Islands said.

“Dr. Chenzira Davis-Kahina produces a show out of St. Croix that’s coming through telephone lines. With the new studio we’ll be able to do a really professional version of that.”

The prospective St. Croix studio is located in the former Research and Technology (RT) rooms of an on-campus dormitory.

The new studio will be funded by a five-year federal title III grant provided by the Department of Education.

The money afforded by the grant is to develop new curriculum. The grant also covers transmitter fees, and rent for the antenna along with other equipment.

“But along the way we said in order to make new classes in the field of broadcasting we needed a radio station to teach about broadcasting,” Dr. Randall said.

The prerequisite courses for student involvement on WUVI are Broadcast I and II.  These courses prepare students for managerial positions and live show broadcasts.

Students are made familiar of studio equipment and software such as consoles, telephone’s couplers, microphones, the MARTI system, streaming devices, Adobe Audition and DRS 2006.

Members of WUVI. From left to right: Michael McFarland, Najuma Dunn, Renee Williams, Marisha Jno-Lewis, Dr. Alexander Randall, Nicole Moore, Elesha Hazel, April Rose Fale-Knight, Heru Shango and Mike Pride.     Photo by: Elisa Thomas
Members of WUVI. From left to right: Michael McFarland, Najuma Dunn, Renee Williams, Marisha Jno-Lewis, Dr. Alexander Randall, Nicole Moore, Elesha Hazel, April Rose Fale-Knight, Heru Shango and Mike Pride. Photo by: Elisa Thomas

“There’s no such thing as student involvement. It’s not just partial participation; they are running the radio station. If you take away the student aspect the station will fall apart,” Studio Manager, April Rose Fale-Knight said.

The 12 hour daily programing features student & faculty created shows such as U.V.I Insider, Democracy Now, Music and Culture Experience, U.V.I CES, H.B.C.U Connect, Caribbean Beats, College Voices Unzipped, WINGS Women’s Issue, Jazz Stories, Avenues of Healing, VICCC and Conscious Vibe.

WUVI AM 1090 also carries a syndicated version of the Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS).

WUVI is the only station in the Virgin Islands to carry the Tom Joyner Morning Show which provides national news and includes segments of local news by U.V.I students.

At intervals in the Tom Joyner Morning Show, local, co-culture, UVI and regional news are  aired by Marisha Jno-Lewis, Manefa O’Connor, and Shawn Seabrooks.

Marisha Jno-Lewis, news director of WUVI uses the DRS 2006 software to air her show at WUVI AM 1090.   Photo by Elisa Thomas
Marisha Jno-Lewis, news director of WUVI uses the DRS 2006 software to air her show at WUVI AM 1090. Photo by Elisa Thomas

“I was so nervous and scared to take on such a big responsibility,”Marisha Jno-Lewis, news director of WUVI said.

Jno-Lewis delivers the local, Co-Culture and U.V.I news within the 9 o’clock hour. “It involves me waking up at 5am to get the Daily News subscription to write the latest news,” Jno-Lewis said.  “Because the news is incorporated in the Tom Joyner Morning Show, I have a time limit of five to six minutes roughly.”

The station provides radio content of news, varieties of music, drama, politics, spoken word and educational programing. The WUVI signal reaches as far as Dominica in the south and to Puerto Rico in the east.

“We do a good job of reaching the masses, giving informed updates of news, music and what’s happening at U.V.I,” Seabrookes, host of U.V.I Insider and the regional news segment said.

The existing station is located on the third floor of Penha House on the St. Thomas campus and airs each day from 6 a.m to 6 p.m.  Students are able to develop their own content and gain hands-on experience in the radio and production field.

U.V.I students are receiving a great opportunity. “If you look around in the community there’s no other radio station that is being run by students or young people,” Fale-Knight said.

UVI Dance Team to Perform at Paradise Jam

Elisa Thomas|

ST.THOMAS- After successful tryouts, fundraising, extensive stretching, exercising, three months of rehearsal   and perfecting their “boom kacks,” the ladies of U.V.I Dance Team are prepared for their debut performance at the Paradise Jam game on Saturday, Nov. 23. During the halftime game, where Metropolitan University takes on the U.V.I Buccaneers, U.V.I’s dance team will perform their latest dance mix. The performance features music from many genres such as hip-hop, R&B, dance hall, pop and calypso and also uses well-known songs.

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Nurses or Heroes?


ST.CROIX- It was a cool and cloudy Sunday morning in the Sunny Isle Shopping Center.

The rain sprinkled on the streets while the gray sky flashed with soft lightning. I was expecting a normal day of work at the Payless Shoe Store. However, what I wasn’t expecting would be what I was most prepared for.

The sweater on my back kept me warm while I cleaned the glass windows outside the store. While outside, a tall man in a red shirt broke the silence of the calm and gloomy morning.
“Help!” he yelled, as he hurried in the opposite direction of a man lying on the concrete.

Instinctively, I dropped the window cleaner and hurried across the street only to see that there was an elderly male lying unconscious on the ground.

I felt prepared, like I was supposed to be there. During that moment, flashbacks from my nursing lectures at the University of the Virgin Islands and CPR training flooded my mind. I heard the voice of my instructor Ms. Cooper asking me “What are you going to do first?”

I assessed the situation first. I looked at him and tapped him asking him if he was OK but he didn’t respond. I checked his pulse and found one. Just as I was about to call 911, the tall man in the red shirt came back.
“I just called 911,” he said. I kept the unconscious elderly man on his back and kept trying to see if he would respond.
A bystander noticed that there was a lot of bleeding behind the man’s head. My immediate thought was to stop the bleeding.
“We have to stop the bleeding,” I said out loud.
People driving by got out of their cars and kept me company until the ambulance came. Bystanders were getting anxious and complaining about how long the ambulance was taking. It felt like every second was equivalent to five minutes in that moment. Many people around me kept asking questions about the man on the ground.
“I don’t know this guy” I said. I just knew that if I did not stop the bleeding, he could possibly die. I asked if anyone had anything to stop the bleeding, but no one had anything.
A guy on the corner told me “do not touch the man.”
‘We can’t stay here and watch his head bleed out,” I said.
I took the sweater off of my back, bundled it up and applied pressure to the bleeding, being careful not to get blood on my hands. Within a minute after I stopped the bleeding, he moved his head and opened his eyes.
“Can you hear me,” I asked.
The man stared at me with an unfamiliar look. He shook his head in response and I kept talking to him. He was lifting his head to get up.
I called my boyfriend who graduated last semester from the nursing program. He works in the emergency room, so I knew he would be able to help me on the phone until the ambulance came.
“Sir, you have to stay still, don’t get up, the ambulance are on their way.”

In about 10 minutes the ambulance arrived on the scene, the blinking lights and sirens flooded the area as people watched frantically.

A bystander knelt down to the ground to meet me where I helped stop the bleeding. He held on to the man’s arm with a sense of compassion, trying to keep him conscious.

I could feel around me getting warmer. I turned my eyes away from the guy on the floor for the first time and saw many more bystanders staring at me.

The paramedics got the stretcher out and assessed the senior citizen who tried to speak but spoke with a slur. I left him there when the paramedics took over and headed back to work with no sweater.

The sweater I had put on that morning was now under a strangers bleeding head. The adrenaline that was running through my body was now resorting back to its normal composure. I felt calm when I saw the paramedics wheeling out the stretcher and lifting the small framed man off of the hard cold concrete.

The nursing program at UVI prepared me mentally for this situation that required fast action and critical thinking.

Many locals decide to go to nursing school on the mainland but UVI’s nursing program is one of the best nursing programs. It offers an associate degree on the St. Croix campus and bachelor’s degree on the St. Thomas campus.

If anyone is interested in the nursing program at UVI, go for it! The professors and advisors are willing to help and give you step-by-step guidance in the skills you need to learn to help you at the bedside or in emergency situations.

I wasn’t a hero as people said that day. I was just a nursing student, prepared for the worst.

By various (Niki ) (own work based on) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
By various (Niki ) (own work based on) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Bonnie Anderson Visits the University of the Virgin Islands

Bonnie M. Anderson 27-year news veteran, visited the University of the Virgin Islands on Monday Nov. 18 to speak with communication majors and other students.

Pass the Bottle and Party Up

Effects of drinking on college students

Nalie Frederick|

ST. THOMAS– According to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) “about four out of five college students drink alcohol.”  In the Virgin Islands the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages is 18. As a result, a college freshman in the VI is allowed to purchase alcohol compared to a student in the United States who would have to wait until he or she is 21.

Due to the lenient drinking laws in the Virgin Islands, it is not the local college students that abuse the right to drink, but the foreigners coming from areas with strict laws against drinking, Jill wagner said.   All college students are affected by drinking whether they consume alcohol or not.

Many students between the ages of 18-24 consume alcohol and put themselves and others at risk for unintentional death.

Karence DeCosta, better known as Miss St. Thomas Carnival Queen in 2009, died in a car accident after her graduation celebration from the Charlotte Amalie High School. She died more than a month into her reign as queen.  It was suspected, but never confirmed, that alcohol was involved.

Many students consume alcohol and are not fully prepared for the worse outcome of the situation. According to NIAAA, about 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers and receiving lower grades overall.

Drunk smiley LadyofHats
Drunk smiley

College drinking can result in termination from the campus and even worse, students can be restricted from the school property. Females who drink excessively are at risk of being assaulted and/or abused in their vulnerable state. The NIAAA states that more than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape and 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 receive unintentional injuries while under the influence of alcohol.

While a vast majority of students do consume alcohol, not everyone does. “Joining groups such as brothers with a cause, sister to sister and SGA can help students refrain from alcohol” College senior Shana Gilbert said. 

Every college student needs to be aware that alcoholism is a disease. Alcohol is considered the gateway drug that leads to the use of other drugs and paves the way for addiction. The university offers a nurse and counselor that students can meet with to discuss their drinking issues and get help. Students may think they’re too young to be an alcoholic, but anyone constantly abusing alcohol is an alcoholic.

On St. Thomas, many college students attended the Metropolis Night Club due to its close proximity to the campus and its infamous “free all night” specials on Tuesdays. This made it easy for students to abuse the substance and drink excessively.  However, the club was shut down due to a consistency of violence and criminal activity.

“I do not drink and am not for drinking because it destroys the body, but I would advise those students who drink to be responsible and stay away from the campus when they do consume alcohol” freshman Paulita said.  Paulita is a mature student who lived on the island most of her life and supports alcohol awareness.

Drinking alcohol is not the problem, abusing the privilege is. If, as a college student, you feel the need or desire to drink, drink responsibly.

Meal Plan Disaster!



ST. THOMAS–The cafeteria is the center of entertainment and dining at most universities and colleges. The on-campus students at the University of the Virgin Islands are tired of complaining and giving suggestions to Student Housing and Student Government Association about their dissatisfaction with the food service.

Academics are the most important part of a student’s college career. On-campus students aren’t spending thousands of dollars to just hang out around campus. Students are spending this abundant amount of money so they can actually learn something.

St. Thomas students having dinner and the rice, beans and plantains that were on one of there plates. Antoinette Anderson
St. Thomas students having dinner and the rice, beans and plantains that were on one of their plates.
Antoinette Anderson

However, that doesn’t mean university administration should focus their attention solely on education and forget about the importance of providing students with quality food service. The dining hall has a great atmosphere and view but lacks cleanliness. Several students have gotten sick from eating the food and the lack of professionalism by the employees is a serious problem.

The impolite staff in the cafeteria has added to the bad reputation for on-campus dining. Several students have gotten into verbal confrontations with cafeteria staff. Many students and staff have witnessed the cafeteria staff use profane language and aggressive tones toward each other and students.

“One of the chefs was very disrespectful to me during the lunch hour for complaining about my food being cold and I was simply trying to inquire the type of chafing dish they use. The food service is beyond reprehensible and the employee needs to learn how to be professional in their place of work,” said Sharifah Matthew, biology major.

The dining hall meals are predictable every day. There isn’t any variety or options on a daily basis. They often serve the same baked chicken that they served for lunch at dinner. Most students take the food and throw it in the garbage or go to the grill section which is not healthy.

There aren’t many healthy choices for lunch or dinner. Some students may even have health concerns such as high blood pressure, but there aren’t any low sodium food options for them.

Baked chicken served in UVI St. Thomas cafeteria. Antoinette Anderson
Baked chicken served in UVI St. Thomas cafeteria.
Antoinette Anderson

“I was hospitalized during the spring semester of 2013 due to food poisoning from eating curry tofu from the dining hall and I received nothing but excuses from the dining hall manager. The on-campus nurse also dismissed my case when I requested to be removed from the meal plan,” stated Zubida O’Neal.

Students deserve and expect to eat from the cafeteria without having to worry about food making them sick.

It is imperative that the University of the Virgin Islands takes action to improve and start providing students with an inexpensive meal plan with good food. The university’s cafeteria food lacks variety and options for students on campus. And to top it off, they provide expensive, low quality food and keep bad hours.The university often speaks about creating a campus culture and promoting student involvement. However, the first step is being promptly responsive to all student ideas or complaints by taking affirmative action.

Residence Hall Open House Day

Residence Hall Open House Day

Victoria Smith|

Oct. 16 is the day that marked the Residence Hall’s seasonal Open House Day. During Open House Day, the Residence Hall is open to visitors wanting to know more about UVI’s Delta M. Jackson Dorsch Complex.

Sighted during open house day over the course of ribbon week were a puzzle completed by residents of the dormitory, the residents themselves, a room decorated in honor of Domestic Violence and a Collage featuring all the Awareness events in October such as the red ribbon for drug abuse, the pink ribbon for Breast Cancer, and the purple ribbon for Domestic Violence.

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WAPA Creating “Fight or Flight” Situation in VI

WAPA making living conditions a “fight or flight” situation for residents and businesses


ST. THOMAS- It is in our best interest to resort back to candle-lit houses instead of dealing with the ever rising cost of Virgin Islands electricity. The Water and Power Authority, or WAPA, has made and continues to make living conditions in the Virgin Islands a “fight or flight” situation. Many businesses have closed because of their WAPA bill.

According to a Virgin Islands Daily News article published in June, “The V.I. Senate is finally seeking WAPA alternatives, but only after years of what many view as financial extortion.”

Not only businesses, but residents of the Virgin Islands have chosen the “flight” option in order to escape the heart wrenching WAPA bill. If only the Virgin Islands government had taken up the offer to sell it years ago, we may have been in a better position financially.

Many government officials rejected the sale of WAPA due to their inadequate ability to keep up with the current power bills.

According to a WAPA press release from the St. Thomas Source, “If WAPA were purchased by a private business, the V.I. government would actually have to pay their own power bills and would not be allowed to rack up millions of dollars in arrears and then stick us – we, the people – with their bill.”

The government has outstanding balances owed to WAPA. “The government owes approximately $20. 7 million, which is $6.4 million more than the balance owed at the same time last year. A normal paying resident who neglects paying their dues to WAPA would result in the cutting of power,” the St. Thomas Source said.

While WAPA rates continue to rise, salaries continue to stay the same at least according to us regular people.


“V.I. government and WAPA officials have known for many years that the diesel-gobbling, antiquated generators have needed attention, but what has been done – other than frequently raising our rates and raising the LEAC while we, the public, pay their salaries for their inept job performance,” a Daily News editorial said.

Matthias_stom_young_man_reading_by_candlelightMatthias Stom (fl. 1615–1649) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We, as the people, should come up with ideas to solve this money draining issue and put them in action. Luckily, some people already have implemented solutions such as solar panel installations.

Meanwhile, the University of the Virgin Islands also struggles with the ever increasing WAPA bills.”The university pays 51 cents per kilowatt hour, which in result adds up to $1.5 million a year,” UVI Energy Manager Courtney Mayes said. “We don’t get any outside funding and so we find ourselves using money from other departments.”

UVI has found small solutions  helping to decrease electricity spending such as solar water heaters and light installations in every building, chillers and LED lighting. The West Hall Dorm also includes occupancy sensors that save energy by shutting off lights and air conditioning when the room is “empty.”

“Since we have gone green, we were able to use 479 kilowatt hours instead of 675 kilowatt hours,” Mayes said. “We have saved at least $99,000.”

Other solutions we can propose is to invest in another company that can give WAPA competition. This approach results in companies striving to have better prices to attract more customers. It may result in any other energy companies and WAPA competing for better rates and WAPA being eliminated.

“A total of 27 companies submitted bids in response to the utility’s request for proposals which was issued in May,” Jean Greaux, Government House spokesperson said. “The RFP sought bids from independent solar power producers.”

Until a solution that works to end WAPA’s financial hold on us is found, “last one out, turn off the lights” According to a letter written to the Daily News by Donna Pagano.

Inside the Pageantry Life with Miss Virgin Islands 2013

Inside the Pageantry Life with Miss Virgin Islands

Rokeyah Connor |

ST. CROIX- Competing in pageants since the tender age of 10, Ashley Massiah, Miss Virgin Islands 2013, is seen as a force to be reckoned with.

A member of St. Croix majorettes, a coach for the St. Croix Educational Complex majorettes, former dancer for Cruzan Dance, and a member of the Freedensthal Moravian Steel Orchestra, this young lady appears to be very well rounded.

Due to her very strong passion for helping the territory with its violence problem, Massiah’s slogan when running for Miss.Virgin Islands was “Breaking the silence of violence, addressing the violence in our community.”

The 22-year-old University of the Virgin Islands student sat down to discuss her latest pageant. Massiah competed against four other girls for the title of Miss America Virgin Islands 2013 and won. She then went on to compete for the title of Miss America 2013-2014. Although her talents consisted of baton twirling and point dancing live on stage in front of millions of viewers, she did not place in the national competition. However, she was delighted to share her wonderful experience.

Q: Tell me about your experience going to Miss America.

A: My experience for Miss America right now is that it was so much to take in I am still trying to remember everything, But it was a wonderful experience. I got to meet 52 beautiful young ladies; I was the 53rd.

I got to spend time with them in Disney World Orlando, Florida, we had fun and roamed the park. This year’s Miss America was “Welcome back to Atlantic City.” It didn’t feel like you were there for a pageant, the people where very welcoming and the staff for Miss America is amazing.

Miss Virgin Islands 2013 at the Miss America Pageant - Photo Credit: Ashley Massiah FB Page
Miss Virgin Islands 2013 at the Miss America Pageant – Photo Credit: Ashley Massiah FB Page

Q: Any girls in particular that you keep in contact with?

A: Umm I love Miss DC and I love Miss Hawaii. Miss DC’s name is Bindhu Pamarthi and Miss Hawaii is Crystal Lee. We actually had two Crystal Lee’s Miss Hawaii and Miss California, they are both amazing, and they were both my room-mates.

Q: What is the one thing you don’t like to do during pageants?

A: Interviews. I hate Interviews because you never know what they are going to ask you. So sometimes it’s like you don’t want to be asked a question you cannot answer. Then again I have to remember that there is no wrong answer to the questions because it is my opinion. But when running for shows like Miss America it is best to remain neutral on the questions asked so you don’t offend anyone.

Massiah was asked about the KFC comment that she had been ostracised about. Massiah went into a very long explanation but in short she said that she wished people understood that the show is telecast and sometimes what is heard on our television sets may not be what she said.

She wanted to make sure people knew that the question asked was “what will you eat when you go back to your hotel room?” She said that one of the only things in the area was KFC and that was why she said she would be eating KFC when she when to back to her room.

Q: Do you see yourself running for any pageants again in the near future?

A: Currently I am taking a break but I often say that and jump right back into it. I would love to run for Miss USA, I don’t see something wrong in that, but hopefully.

Q: Okay time to get personal! Is Miss Virgin Islands dating anybody?

A: Yes she is!

Q: If you had a daughter would you want her to be in pageants?

A: I would never force her but I would support her if she wanted to compete. On the other hand if she wanted to do sports I would back her in that as well.

Other questions asked were about the pressures of being in a pageant and if she felt that pageants portrayed a negative body image in women.”Once again it depends on the type of pageant that I am running for,” Massiah said. “Miss America is about intellect and not so much the physical appearance. Although I was the thickest one in the pageant that always reminded me that I am beautiful. They say what matters is your inner beauty.”