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→
Right to left: Estelle Andrews, Rubina Wade, Jada M. Lark, Mimi de Seda, and Christina Harper
Alayna Belshe |
ST.THOMAS – Five women and one man, a love story that is sure to break hearts, opened Friday night at the Pistarckle Theater.
The musical, Blues in the Night, created by Sheldon Epps, takes place in a rundown hotel in Chicago with classic blues from the 30’s and 40’s telling the story of one man’s relationships with five very different women.
The cast is made up of fan favorites from previous Pistarckle shows such as Rock of Ages and The Heidi Chronicles, as well as new talent.
This musical has limited dialog and relies on the lyrics and actors to tell its seductive and emotional story. Pistarckle’s intimately sized venue is a perfect showcase for these voices backed up by local musicians.
The show dates run through Valentine’s Day weekend and ticket costs range from $17 to $52. There are student discounts available, so please have your student email address or ID ready when you purchase your tickets.
The remaining show days are: Feb. 12, 13, 19 and 20. Please call the box office at 340-775-7877 or go online to pistarckletheater.com to make your purchase.
ST.CROIX — Musicians, magicians, and several other performances created a melting pot of talents Thursday night on the University of the Virgin Islands’ Albert A. Sheen Campus.
The student government association hosted a free event called “UVI Mix” in order to welcome the UVI community for the new semester.
“We also wanted to give the students an opportunity to present their talents,” Janell Royer, Student Government Vice President, said. “It’s a free event with free food, drinks, and no drama.”
Although late to start and a few minor mishaps, the event—which was held near the cafeteria—kept a pleasant atmosphere from start to end.
According to Felecia Hanley, a sophomore in the school of business, something about the event struck her as “different.”
“This event seemed more inviting. Everyone at UVI with Talent gets a chance to express themselves and that’s nice,” Hanley said.
Hosted by Kareem Eugene, also known as “Mr. Bash,” the line-up gave context to the name “UVI Mix.” Musicians included: DJ IQ, the Tenshaun Band, Lance “Daddy D” Greenway, Blackest, Jahmani Johnson and BMR which included KM1, Omi-D, and Baby Muzik. The line-up for rappers were: Cheddi “Wap Wap” Rogers Jr., Johnathon Coston,Dem Rude Boyz, Kalunda, and Elmo. Other performances included: Cody Cook, acrobatics by Antonio Cruz, and a magic show by Johnny Daemon.
Daemon performed on the campus back in 2010 and currently performs at three resorts on Island: Carambola Beach Resort, the Buccaneer, and the Palms at Pelican Cove. A six-year-veteran in his art, Daemon wowed the crowd by selecting three words from three different individuals from a sealed box. Cheddi Rogers, also known as “Wap WAp” and one of the word providers, still does not believe it.
One performer was a jack of all trades. For him, it’s all about constant motion. Antonio Cruz, Dental assistant by day, free running, modeling, parkour doing, actor and tattoo artist by night, lives by the code “A body in motion stays in motion.”
“I never want to stop moving,” Cruz added.
From the musician’s standpoint, Greenway’s reason for accepting the invitation to perform was all about the music. “We’re letting the people know that carnival ain done yet,” Greenway said. But it wasn’t just about the music either. “Education is key, coming together and music. It all goes around,” Greenway said.
During the first three days of the spring semester, a decline was noticed in the presence of students on campus that left student government president, Sophia Johnson, wondering “Why was UVI so empty?” However, Thursday night’s turnout of over 50 people—visitors and students alike—showed that with the right motivation, students will come.
SAMECA HENDRICKSON | ST THOMAS – After competing in poise, talent, image, and personal/private interview, Elisa M. Thomas, Miss UVI 2014-2015, captured the prestigious title of Miss NBCA Hall of Fame Queens Pageant. Thomas vied for title among 29 other HBCU royalty in Atlanta, Georgia on September 24-28.
University faculty and staff, students and well wishers greatly applaud Thomas on her a job well done!
Five Ladies Vying for Miss University of the Virgin Islands 2014
SHARI CHRYSS ALFRED|
ST. THOMAS- February marked the start of pageant season on the island of St. Thomas and it also marked the beginning of a voyage of five young women yearning to become the next Miss University of the Virgin Islands.
On Sunday, Feb. 2, five young women officially became contestants in this year’s Ambassadorial Competition.
Each year, the Queen’s Committees on both campuses work diligently to host a show for the Virgin Island’s community. This year’s competition will be held at the Reichhold Center for the Arts on April 12.
Annually, the Miss UVI Competition awards the winner with a grand prize of free tuition and room and board, which can range anywhere between $12,000-$20,000. In addition, the winner receives an all-expense-paid trip to participate in the Miss Historically Black College and University Pageant Competition in Atlanta, Georgia. The first runner-up in the Miss UVI competition will also receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Contestants will receive others prizes for the highest scores in the various segments: Business Wear, International Wear, Talent, Evening Wear and Best Intellect.
This year, both committees promise a show like no other. Recognizing the university’s motto of being “globally interactive,” an international wear segment has been added.
Each contestant this year brings something unique to the table, representing various islands in the Caribbean.
Contestant No. 1, Kimberly Donovan, from Tortola, British Virgin Islands, is a 21-year-old senior majoring in elementary education and English.
Contestant No. 2, is 20-year-old Elisa Thomas, a junior communication student. Thomas is a former Virgin Islands Carnival Queen.
Contestant No. 3, Shanice Wilson, is the only contestant from the St. Croix campus. Wilson is a 23-year old business administration major with a concentration in marketing.
Contestant No. 4, Sherisia Gumbs, is a 19-year-old sophomore, majoring in applied mathematics. Gumbs is also a St.Croix native.
Contestant No. 5, from Dominica, is 20-year-old Nichole Ettienne, a computer science major with a concentration in computational biology.
As she addressed the contestants and instructed them to sign their contracts, Miss UVI 2013-2014, Murchtricia Charles, reminded the contestants that this competition is deemed one of the most difficult pageants in the Virgin Islands. She described her experience with Miss UVI as a challenging one, often skeptical of the outcome.
“I remember attending a mock interview last year at the Queen’s Retreat and after the interviews were completed, the other contestants and I were told by the judges that if they were to choose a Miss UVI tonight they would choose none of us,” Charles said. “That night we went back to our rooms and cried in each other’s arms.”
Of the eight pageants she competed in, Charles has captured two other titles along with Miss UVI. Prior to migrating to St. Thomas to further her studies, Charles captured the titles of Miss John H. Woodson Jr. High School and Miss Central High School, both on St. Croix.
“It’s half about winning and half about the experience,” Charles said. “Win or lose, you are expected to use the skills you gain from Miss UVI and from Miss HBCU to better your school, yourself and your community.”
Like members of the UVI community, the committee expressed their excitement and anticipation of what the contestants will bring to the stage in this year’s competition.
“We have five lovely contestants and I would like to wish each one of them the best of luck,” said Robert Chen, faculty advisor of the Queens Committee.
Also in attendance was Student Activities Supervisor Leon Lafond. Lafond served as an advisor to Charles last year when she competed in the Miss HBCU pageant.
“It’s been a pleasure working with Ms. Charles,” said Lafond, “and I am looking forward to seeing what the girls put forth.”
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.
ST.THOMAS- Miss University of the Virgin Islands, Murchtricia Charles represented the University of the Virgin Islands in the Miss National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Competition from Sept. 25 – Sept. 29 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.
Charles, whom was accompanied by Student Affairs representative Leon Lafond and Cherie Wheatley, competed for the title against 29 other college queens from Historically Black Colleges and Universities around the country.
She received an abundance of support from the UVI community and the Virgin Islands as a whole.
“The preparation process for Miss UVI’s participation in the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame competition was a blessing. We had been meeting with Mrs. Lisa Wynn-Magnuson, director/owner of The Virgin Islands Etiquette & Leadership Institute who also participated in the same competition several years ago and came in first runner up. Mrs. Magnuson has been consistent with preparing Murchtricia Charles for this event,” Lafond said.
Charles took the initiative to do plenty of research on her own and other preparations to educate herself for the competition that is a part of the university’s tradition.
“Truthfully, I was terrified going into the competition however I saw how welcoming everyone was and it enabled me to open up and be comfortable. The experience was educating and phenomenal overall. I left with new plans for student leadership for the University of the Virgin Islands,” Charles said.
Charles was excited about representing both the Virgin Islands and the University of the Virgin Islands amongst the other Historically Black College and Universities at the competition.
Charles was actively involved in the various sessions/workshops as part of her ambassadorial role at the competition in addition with the other queens. She participated in events such as the Queen’s Tea Party, visited local schools in Atlanta, personal interviews, and the Positive Image program.
“It may seem like a lot but Murchtricia Charles was fully prepared to partake in these events,” Lafond said.
The competition featured women who have been recognized by their respective colleges or universities with the coveted title of “College Queen.” The winner would carry the title of Miss NBCA Hall of Fame.
In addition, the competition provided an opportunity for young women attending our nations Historically Black Colleges and Universities to better prepare for the future.
Though the program places emphasis on excellence, achievement and personal growth, it also strives to make the experience fun.
“There weren’t many challenges in our preparation process. I, along with her chaperone Ms. Cherie Wheatley, her other family and friends, especially her brother Jamal Drummond has been very supportive to her throughout the process,” Lafond said.
“Unfortunately I did not place but it was a wonderful experience,” Charles said. “I learned so much about leadership and got to meet numerous other HBCU kings and queens. I grew as an individual and it was a very spiritual experience that I will never forget.”
Miss University of the Virgin Islands 2012-2013, Ivory Carter represented the Virgin Islands last year in the Miss NBCA Hall of Fame competition. Miss Morehouse College 2012-2013, Jasmine Mathews won the competition last year.
The UVI community wished their ambassador luck and supported Murchtricia Charles as she vied for the title of Miss NBCA Hall of Fame.
ST. CROIX- University of the Virgin Islands students on Sept. 20 gathered around the Student Activities center to watch fellow students exhibit their freestyling talents during Freestyle Friday.
Freestyle rap is a spontaneous performance done without preparation.
Emulating BET’s 106 & Park segment, Freestyle Fridays allow UVI students to exhibit their rapping creativity, while allowing their peers to vote on the best performance. The winner would then defend his or her title at the next Freestyle Friday.
“The purpose of Freestyle Friday is to bring life and spirit to campus,” said Sheena Tonge, vice president of Kappa Gamma.
“We usually have a rap battle,” Tonge said. However, lack of contestants led to a decision not to have a match.
Despite having no contest, students still showed their support.
This was especially encouraging to part-time UVI student and DJ Charles “Daddy Pollo” Goodings Jr. Goodings, 22, believes support from his peers helped make the occasion successful.
“I surprised myself,” Goodings said. “I really didn’t expect to see so many people come out. Just the fact that I’m playing, people came out to support.”
He has been a DJ at other Kappa Gamma events such as on-campus basketball games and Dancehall Cardio.
“Kappa Gamma supports students doing big things,” Tonge said.
In terms of participation, Kappa Gamma President Junior “Judah VI” Garcia was no exception.
Garcia dropped some verses to Nicki Minaj’s “Beez in the Trap.”
The occasion ended on a festive note as friends of Khalid Edwards held a surprise birthday celebration in his honor.
Overall, students such as Remah Asad were pleased with the outcome. She felt it brought the students together as one.
“The music and allowing everyone to be themselves in an environment that is not strictly professional is always fun and good,” she said. “It’s like an appreciation event towards the students.”
Students unfamiliar with Kappa Gamma should know it is a marketing and management group.
“Clubs and organizations on campus would plan events and the events would not turn out the way they would want to in terms of publicizing the event. Therefore, Kappa Gamma was put in place to help with the media,” Tonge said.
By using sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Kappa Gamma utilizes them all to the host club’s or organization’s advantage.
Their involvement, however, does not end with promotional work. Kappa Gamma secures volunteers to help with clean up.
Students interested in Kappa Gamma events can reach out to them.
“We always have flyers up,” Tonge said. “We have a [Facebook] page you can contact Mr. Garcia or you can contact myself.”
Students can also go to Mrs. Hedda Finch-Simpson’s office in the Student Activities Center for more information about the club.
Tonge added that interested students can speak with Kappa Gamma members at their events.
Once there, the organization can acquire contact information.
ST. THOMAS- One hundred and fifty students anxiously boarded the Kontiki vessel for the “Rep Your Dorm Initiation Party” on Sept. 5 by the University of the Virgin Islands as part of their annual campus initiation party.
UVI offers this event as an opportunity for new and returning students to mingle and start their school year off with a blast.
The students wore an array of colored t-shirts such as: red for Predators, green for Avengers, tan for Warriors, orange for Travelers and blue for Invaders.
Refreshments were served alongside a variation of music provided by DJ’s Kegg and Marlie.
The student initiation party is a yearly gathering combining campus residents and non-residents.
New students and returning students get the opportunity to participate in various activities and share talents such as dancing and highly coordinated stepping and chanting.
The crowd ultimately favored the Warriors for their dynamic step routine.
A campus resident described the atmosphere of the party as a success.
“It was just a cool vibe. Nobody fought, everybody behaved, laughed, took pictures and created memories,” said Denesha Barbrow, a second year nursing major.
This year the party was chaperoned by the Dean of Students, Leon Lafond, Student Housing Supervisor, Sean Georges, and Student Counselor, Dahlia Stridiron.
Georges made note that the success of the party is determined or depended on the amount of students that are in attendance.
“This is the first time in four years with the exception of the year before that we have brought back the freshman initiation party,” Georges said. “We faced problems previously due to the low amount of support we were getting from students.”
The last initiation party was held over on John Brewer’s Bay. More students came out and were able to catch a break before the semester officially started.
Barbecues, inflatable water slides, games, music, traditional laughter and a positive atmosphere were all in attendance.
The party was considered a to be yet another success by the UVI community.
UVI students are encouraged to participate in upcoming UVI sponsored activities and parties.
By joining in the activities, students create more memories and long lasting relationships that the entire campus can “buzz” about.
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.