Category Archives: Campus Life and Issues

ROOTS – LET YOUR INNER VOICE BE HEARD

Featured Image: The official Roots club logo. (Courtesy of Nosakhere Williams, Roots president)

Alicia Taylor |

ST. CROIX – This year, UVI students sought to enhance student creativity in a way that would allow students to exhort their feelings in a positive manner.  Thus is how UVI’s new poetry club, Roots, was formed.

Roots, originally named University Poetry, is aimed to allow students to root themselves into multiple attributes that characterize poetry such as strength, tranquility, compassion and freedom.

“We want to give college students the chance to express themselves through lyrics and poetry,” said Nosakhere Williams, a sophomore Information Systems and Technology major and the founder of Roots. “We want students to engage and interact with our community while allowing students to gain knowledge over various types of poetry.”

Roots Poetry has been involved in a variety of events including UVI’s Day of Remembrance for Murdered Victims, International Day of Peace and Taboo. Continue reading ROOTS – LET YOUR INNER VOICE BE HEARD

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R. City Visits WUVI, Campus Radio Station

Featured Image: Theron and Timothy Thomas pose with UVI students outside of the WUVI campus radio station. (Photo courtesy of Shahim Skeete)

Nathalie Trow-McDonald |

St. Thomas native born performing artists, R. City, participated in an interview yesterday at WUVI, the student-run radio station at the University of the Virgin Islands.

Brothers, Timothy and Theron, spent about half an hour being interviewed by Shahim “Jay” Skeete, WUVI Production Manager, and D’Ajahni Estrada-Petersen, WUVI Public Relations Manager.

R. City has a history of supporting the local student radio station. They have participated in live interviews before as well as their father and producer, Kiebo Thomas.

The artists are currently on break from touring with Maroon 5 and returned home to be the first to receive the keys to the territory from Governor Kenneth Mapp. Not only did they receive the keys, but September 27, 2016, was announced as official R. City Day to commemorate their many accomplishments in the music industry and for serving as both role models and goodwill ambassadors for the territory

During the live interview, several UVI students who were present to meet the local stars were sharing the interview through Facebook Live. The brothers addressed callers to the station and the Facebook viewership to answer questions such as: “When will you return to Dallas?” or “Would you rather have [student] housing be renamed after you or keep the key [to the territory]?” Continue reading R. City Visits WUVI, Campus Radio Station

Provost Impressed by Student Research

Nathalie Trow-McDonald |

The 18th Annual Fall Student Research Symposium sponsored by the Emerging Scientist Program was held yesterday afternoon in the Sports and Fitness Center of the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) St. Thomas Campus.

Sixty posters and their proud owners stood in a circle around the basketball court as judges and curious community members mosied from one well-dressed student to another in hopes of learning something new.

“This is my favorite event all year,” commented Dr. Camille McKayle, UVI Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs with enthusiasm. “It has everything we want in it: inquisitive students, engaged faculty, and students exposed to cutting-edge technology… I am always impressed by the students when I come.”

Incorporated in the symposium was a competition for the participants. Students who receive the highest scores from the judges will be awarded travel funds that cover registration, transportation, and housing to attend a scientific meeting to present their research.

Symposium winners typically attend the Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics held annual in Washington D.C., but winners are allowed to choose the conference they are most interested in attending. Continue reading Provost Impressed by Student Research

Psychology Club Beach Cleanup

Featured Photo: Albert A. Sheen Campus Psychology Club

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UVI Psychology Club members placing litter into a trash bag.

ST. CROIX – In partnership with Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup and other organizations around the globe, the University of the Virgin Islands Psychology Club held its first Beach Cleanup for the semester. Officers, students and community volunteers gathered at Rainbow Beach, St. Croix on Saturday September 17th, 2016 to remove trash from waterways and to identify the sources of debris. In a collective effort to take action to ensure trash never reaches our beaches.

All photos are courtesy of Leanne E. Morancie, UVI Psychology Club Public Relations Officer.

 

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Club members discussing their plan for the cleanup.

Officers In Featured Photo:
Advisor: Dr. Aletha Baumann
Public Relations Officer: Leanne E. Morancie
Treasurer: Jama Raimer
Events Coordinator: Jailine Manon

For more information or to join the Psychology Club, please email Leanne E. Morancie at lmorancie10@gmail.com.

International Day of Peace – Overcoming Racism Inside-Out

Featured Image: Organizers of the International Day of Peace event placed doves around the Albert A. Sheen Campus to direct guests to the location of the event.

Alicia Taylor |

ST. CROIX – Students on the Albert A. Sheen campus gathered in EVC 401 Friday, September 16, to observe International Day of Peace. This is the fourth year English 100 students and faculty have organized and held this event on St. Croix.

“Because of Beyoncé and the national news, we decided the focus of overcoming racism was a topic that needed to be addressed and discussed,” said Mary Wilder, Assistant Professor of English. “Instead of just reading about it, we want students to be involved and talk about the issues we presented today.”

To assist in getting the focus across to the University students, Judge George Cannon came to speak about peace within and without.

Cannon expressed that racism isn’t unique to a particular group and that true peace is found within the chaos. “If inside the chaos you can still do a constructive job in efforts to change the world, then you have achieved inner peace,” said Cannon.   Continue reading International Day of Peace – Overcoming Racism Inside-Out

‘WhatUEatin’ Won Big at The 2nd Annual UVI Hackathon at St. Croix

Featured Image: Dr. Tim Faley and Team McKrigger after they were presented with the “Best Hack” $500 check and a certificate for 40 hours of free mentoring from NEARiX. 

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The Hackathon 2016 T-shirt design.

Alicia Taylor |

ST. CROIX – Imagine getting paid to bring your crazy ideas to life. The UVI Hackathon allowed students to do just that.

The 2nd annual Hackathon to be held on St. Croix took place September 9th and 10th in the Albert A. Sheen Campus Library. Thanks to NEARiX LLC, UVI’s Research and Technology Park (RTP) and Virgin Islands Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (VI-EPSCoR), UVI Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Association (UVIDEA), students competed for $700 in cash prizes and a $100 UVI bookstore certificate.

In a 24-hour span, students broke into teams to develop an app that reflected the year’s theme of health and wellness. UVI Distinguished Professor and Special Assistant to the President, Tim Faley, instructed students to create an app that they would personally use.

The students took that advice and ran with it. They saw a problem and came up with a solution to solve it in the form of an application for cell phones.

However, of the four teams competing, there could only be one grand prize winner.

Team “MacKrigger” took home the title of “Best Hack,” as well as a certificate for 40 hours of free mentoring from NEARiX to expand on their idea, an estimated total value of $5,000, and the $500 cash prize. Continue reading ‘WhatUEatin’ Won Big at The 2nd Annual UVI Hackathon at St. Croix

New Station Addresses Student’s Craves

Nathalie Trow-McDonald |

ST. THOMAS – Last night, Elite Hospitality Management, the company running the St. Thomas campus cafeteria, unveiled their new “Crave Station” and held an informative session lasting from about 7:30-8:00 PM.

“I know it’s already the third week of class, but it is still early enough to welcome you all back,” said Jennifer Palmer-Crawford, Director of Residence Life for the St. Thomas Campus, as she opened the meeting.

The main point of interest for most students was the new Crave Station, open during diner and lunch hours, that serves fresh fruit, yogurt, and four types of sub sandwiches including: tuna, ham, turkey, and vegetable on either white or wheat bread. The Crave Station will not be open during the late-night “snack hours” from 7:00-9:00PM.

Silently, everyone had been wondering for the past three weeks why they were no longer allowed to make their own salads, and now the salads were being prepared to one’s liking and served to the customer.

“Items are now being served from the Salad Bar and Crave Station to reduce contaminants and make sure they have enough to spread around for every paying student,” noted Claudia Prince, Manager of Elite Hospitality Management, curing everyone’s curiosity. Continue reading New Station Addresses Student’s Craves

New Students Set Sail for Academic Success

Feature Photo Caption: Ryan Shaw ready to take on the new academic year and next, the world. (Photo taken on St. Thomas courtesy of Adeola Adelekan, Orientation Leader)

By Alicia Taylor and Nathalie Trow-McDonald

IMG_0560Albert A. Sheen- St. Croix campus new student orientation island tour, August 20, at Point Udall. (Courtesy of Catey Mendoza, a National Student Exchange student from Alaska)

Albert A. Sheen – St. Croix Campus Orientation: Perspectives of An Exchange Student

Attending UVI is the beginning of our flight towards success. With the help of the orientation staff and student leaders, we were introduced to the flight attendants and captains that will assist in our navigation throughout the journey we call college.

Throughout our flight journey at UVI, we were instructed on safety precautions and instruments we can utilize to assist us. We were educated about campus security, dating and violence, sexual assault and physical and mental health concerns. Through counseling and health services, RAVE and a variety of other departments on campus, students can be reassured that the flight they are traveling on is a safe one.

The theme for orientation on the Albert A. Sheen campus on St. Croix was “Navigating Your Path to Academic Success,” hence all the flight metaphors.

Being a National Student Exchange (NSE) student, the Virgin Islands was an unknown territory waiting to be revealed to me. Attending orientation allowed me the opportunity to experience the university and the culture of St. Croix first hand.

The orientation staff and faculty made it their priority to make sure each student either learned or was reminded of the heritage of St. Croix and the Virgin Islands. Meals were prepared with a variety of foods local to the Caribbean, including the introduction of two local food trucks for students to try at lunch.

The St. Croix campus offered orientation students to take part in a movie night at the Caribbean Cinema, an island tour, bowling at Ten Pins and snorkeling lessons.

Of all the organized activities and events, the New Student Convocation and Buccaneer Welcome Reception was my favorite. Specifically, President Hall’s address to the students.

“He was engaging, relatable and genuinely cared about each of us individually,” said Cassie (Cassandra) Glodowski, a NSE student from Wisconsin. “He didn’t just see us as a statistic, but rather as a student of UVI.”

After walking the stage and being bestowed the medal, I felt like an official member of the Buccaneer community. UVI is proud of each and every student, whether they are here for a semester or five years. The bond created here is unbreakable and each individual of this community will assist in navigating you towards the path of academic success.

Regardless of the destination, you have allowed UVI to provide a stamp on your passport of life. Continue reading New Students Set Sail for Academic Success

UVI Welcome Back How-To: The Parking Permit Situation

 

Featured Photo: Designated Parking Map of the St. Thomas Campus. (Courtesy of the University of the Virgin Islands)

Alayna Belshe |

ST. THOMAS – This is my third fall semester at UVI and every year I learn a little more about how to get things done at our university. This year, I mastered getting a parking pass and completing the vehicle registration process.

If you are new to campus or if you have been lucky enough to get a new vehicle over the summer, you need to register your vehicle online through your BanWeb account before you visit the security office.

To complete the online registration you need:

  • Your driver’s license
  • Your license plate number
  • Your car’s make
  • Your car’s color
  • Your car’s year

Accessing BanWeb is as simple as logging into your MyCampus page on the UVI website and selecting the BanWeb link on the left.

BanWeb Location

Screenshot of the BanWeb Home Page after Logging into MyCampus (August 2016)

After filling out the vehicle registration form found on BanWeb, proceed to the campus security office. The entrance to the office is right next to the Banco Popular ATM on the St. Thomas campus and near the First Bank ATM by the Evans Center on the Albert A. Sheen- St. Croix campus.

You will need to bring your driver’s license, registration and your student ID. (If you still don’t have your UVI Student ID, a piece of paper with your name and ID number will be accepted).

The campus security office is open 24 hours a day, so there is no excuse for not getting this done.

The best part of this whole process is that the permit is free. (Provided that you do not lose said permit, otherwise be prepared to fork over $25.00 to the security office.)

As of Wednesday morning all members of the UVI community received an email detailing the parking policy and the process of registering your vehicle including maps of appropriate parking for each campus.

Good luck to all of us finding our preferred parking spaces!

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Designated Parking Map of the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. (Courtesy of the University of the Virgin Islands)

UVI PRIDE DAY OF SERVICE

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Volunteers repaint the kiosk information center as part of Pride Week activities.

Olinger Augustin |

ST. CROIX – Students, faculty, and staff met on Monday, March 28 to provide a day of service on the Albert A. Sheen campus by sprucing up the kiosk information center.

As part of the university’s annual Pride Week, the UVI community gathered to provide community service on the campus itself.

Student Activities’ Hedda Finch-Simpson noted, “Often times we tend to go off campus to provide community service, but this time we decided to bring it to the actual campus to get students excited about school pride.” Continue reading UVI PRIDE DAY OF SERVICE

Graduating student satisfied with UVI experience

Che-Raina D. Warner |

ST. THOMAS, VI- Forecasting an imminent graduation season at the end of this semester, UVI students are proud to have weathered the storm.

From ensuring that they have undertaken all their required courses to working feverishly to ensure all passes, trailing their academic advisers to seek advice for a smooth transition from university life to their career path, seniors are experiencing a nerve-wracking yet thrilling semester.

In speaking with Tayla-Marie Manners, a senior accounting major, she said that upon the heels of graduation she feels quite accomplished.

“Through the multiplicity and variation in academic programs, I can say UVI has molded me into a well-rounded individual,” Manner said. She added that although she is an accounting major, given the opportunity to enroll in science and foreign language classes have helped to make her a very marketable graduate. Continue reading Graduating student satisfied with UVI experience

UVI CONTESTANTS PARTICIPATE IN ANNUAL ST. CROIX QUEEN’S RETREAT

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Reigning Ms. UVI and contestants pose before having lunch

Photo by Markida Scotland

Olinger Augustin |

ST. CROIX – Traditionally, the Student Government Association’s Queens Committee hosts a weekend-long retreat for the Miss UVI Ambassadorial Competition’s participants. During the retreat, contestants follow a rigorous itinerary of public appearances, themed photoshoots, and are required to attend workshops on skills that may be beneficiary.

This year the SGA Queen’s committee made it a four-day weekend retreat, which gave the current contestants an idea of what their schedule would look like once selected to serve the prestigious title.

Like every other year, the current contenders’ first public community appearance was at the Annual St. Croix Agricultural Fair or Agrifest. Uniformed in white dresses with a touch of traditional madras, the seven gutsy young women paraded the fairgrounds with style and grace.

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The seven contestants attending the opening day of the 45th Annual Agricultural Fair

Photo by Dale Morton

Contestant no. 2, Khadijah Lee, exclaimed, “I loved and admired the fact that the St. Croix Ag Fair involved the younger generation in each aspect of the fair, opening prayer done by a six-year-old and also a third grader leading the attendees in the National Anthem on piano.” Lee continued, “Not just a section, but a whole warehouse of art dedicated to agriculture, created by just about every school in St. Croix really sealed the deal for me!”

The Ag Fair appearance was just one of many activities the contenders experienced on St. Croix. Attending the Valentine’s Day Jump Up was a first for all of the contestants.

“The fact that the culture of the Virgin Islands was represented through performances, art, food and music for both tourists and locals gave me an ecstatic heartwarming emotion,” noted Contestant no. 7, Patricia Francis. Continue reading UVI CONTESTANTS PARTICIPATE IN ANNUAL ST. CROIX QUEEN’S RETREAT

Tuition increase looms as UVI challenges continue

Patrice Reneé Harris |

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Aerial View of UVI St. Thomas Campus. Photo Credit: uvi.edu

ST. THOMAS — Students at the University of the Virgin Islands will have to brace themselves for a possible tuition increase in the upcoming academic year in light of the university’s continued fiscal challenges. As the university continues to tighten its belt amidst decreasing government appropriations, increasing tuition will likely be one of the new schemes to improve its financial situation.

In an email on Feb. 9, David Hall, president of the University of the Virgin Islands alerted the UVI community that there was a deficit in the 2016 fiscal year budget. Dr. Hall explained the three main factors that contributed to the deficit.

“This present challenge is a result of various factors, including (1) the drop in enrollment over the previous fiscal years from 2,700 students to 2,300 students which has lowered our revenues and unfortunately we have not made the appropriate adjustment in expenditures; (2) the drop in our government appropriations over the previous fiscal years has eliminated a lot of the flexibility in our operating budget; and (3) some of our accounting controls have  not forced units to stay within their budgeted amounts,” the email read.

In an interview with the UVI Voice on Feb. 15, President Hall explained that the units were not maliciously overspending, but accumulated unpaid bills that rolled over from the end of the previous fiscal year.

In light of such, President Hall said the university is introducing new monitoring tools. These controls include denying authorization for purchases that exceed department budgets, closely monitoring department budgets towards the end of the fiscal year, and bringing forward the cut off point for orders and purchases.

“All of us have to be much more willing to stay within the budgets we are given and not exceed them, even when they are good reasons to do it,” Hall said.

In an effort to mitigate the impending deficit of $1.4 million, the president asked each unit of the university to reduce its budget by 4.8 percent for fiscal year 2016. In doing so, Dr. Hall asked each department to ensure that the reduction in budget does not affect employees’ jobs nor the quality of students’ education.

According to Hall, the fall in enrollment by some 400 students significantly affects the school’s operational budget, as the faculty size remained the same.

“We are also attempting to enhance our revenues through various new programs and especially through an increase in enrollment,” President Hall said. “The university is looking for ways to increase class sizes but not affect the quality of students’ education.”

Though the proposal is not final, Hall said a tuition increase is likely to be among the new measures to circumvent the deficit. The decision will only become final after the president proposes the tuition increase to the board and meets with the Student Government Associations and the student population.

Zoé Walker, vice president of the Student Government Association on St. Croix said the tuition increase is warranted in light of UVI’s fiscal challenges.

“I can understand why the students would find this proposed tuition increase frightening. But our students must remember that UVI currently has the most affordable tuition in the nation as an HBCU. In order for us to continue to receive a quality education in paradise, the university has to do certain things to achieve that, especially in light of a decrease in funds received from the government.”

Walker is also advocating for an improvement in the university’s payment option, stating that the options should be more flexible to accommodate students.

“I also believe that the university must observe that, although it is not a drastic increase, every student’s situation is different and (we) should make sure we have appropriate payment plans available,” Walker said.

Though the fiscal challenges are burdensome, President Hall is confident that UVI will overcome them as it has in the past.

“…I am still optimistic about UVI and where we are heading,” he said. “We have had fiscal challenges for the last four or five years. Students should not be fearful that this signals some major problem with the institution, but it is just unfortunately a part of doing business these days, where you have to tighten your belts and ensure you are generating more revenue. Besides a tuition increase, we are looking at new programs that can bring more revenue to the institution,” Hall said.

President Hall will present a revised fiscal year 2016 budget to the Finance and Budget Committee of the Board on Feb. 22 and approval is expected at its March 5 meeting.

 

Basketball Returns to the Albert Sheen Campus

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UVI St. Croix Campus Basketball Team

Chris Sealey |

ST. CROIX – Opening UVI St. Croix’s Student Government League’s basketball season, the university welcomed the VI National Guard basketball team, the Spartans, to an exhibition basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 11. In the end, the university claimed victory over the visitors, winning the game 46-38. Eddie Castillo topped score with 15 points and Chris Sealey pitched in with 11 points.

Senior forward Sealey started the game scoring the UVI team’s first 8 points.

“Chris came out the hole firing,” Castillo stated after the game.  “The team’s mindset early was to set the tone defensively which got the team going offensively.”

By the end of the first quarter Spartans were down by 8.

“I was definitely aware of players like Sealey and Castillo,” Coach Webster of the Spartans said. “I told my team to focus on those two players defensively.”

By halftime the score was tied at 26.

Webster started the second half with his team playing a half-court pressure defense.  The Spartans forced some turnovers early, but the great ball handling of senior point guard Amali Krigger helped UVI gain a lead.

“I felt we did well on the defensive end,” Krigger said, “when by playing pressure defense we forced turnovers, mainly because they were weak when it came to ball handling.” Continue reading Basketball Returns to the Albert Sheen Campus