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.”
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.
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.”
ST. CROIX- At The University of the Virgin Islands, most students wear T-shirts and jeans, but within the trendy crowd there is a distinct and peculiar group of people called “UVI Fashionistas.”
We stepped into the closets of Shakirah Ritter and Ajah Richards style to learn more about the in-fashion on campus.
Shakirah Ritter is a 19-year-old ticking fashion bomb that explodes when she steps out for a girl’s night out or heads to class. She emulates simplicity, yet her unique style is super high-fashion, sleek and versatile.
Shakirah’s favorite trends are inspired by tribal prints and pastels and she studies fashion through magazines like “Vogue.” Celebrities like Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian inspire Shakirah’s daily outfits. Shakirah says she enjoys pairing high heels with her outfits.
In “In Style Magazine,” Kim Kardashian states, “I wear a lot of heels! They give you extra height, plus they lengthen your legs and make you look leaner.”
Even though Shakirah looks at celebrity fashion for inspiration, she never copies. In fashion, clothing is not the only fashionable factor. Makeup and hair also are key ingredients for the perfect mixture of a fashion soup.
Messy buns, occasional braids and sew-ins are Shakirah’s main hairstyles. She uses Mac makeup, which creates that perfect natural look for regular days and a dark smoky eye for photo shoots. Fashion makes her feel cool and she enjoys expressing herself through fashionable clothing.
Ajah Richards is a 22-year-old sophomore at UVI. His fashion sense is very urban and stems from New York City.
This urban guy likes to create a chemical mixture of fashion that blows people away.His mixture of urban and casual are meticulously put together to ignite his finished product.
Ajah’s urban twist is totally unique because he is inspired by women fashion too! However, he finds a way to twist feminine styles into “masculine macho.”
He says that almost 89 percent of the time, styles and prints such as galaxy, Aztec, and even floral are not only for women but are also available in styles for men.
“Fashion is risk taking,” Ajah says.
Some people are afraid of wearing fashions that they admire; however, he has no fear. Fashion makes him feel confident. For example, Ajah has a T-shirt with a ballerina design on the front. It may seem strange, he says, but the ballerina on his T-shirt actually is just cover art from Kanye West’s track called “Runaway.”
Ajah shops at Urban Threadz in Sunny Isle and occasionally online at Dr. Jay’s. Ajah dresses up his look with some cool glasses, snap backs and male accessories.
To conclude, Ajah and Shakirah both gave advice. To someone who is trying to develop his or her own style, Ajah says “Find someone whose fashion you admire and use that as a base to create your own style.” Shakirah says, “Be unique, think about your personality, the things you like and work around that.”