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Three Campuses ~ One Voice "Bringing our student voices from our islands to our world." University of the Virgin Islands Award-winning Student Newspaper UVI VOICE is dedicated to enthusiastically exploring and reporting on the community, culture, and diversity of the University of the Virgin Islands by combining inquisitiveness and creativity through written word and visual imaging.

9/11 Where were you?


On this day in 2001, an event occurred that forever left a mark on this nation. In memory of that tragic day, we have asked several members of the UVI community to share their memories of that day.

American Flag raised high At the Univeristy of the Virgin Islands
– Arige Shrouf

“I was in third grade when it happened. I didn’t know what was going on or why my teachers seemed so sad. I saw adults crying; we didn’t really have classes that day, but I could not figure out the reason. When I got home, my mom told me what had happened. I remember feeling shocked and helpless. So many people were dying that day and it seemed like there was nothing anyone could really do to stop. Although I was only a child at the time, I knew when I saw the footage of the towers falling that nothing would ever be the same again.” – Arige Shrouf, 20, English major; Managing Editor of the UVI Voice

“In class, we had to stand in a moment of silence; I was so confused. I saw it [the towers falling] on the news. All I remember is that it was tragic.” – Shakirah Ritter, 20; criminal justice major

“I was 12 at the time it happened. I remember being at school, in homeroom; the teacher seemed distraught. I didn’t know what happened. When I went home and saw the images of the plane hitting the tower, I was a little bit scared because I didn’t know what was going to happen afterward.” – Joey Emmanuel, 24; UVI writing center tutor

“The day of… I don’t really know what happened. I didn’t hear anything about it the day of, I was only a kid. But the next day, around 10 am, our teacher stopped the class to ask if we knew about what happened. She asked us to take a minute of silence for everyone that had died. Afterwards, we just continued our day. We acknowledged what happened, but did not dwell on it. We continued class as if nothing ever happened. Probably because she thought we were too young to understand.” – Sarah J., 20; secondary education major

“I don’t remember the exact grade but I was in class when it all happened. Though I didn’t quite understand exactly what was taking place it was very scary and it made me really sad.” – Je’Ronn Simmonds, 19, Music Education

“When I was told about the tragedy I didn’t feel anyway but when I saw the damage on the television it was a scared for a moment.” – To’Quoya George, 20, Marine Biology

“I was in 5th grade at the St. Croix Christian Academy and it made me feel like the world is no longer a safe place.” – Jamall Marsh, 21, Computer Science

“I was lost. I was so young. I didn’t even know what the twin towers were but when I became fully aware of the situation I became very scared because I thought more attacks were going to happen throughout the United States. – Kalique Raymo, 20, Computer Science

“I was only in 2nd grade so I wasn’t really affected by this situation.” – Kimani Jett, 18, Accounting

“I was in 5th grade and I was already sad because this is the day my father died. It made me even more depressed to see that so many more people were dying on this day. I felt as if the day was cursed. So many people were crying it was scary.” – Shari Chryss Alfred, 21, Communications

“During 9/11 I was in the 4th or 5th grade staying at a friends house for about a week. My mother was in Atlanta for work and was delayed because planes everywhere were grounded. I didn’t find out the planes crashed till they called me to the office during class to tell me my mother was on the phone I was terrified to pick it up. My grandmother lived in Manhattan a few blocks away from the towers and I was scared she was calling to say someone had died. She had called to tell me everyone was ok, but that she wouldn’t be able to get home until flights were back up and running. It took her a month to get home.” – Zenobia Howe, 23, Communications

“It’s interesting to see how the students perceive the 9/11 attacks, they were only children when we were attacked, and they have a unique perspective. They grew up in a different world than we did and it’s important to see the distinction. I was in college at the time. I went to Borough of Manhattan Community College, only a few blocks from the Trade Center, the towers provided shade over my school. My job was located just below the trade center. I lost so much that day, my school became an emergency command center and I lost my job. From my neighborhood in Sunset Park, Brooklyn I watched the smoke rise from the fallen towers, I breathed in the debris that lingered for more than a month. It took me a lot longer to recover physically and emotionally. But I was one of the lucky ones, my trauma pales in comparison to some of my friends.” – Stephanie Hanlon-Nugent, part time journalism instructor and advisor to the UVI Voice

2013 Virgin Islands Community Survey to Begin

ST. CROIX – The Eastern Caribbean Center of the University of the Virgin Islands will be conducting its annual Virgin Islands Community Survey (VICS) among residents in the territory during September and October, according to a UVI press release.

The 2013 VICS will update data from the 2012 VICS, the 2010 Census, and will generate official Virgin Islands statistics relating to economics, population, housing, labor and employment.

The survey will be administered by UVI employees who will each have official UVI identification cards.

The VICS is conducted to provide a better understanding of statistical changes in housing and population in the VI. Demographic surveys provide significant information to educators, the legislature, businesses and anyone needing information about the community.

“This is really the only source of information for the Virgin Islands where we have comprehensive housing and population information,” said Dr. Asha DeGannes, acting director of the Eastern Caribbean Center. Dr. DeGannes encourages the public to participate in the survey when contacted as many government and non-profit agencies rely on the data for grant applications and other types of funding.

The survey is confidential and all information is accessible only to select authorized employees of the Eastern Caribbean Center.

“All of our employees – full-time, part-time and temporary – are required to take an oath of confidentiality and sign a confidentiality agreement,” Dr. DeGannes said.

For more information about the Virgin Islands Caribbean Survey, call the Eastern Caribbean Center at (340) 693-1020.

UVI offers public look at early medical programs


 ST. CROIX – Dr. Samantha Kaplan, director of the Early Medical School Selection Program at Boston University, held a public seminar  for students interested in medical school at the University of the Virgin Islands’ St Thomas and St. Croix campuses on Jan. 25.

Kaplan is a medical doctor and a board certified obstetrician-gynecologist and assistant professor at Boston University School of Medicine. The conference took place on the St. Thomas campus and was available through videoconference on the St. Croix campus.

Continue reading UVI offers public look at early medical programs

A Young Woman’s Cancer Adventure


ST. CROIX– Cancer can come in many forms, shapes, and sizes. It’s also nondiscriminatory when it comes to choosing the age of its host. Annie Paulson, a graduate student at Brown University, was 28-years-old when she was diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer.

Paulson recounts being shocked when her doctor insisted on scheduling a mammogram after feeling a lump during a routine, female wellness check-up in 2007.

Continue reading A Young Woman’s Cancer Adventure

Kiss Me Through the Phone


ST. CROIX—From juggling schedules to career moves to challenges in communication, couples who have been separated by a long distance change in address can tell you the challenges they’ve faced in maintaining the romance. So, can long-distance relationships (LDRs) really work?

Sgt. 1st Class of the U.S. Virgin Islands National Guard, Julian Álvarez, 24, admitted it wasn’t an easy feat.

Continue reading Kiss Me Through the Phone

Who Cares? – Life and Learning After UVI


ST. THOMAS—How many notices or posters urge students to inquire at the university student Career Services or Center for Student Success about getting a master’s or even a doctoral degree?  None.

Informational sessions are critical for students who are passionate about education and learning.

Tamah Henley, a senior, English major, said, “I think that some kind of information should be posted, yes. We are a university of higher education…. The flyers that I have seen around campus are for National Student Exchange Program. I have not seen any posters about graduate school.”

Continue reading Who Cares? – Life and Learning After UVI

Home Invasions Welcome Here


ST. CROIX – Welcome to the beautiful island of St. Croix.  There are turquoise waters, tranquil beaches—and rampant, home invasions. With theft on the rise, a small police force and a lax government, sooner or later, residents should prepare themselves for more home invasions. Should the crime occur, most hope intruders will enter when they are not at home, but some residents are not that lucky.

This past November, a couple in Beeston Hill awoke to three gun-wielding men in their home. According to an article in the Virgin Islands Daily News, the three suspects demanded money from the male homeowner, while the female resident had the presence of mind to call 911 and leave the call connected so dispatchers could hear what was happening in the home.

The Obama Scare Act


St. Thomas, USVI – Now that most of the political antics have been played, and the US Supreme Court has given its ruling, what does the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly known as Obama Care, really mean?

If you are a young adult under the age of 26, you may not have given it a second thought. After all, you probably already get health insurance through your parents’ coverage.

Well, beginning 2014, when most Americans will be required to have insurance or pay a tax penalty, you’ll have to buy coverage independently if you don’t have it through your parents, a job or a government program. Continue reading The Obama Scare Act

UVI’s “Journey to Greatness” Will Be Remembered in 50 Years


ST. CROIX — In the spirit of moving forward and acknowledging the past, Committee Chair Raquel Silver shared the progress of the time capsule project at the Charter Day Ceremony, “Our Journey to Greatness,” which took place via video conference on the University of the Virgin Islands’ St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses on March 15.

Silver said she sees the project as an opportunity for the members of the UVI community to pass on “legacies, lessons, knowledge, hopes, and dreams” to future members of the UVI community to show “how far we have come.”

Continue reading UVI’s “Journey to Greatness” Will Be Remembered in 50 Years

A look at the VICCC: preserving and restoring Caribbean Culture


ST. CROIX— The Virgin Islands Caribbean Cultural Center (VICCC) began as a vision of UVI President, David Hall, and was officially launched at the International Islands in Between Conference (IIBC) last year on St. Thomas. The St. Croix launch, roundtable, and ribbon cutting, however took place on Jan. 30 at the University of the Virgin Islands’ Albert A. Sheen campus.

According to the VICCC Director, Chenzira Davis Kahina, the St. Croix launch was a “phenomenal success” with “probably” three times as many people in attendance as expected.

Continue reading A look at the VICCC: preserving and restoring Caribbean Culture