Tag Archives: SGA

SGA Election Results Announced


ST. THOMAS – The results of the Student Government Association elections have been announced.

A week after the student body on the St. Thomas campus went to the polls to vote for the candidates of their choice, the SGA Elections Committee published the results in a general campus email on Wednesday morning.

According to the correspondence, the following students have been elected to serve as SGA officers for the upcoming academic school year 2015-2016:

President-elect: Yohance Henley
Vice President-elect: Cashkim Bussue
Treasurer-elect: Tonya Greene
Senior Senator-elects: Tonecia Rogers and Michelle Malone
Junior Senator-elects: Lisa-Marie Hodge and DeWein Pelle
Sophmore Senator-elects: Denine Hurtault and Kaunda Williams

(not pictured below: Michelle Malone and Kaunda Williams)

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In an interview with the UVI Voice, Rogers thanked those who supported her and said she is honored to serve in her new capacity for the seniors’ benefit.

“It’s an opportunity that I won’t take lightly,” Rogers said.

For his part, Pelle thanked his constituents, support group, and the UVI community.  He promised to “wholeheartedly dedicate my time and productivity in attempting to eradicate the grievances of the student body. We are all scintilla of the adept Virgin Islands environment. I intend to catapult our academic atmosphere by reintroducing and rebranding of academic programs such as assistance learning and expanding UVI outreach programs at the university to craft a congenial and altruistic relationship with the VI community.”

Greene said it is a wonderful feeling that the students entrusted their confidence in her to have her work on their behalves.

“I want to thank the students for giving me an opportunity to serve on the SGA,” she said.

The other elected members could not be reached for comment.

Students also voted on the referendum question: Do you think the Student Government Association members should receive adequate compensation each semester?  A total of 248 students voted “yes,” while 78 indicated that they were not in favor of SGA members getting paid, according to the Elections Committee.

The day following the elections, Director of Student Activities Leon Lafond notified the student body via email that the results “have been postponed to accommodate some write-in candidates who have to be certified by the Access and Enrollment Services in order to declare their candidacy.”

Then, four days later, Lafond issued another e-mail to inform students of a further delay in announcing the outcome.  “On behalf of the SGA Elections & Grievance Committees, there have been some inquiries about the official results for the 2015 Student Governance and Leadership elections,” the email read. I regret to inform you that the announcement has to be postponed due to unfortunate circumstances. At this present time, there are some grievances filed that need to be addressed accordingly.”

Meanwhile, the Student Representative to the Board of Trustees has not yet been named as the elections committee is awaiting the results from the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix.

The swearing-in ceremony for the SGA is scheduled for the fall semester.  No date has yet to be set.

Black History Month at HBCU: Is UVI Living Up to the Hype?


ST. CROIX— Black History Month at a Historically Black University should be a grand event, but many students feel the University of the Virgin Islands is not doing enough to acknowledge the importance of the tradition this year.

UVI students acknowledge the importance of Black History Month to them and to our community. Even when they are unaware of its origins, they understand the importance of upholding the tradition of the celebration.

Black History Month was initialized as “Negro History Week” in 1926 by Dr. Woodson and was expanded by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) to encompass an entire month in 1976.

In 1986, the observance of Black History Month was passed into law and has since been a symbol of the accomplishments of African Americans.

When interviewed, over twenty students admitted to feeling as though UVI could be doing more this February to really highlight the achievements of African Americans and embrace the spirit of Black History Month.

“It is a celebration of everything that was done to pave our way,” SGA President Sophia Johnson said. “It should really be celebrated more than just one month out of the year.”

“Black History Month means freedom. It is a way of saying ‘we matter, we are here,’ and of allowing our actions to show who we really are,” said Gabriel Lawrence, a senior member of Brothers with a Cause.

The Black History Month display at Counselling and Career Services
The Black History Month display at Counseling and Career Services

“I believe Black History is very important to our culture,” senior Jermaine Tavernier said. “We could find more creative ways to celebrate.”

“Black History Month is about recognizing all the great people that came before us,” sophomore Kennisha Grant said. “We are not really doing enough; UVI could do more.”

“I like to be wowed during Black History Month, and I am not being wowed,” junior Pamela Muhammad said.

These seem to be common feelings among the UVI community.

Judith Rogers, Director of Libraries at UVI, said Black History Month is “an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of blacks to the development of the world overall.”

“It is a time to reflect and let the past motivate you to move forward and stay away from negativity,” said Paulette Jarvis, a recent graduate of the nursing program.

“If we want to shine the blacks, we need to shine our history,” Gabriel Lawrence said. “We would not be where we are today without it and we need to improve our efforts.”

But is UVI coming up short in honoring and observing Black History Month, or are students simply too busy or unwilling to take part in the events that are taking place?

Paulette Jarvis said, “I never have time to participate on campus, so I don’t really know what’s going on.” She admits that she has heard of some events happening on campus, but she does not pay them much attention. She is simply too busy to participate.

This seems to be true of many students on campus.

According to Sophia Johnson, “the biggest challenge in planning any event on campus is actually getting them involved.”

In an effort to encourage UVI students to participate, the UVI libraries have had 34 African Arts Panels on display all month long.

Students can stop for a few minutes at a time and learn something about Black Heritage.

Many members of the UVI community have stopped to admire the exhibit.

African Arts Display at the library on the Albert A. Sheen campus. -Arige Shrouf
African Arts Display at the library on the Albert A. Sheen campus.
(photo credit -Arige Shrouf)

Judith Rogers hopes students will “engage with the exhibit and learn from it.”

“Too many phenomenal contributions go unknown,” Rogers said. “It is for the students, but we can’t do it on our own; there needs to be collaboration for us to have a well-rounded curriculum.”

This month there were several activities on campus that highlighted the accomplishments of African Americans.

On Monday, Feb. 9, Student Government Association hosted an event outside student activities which highlighted the contributions of George Washington Carver.

SGA makes peanut punch outside student activities in honor of George Washington Carver.  (photo credit - Arige Shrouf)
SGA makes peanut punch outside student activities in honor of George Washington Carver.
(photo credit – Arige Shrouf)

According to SGA Vice-President Janelle Royer, the 30 person turnout met their expectations and she felt accomplished simply seeing the students enjoying a cup of peanut punch and dancing to the music played by the DJ.

But a 30 person turnout is rather big for UVI.

When SGA hosted its event in honor of Ben Carson on Tuesday, only ten students participated in the brain dissection at the RT Park.

Students watch as biology students, Nakeisha Prantice and Chenae Allen, dissect sheep brains.   (photo credit - Arige Shrouf)
Students watch as biology students, Nakeisha Prantice and Chenae Allen, dissect sheep brains.
(photo credit – Arige Shrouf)

The annual Man-Up event hosted on Wednesday was followed up by a tribute to the inventor of ice cream, Augustus Carver, on Thursday. Both events had much larger turnouts than other events this month.

This month Counseling and Career Services is also hosting a quote contest and several clubs and organizations have hosted movie viewings.

There will likely continue to be more small events throughout the month, but if students are not participating, will it ever be enough?

“We are doing as much as we can and as much as we think will be successful and have an audience,” Judith Rogers said.

Sophia Johnson said, “We are doing our best to create an interactive environment this month. We are trying to focus our efforts on stuff people will like and participate in.”

Gabriel Lawrence said he suggests we really take this time this month and use this opportunity to “show and shine the Blacks.”

We need make the most out of Black History Month this year and every year to come. This is an opportunity to make the university community acknowledge why it should be “proud to be an HBCU,” Lawrence said.


UVI Welcomes Class of 2018 at Convocation

Markida Scotland |

ST. CROIX — The University of the Virgin Islands on Thursday welcomed new and transfer students of the Class of 2018 to the campus at a Convocation and Buccaneer Reception.

The ceremony opened with words from the UVI’s Student Government Association president, Sophia Johnson, who assured students that they made the right choice in attending the university.

“You are sitting here in UVI’s Great Hall as the future lawyers, teachers, doctors, researchers, engineers, accountants, managers and governors,” Johnson said. “You have chosen the best school to further your education. This is our home, our UVI: Historically American, Uniquely Caribbean and Globally Interactive.”

“I welcome you. SGA welcomes you. The University of the Virgin Islands, Albert A. Sheen St. Croix Campus welcomes each and every one of you,” Johnson said.

Continue reading UVI Welcomes Class of 2018 at Convocation

Initiating New Leaders

Another year ahead for SGA President Kimberlee Smith


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