Category Archives: News

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

KHADIJAH LEE|

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.

NEEDLES FOR PEACE

Acupuncture at UVI’s International Day of Peace Observance

JO WILDER|

ST. CROIX – Community acupuncturist, Serena Sundaram used needles to heal trauma at the University of the Virgin Islands on Sept. 18.

Acupuncturist Serena Sundaram treated a dozen of the 100 students attending the International Day of Peace observance in the UVI  theater.

Sundaram explained to the audience that acupuncture is a tool for diffusing the effects of trauma when people are not ready to talk.

In the break-out session, Sundaram showed the video, “Unimagined Bridges: Ear Acupuncture Treatment for Disaster Trauma.” The video documents the positive outcomes of treatment for the victims of 9/11 and other high crime areas in US cities.

At UVI’s “Hurt to Healing” workshop last spring, health care professionals said that part of the violence in the U.S. Virgin Islands is a reaction to the trauma around us.

“It is exhausting living in disharmony. Unless the trauma is addressed, we assimilate the negativity and implode or explode perpetuating the cycle of violence,” Keys said.

Sundaram said acupuncture is one way to dissipate anxiety and move patients away from a fight or flight state… it helps one come back to the present.

Acupuncture is commonly used to to regulate energy flow and induce a feeling of relaxation. Since college students tend to be stressed, students attending the workshop gave it a try.

Denver Mike relaxes with acupuncture needles
Denver Mike relaxes with acupuncture needles

“I never thought acupuncture would be something I would try …The sharp thin needles packed a bigger bark than their bite. The procedure was painless. The result was relief. I found myself focusing on the needles and in doing so, drifting off into a state of calmness … from feeling drained, to having my battery recharged,” senior Denver Mike said.

Mike was one of the students that welcomed Sundaram in the breakout session by agreeing to treatment.

“The UVI students are so interested, engaged, brave and willing,” Sundaram said after the event.

Serena holds a Master’s of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) from Southwest Acupuncture School.

She was one of many health care professionals that responded to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans to treat the injured and displaced in lawn chairs in yards, garages … in whatever space was available.

One can see her for treatments in acupressure, acupuncture, holistic health, mental health and oriental medicine.

Her office, CommuniChi Central is in the Island Medical Center, Sunny Isle, Suite 8A.

Her office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Prices are determined on a sliding scale between $20 to $40.

Feel free to contact her at 340-692-9238.

One phone call may be the first step to feeling “recharged,” in control and completely relaxed.

It’s Volleyball Season at UVI

It’s Volleyball Season at UVI

Denae Fleming|

ST.CROIX – Students at the University of the Virgin Islands took part in the co-ed intramurals volleyball game Monday night behind the campus cafeteria just south of the campus dorms.

Student Teams Taking part in the Intramural Volleyball League
Student Teams Taking part in the Intramural Volleyball League

The university’s intramurals volleyball league played for the second time Monday night around 9 p.m. on the basketball court with teams “Stop Playing” against “We Would Hit It.”

The volleyball season officially kicked off last week on Thursday night and usually starts each year in September.

“Coach Bruce Ray has been doing most of the intramurals as far as putting the sport together and organizing the schedule here at the university and this year we started early,” Roderick Moorehead Jr. one of the coaches for the volleyball teams, said.

While enjoying the game with the rest of the audience Moorehead also said, “One of the main purposes for this weekly activity is to inspire campus life. It’s always great when you have students who have the interest to play.”

The league plays every Monday and Thursday at 9 p.m. with a second game following immediately after.

“If you want to take part in the sport you have to be somewhat serious. You can come and just play for fun but there should be a level serious interest in joining the teams,” Makeem Perinon said.

IMAG2946
Student Teams Taking part in the Intramural Volleyball League

Perinon is a part of the Virgin Islands Juniors National Volleyball team and is also a sophomore studying criminal justice. He heard about the student activity at the University and became immediately interested. He decided to take part and started his own team called Go Hard for the intramural league.

The game is free to the public. It gives students on campus an opportunity to leave the dorms and enjoy a moment of interaction with other students on and off court.

Where are all the Men?

Where are all the Men?

CHRIS SEALEY|

ST. CROIX –Finding a male student at the University of the Virgin Islands is equivalent to finding an Eskimo in the Caribbean. At the university, 31 percent of freshmen are male and 29 percent of all undergraduate students are male. The typical undergraduate student at UVI is a mature local woman attending full time.

creg brown, part of the 28 percent of 2013 UVI male graduates
Creg Brown, one of the 29 percent of 2013 UVI male graduates

But why is this happening? Are young women simply more ambitious and harder-working? Are men becoming increasingly disengaged from academia?

Female high-school students are more likely to aspire to attend college than their male counterparts and the young women enrolled in college, persist and graduate at higher rates as well, according to a report released on Aug. 28, 2012 by the National Center for Education Statistics.

When young women graduate from high school they tend to go straight into college with a plan set on a four-year degree.

Men decide to go college at a lower rate. For example, while almost three-quarters of female students who enrolled in college did so immediately after high school, just over two-thirds of male students did. Slightly less than half of young men first enrolled in a college or university.

In high school women paid more attention to the college searches than men. They would consult college websites, publications or search guides for information on college entrance requirements. Only 60 percent of male seniors reached out to college representatives for information.

Once in college, a higher percentage of women  stay enrolled and graduate, according to the statistics taken by BYU in 2004. Roughly 60 percent of all first-time, full-time bachelor-degree-seeking students who started college in 2004 had earned an degree six years later from the same institution. A greater proportion of women finished than men.

When asked about her take on the ratio of female students to male students, third-year student Nicole Foster said, “It’s not that there are more males than females on the islands it’s just that more women decided to come school than men.”

The purpose of higher education is to be more qualified for higher paying jobs.

Women don’t typically go for jobs in construction or security, which don’t necessarily require a degree. So women try to get the edge with a degree.

Keep on Giving

UVI Annual Giving Is At It Again

ELISA THOMAS|

ST. THOMAS – The University of the Virgin Islands’ Annual Giving campaign is on a record-setting pace for their 2013 alumni contribution fund-raising drive. UVI hopes to be the first Historically Black College or University to have a 50 percent alumni giving rate.

“I am confident! I am very, very confident, that we will achieve the 50 percent” Linda Smith, director of the Annual Giving and Alumni Affairs, said. “The alums have stepped up. They’re gifts have been in record numbers; they have surpassed last year as well.”

Smith is a two-time UVI alumna and has spearheaded the fund-raising campaign since 2008.

“The goal is to surpass the 42 percent yes, but then the annual fund goal of $3.4 million we are well on our way with that also,” Smith said. “It tells me about the passion that the alums have and they are very much in support of their hometown university.”

One such passionate alumnus gave his reason as to why he contributed.

“I believe that everyone should give back to their alma mater,” Sheldon Turnbull, 1992 alumnus, said.  “Your alma mater is what contributed to your success.”

Last year, the university took on the challenge presented by UVI’s President Dr. David Hall to reach a goal of a 50 percent alumni giving rate and fell short by a mere 8 points. Within nine months, the alumni giving rate improved from 13 percent to 42 percent.

This year, UVI is at 46 percent with four days in the campaign remaining.

According to Smith, UVI is 1 percentage point higher than South Carolina’s Claflin University’s 45 percent that lead the nation at the same time last year.

UVI used a series of solicitation strategies toward achieving these goals including:

  • Traveling to various islands,  such as Tortola, the BVI, St. Kitts, West Indies and Nevis, seeking alumni support from the strong alumni contingent.
  • Soliciting at the VI Agricultural Fair, the World Food Day Celebration on St. Croix and the VI Carnival Cultural Fair on St. Thomas.
  • Hosting the Alumni “Phonathon” where faculty, staff, students, alumni and other volunteers called alumni to raise funds.

The phonathon was the final solicitation event where for the first time there were call centers on both the St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses.

“The Alumni Phonathon was held from Monday, Sept. 23 to Wednesday, Sept. 25,” Astrid Tuitt an administrative assistant in the Development office of Institutional Advancement said, “We usually have it until Thursday, but what happened is we have a company that is outsourced by the name of RuffaloCODY and they have been making calls to Reichhold patrons, alumni, special alumni and UVI friends.”

A greater incentive arose when a donor agreed to donate $10,000 to the university if his 50 percent alumni giving rate was achieved.

Smith said that the University is just 250 alumni contributors short of meeting its milestone.

Donations are to be used where requested by the patron. The monies can fund scholarships and various university programs.

Interested parties can donate online at www.uvi,edu  until Sept 30.

A patron donating $100 or more receives the “Proud We Are” collector’s edition of the UVI historical publication and is automatically entered to win two season passes to the Reichhold Center for The Arts.

Where is your mold hiding?

West Hall Dormitory given unwanted spotlight by the Virgin Islands Daily News

BY: KHADIJAH LEE|

ST.THOMAS- On Sept. 25 University of the Virgin Islands President, Dr. David Hall sent an email to residents of West Hall Dormitory addressing a reported mold infestation.

Journalists with the Virgin Islands Daily News appeared on campus to interview students about the mold the week before. Dr. Hall reassured students via email that “the claim that there is a colony of mold is inaccurate and sensational.” The UVI West Hall dorm was featured front page with an interview that left many readers appalled.

The Daily News reported the mold infestation has left the bathroom ceiling crumbling. The mold conditions were so bad that it may have been what sent one resident to the hospital.

Matthew Eastman, a UVI sophomore, told Daily News “One of my suitemates had an asthma attack and had to go to the hospital.”

Virgin Islands Health Department website revealed, “In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma.”

Students on the first floor described their dorm room ceiling as covered in black mold. Bubbles of water caused from swelling dangled from above their heads and pieces of the ceiling were falling uncontrollably. The scent was unbearable as soon as you entered the front door.

“You could put your finger through it,”  Eastmant said to the Daily News. He said the walls were “mush.”

The first floor of West Hall Dormitory where one of the rooms reported mold
The first floor of West Hall Dormitory where one of the rooms reported mold

When a maintenance crew removed the crumbling ceiling, it became apparent that “the ceiling is all just black mold.” Eastman said the black substance had spread into and weakened an adjacent wall.

Aside from the mold infestation, students seem annoyed with the dysfunctional keys and doors. Students are unhappy since they pay a lot of money to stay in those dorms.

The room and board fee is $2,250 not including meal charges, which is also an additional $2,000.

The electronic doors constantly go offline for long periods of time. This can result in the building being wide open to non-residents.

Residents find themselves wedging open doors with rocks or other small materials that can hold open the door. If the door closes without something to stop it then it leaves residents unable to enter the dorm.

About two weeks ago, the air conditioning stopped working.

The building was built for air conditioning only. The position of the building leaves no access to natural air. Some suites had to endure the heat for one week without the housing department offering any fans.

“I talked to an RA and he said it seems like every day there is something else wrong with the building. He said they put it up in a year, and that it seems like they were really hasty to finish it,” said Eastman to Daily News.

Though Dr. Hall declined comment to the Daily News, he was able to reach out personally to the residents of West Hall. He wrote his concerns about media appearing on campus as “troubling.”

According to the UVI’s media guidelines, all requests for interviews and other public information should be sent to the Public Relations Office,” Dr. Hall said.

“I encourage each of you to utilize the processes that exist within the University to address your concerns. If you do not receive the appropriate response at the first level, please pursue it to the highest level of the University. We must all work together to ensure that UVI continues to move forward,” Dr. Hall said in closing.

A Field All Our Own

UVI Soccer Fields: To play or not to play?

ARIGE SHROUF| Sept. 28                                                                                                  

ST. CROIX— The two soccer fields on the Albert A. Sheen campus are not being used after being called “unplayable” which is putting a strain on the BUCCS soccer team.

After three years of planning and construction, the university is doing maintenance on the fields such as cutting the grass and marking the field.

The fields should be available to the players by November but no later than spring 2014.

The Daily News published an article on Sept. 9 that called the UVI performance field “a field of dreams deferred.” It noted the condition of the field: the slope, the holes, the anthills and weeds. The field was “deemed unplayable” after a failed inspection from the Liga Atlética Interuniversitaria in August. Without the Liga Atlética’s approval, the field cannot be used for league matches.

“The biggest impact” of that decision has been a financial one, as the university tries to “address concerns brought up in the report” said Nereida Washington, Director of Campus Operations on the Albert A. Sheen Campus.

Travel to Puerto Rico for games can also get costly, but the decision impacts the students as well.

“Our students are the only ones in the league that have to travel for all of the games,” Washington said. “We have lost the home game advantage of being able to have fans and spectators who favor the UVI BUCCS on the sidelines.”

In addition to being at a disadvantage in terms of support, the UVI students may also end up missing classes to attend games.

Some team members don’t mind all the traveling or having to miss classes. They view the constant traveling as an exciting experience.

“I like traveling to Puerto Rico for games” Ismail Yusuf, a freshman member of the soccer team said.

Without a soccer field on which to play some of the league matches at home, the soccer team members have to travel to Puerto Rico for every game. Although some students view away games as a good thing, this constant travel could affect their performance in class since they will be missing so many classes and having to catch up.

“The university is seeking to increase athletic and physical education opportunities for student athletes on St. Croix and the V.I.” Washington said. The soccer fields, one for practice and one for games, would provide those opportunities but they are not being used.

Washington said “Intramural and athletic programs are key to your experience in [college]” so the university is working to make the fields ready for use.

Despite the league’s decision, UVI officials consider the fields “playable.”

Washington said that “given the concerns that were raised, the field is not being used.” She said the fields would begin to be used by the BUCCS between November and December, but “definitely in the spring.”

According to Washington, the Liga Atlética’s inspection impacts the ability for the UVI BUCCS to play on the field” but not the university’s. Washington said the inspection “is not a requirement to play.”

“There is no required inspection done by a body in order to play. We will use the Athletic director’s, the soccer coach’s [and other individuals’] evaluation of the fields to make sure that [they are] maintained properly so that [they are] playable,” Washington said.

Despite UVI officials’ assurances that the field is “playable,” the university has been taking steps to improve the condition of the performance field.

The primary measure is a process called top-dressing in which the holes are filled in with a mixture of soil and sand. The process would have to be done either “annually or biannually,” said Washington.

The university marked the performance field and had the grass mowed on Sept. 16.

photo 1
Ronald Joseph marking performance field on Sept. 16; Photo credit- Arige Shrouf

“Everything we are doing is part of a maintenance program” Washington said, so there are “no extra costs.” The funds to “maintain a high performance field” come from the “grounds budget.”

Maintenance of the field involves processes such as reseeding, which is “recommended nine times a year,” Washington said.

It also involves mowing the grass “twice a week” physical plant employee, Ephraim Rodriguez said.

When asked to give his perception of the field, Rodriguez pointed out the fact that “there are no benches and no bathrooms, so that could be inconvenient.”

According to Washington, the university is well aware of these concerns and is working on them. A bleacher was purchased last year, although it was not put out because it would get in the way of field improvements.

“The goal is to move in that direction where all these amenities will be available,” Washington said.

Initiating New Leaders

Another year ahead for SGA President Kimberlee Smith

SHARI CHRYSS ALFRED

ST. THOMAS – Family and friends gathered at the Administration and Conference Center Friday evening for the 2013-2014 installation of the newly-elected members of the Student Government Association.

After gaining the vote of a vast majority of the student body, UVI senior Kimberlee Smith is back for her second year as SGA president. Smith and other members of the cabinet remained attentive throughout the ceremony, taking notes as various members of the administration expressed their expectations and offered words of advice.

“You have been identified as young professionals and young leaders of the student body and this institution,” said Leon Lafond, Student Activities supervisor, as he congratulated the students on their accomplishments.

Before instructing the students to raise their right hand and repeat the oath of office, UVI President Dr. David Hall reminded the students of the sacrifices that they should be prepared to make.

“Leadership is a sacrifice and this sacrifice will create a legacy for other students to come,” President Hall said.

While offering a few words of encouragement and guidance, keynote speaker Senate President Shawn-Michael Malone highlighted some of his accomplishments. He noted that he was involved in student government and other leadership positions from the young age of 14, and continued on to being a leader in college and the Virgin Islands government.

New Image

**Photo credit Dale Morton
**Caption: Senate President Shawn Michael Malone addresses students at the UVI 2013 Student Government Association installation ceremony.

After the SGA elections took place in April, some students complained that Smith had not been as active as she promised during her campaign.

“Each candidate has a right to file for greviency. Though all the guidelines were followed, however, one student did file and that created a delay in the official results,” SGA Elections Chair Natasha Harrigan said.

Nevertheless, the members were eager and ready to begin the school year ahead.

“Being a full-time, A student, SGA president, a peer instructor and a full-time parent gets hard at times, but time management and prioritizing is the key,” Smith said. “Having an excellent relationship with my team and getting the committees up and running are the most important things to me at this moment.”

As the evening came to an end, Board of Trustees Representative Joshua Edwards faced his peers and said, “The challenges and opportunities we face are all stepping stones leading toward our future. Though your legs may crap at times, the view at the top is much greater than the pain felt.”

Malone ended his remarks with a quote by civil rights activist Malcolm X: “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

“If you didn’t like me when I was in high school realize what was going to happen a few years later, I would’ve given you what I would call a cheat sheet,” Malone said. “Maybe I wasn’t running for this exact reason but it helped with my readiness for the position I hold today. “

All students wishing to find out more or become an active member of the SGA should visit the Student Activities Office located on the upper campus adjacent to the North Dormitory or contact Leon Lafond at 340-693-1111.

2013-2014 Student Government Association

President-Kimberlee Smith

Vice President-Kareem Thomas

Treasurer –Kai Richardson

Appointed Secretary-Teniqua Rogers

Board of Trustees Representative- Joshua Edwards

Freshman Senators

Denikah Harrigan

Denaesha Phipps

Khalai Vanterpool

Sophomore Senators

Ralda Claxton Jr.

Khaleisha Dias

Junior Senator-Christel Brandy

Senior Senator- Andrene Johnson

Four Acres of Land Donated

ZENOBIA HOWE|

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.

STJ_Land_Donation_Samuels

“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.

Peace on Campus

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

MARY JO WILDER

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!”

UVI offers public look at early medical programs

JONATHAN PAUL|

 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

Who Cares? – Life and Learning After UVI

TWANNA HODGE|
 

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