Tag Archives: Student Government Association

SGA Election Results Announced

CORLISS SMITHEN |

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.

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SGA Campaigning Moves into High Gear

CORLISS SMITHEN |

ST. THOMAS – The campaign for Student Government Association positions has reached a fever pitch in recent days.

With barely one week left before poll day, candidates vying for seats on the SGA board are pulling out all the stops to distinguish themselves from their rivals.  Seven positions are up for grabs – president, vice president, sophomore senator, junior senator, senior senator, treasurer, and student representative to the Board of Trustees.

Three candidates – Marvin Shelford, Yohance Martin, and Ish-Shawnnn Halbert – have thrown their hats in the ring for the SGA presidential seat.

With his campaign slogan, “Your Choice; Your Change,” Shelford is promising that once elected, he will improve the UVI shuttle transportation system to make it more reliable and less congested. He will actively advocate for the improvement of campus surveillance and security and increase on-campus and off-campus activities and entertainment.

He will coordinate an effective and efficient grievance committee to defend the rights of students and lobby against the inflation of students’ tuition and institutional fees. He will also actively advocate for profitable ventures and opportunities for students, such as on-campus jobs and scholarships and enhance the overall academic, recreational and sanitary conditions at UVI.

Martin’s aim, according to his catchphrase, is “To Satisfy the People.”

If given the mandate, Halbert will ensure “better cafeteria conditions, learning assistance, new and diverse activities, renovations and additions and policy updates and outreach programs,” according to his campaign poster.

Deeno Cumberbatch, Cashkim Bussue, and Cody Richardson, who is Martin’s running mate, have their eyes on the vice presidency.

“Change is a must, not an option” is Bussue’s rallying cry.  He is assuring students that a vote for him is a vote for “re-evaluated parking system; improved health system/insurance; employment opportunities for international students; and revived campus life.”

The position of SGA Treasurer is being sought after by Tonya Greene and Denaesha Phipps.

Greene has taken to social media to boost her campaign and according to her Facebook page, her number one focus “would be the financial and economic concern of the student body.”  As SGA Treasurer, Greene will “lobby for fair and equal disbursement of funds to all registered clubs, organizations and associations and actively advocate for profitable ventures for the benefit of the SGA and student population.

She will coordinate financial seminars to educate and encourage students on the best practices for savings and wise money management and encourage clubs to collaborate with other clubs on events to help share the financial burdens of organizing events. She will also have monthly financial reporting for transparency and ensure the proper and accurate record keeping of the SGA.”

Phipps is simply urging students to “Make A Vote That Counts.”

Contestants vying for SGA Sophomore Senator are Denine Hurtault and Kaunda Williams.

Both Lisa Marie-Hodge and DeWein Pelle are campaigning for the office of SGA Junior Senator.

If elected to serve in that position, Pelle plans to increase campus engagement/activities, foster UVI-related projects to better the Virgin Islands community, increase students’ academic performance and facilitate student internships (career productivity and readiness).

By CORLISS SMITHEN ST. THOMAS, V.I. – Campaign for Student Government Association positions has reached fever pitch in recent days. With barely one week left before poll day, candidates vying for seats on the SGA are pulling out all the stops to distinguish themselves from their rivals.  Seven positions are up for grabs – president, vice president, sophomore senator, junior senator, senior senator, treasurer, and student representative to the Board of Trustees.   Three candidates – Marvin Shelford, Yohance Martin, and Ish-Shawnnn Halbert – have thrown their hats in the ring for the SGA presidential seat.   With his campaign slogan being “Your Choice Your Change,” Shelford is promising that once elected, he will improve the UVI shuttle transportation system to make it more reliable and less congested; actively advocate for the improvement of campus surveillance and security; increase on-campus and off-campus activities and entertainment; coordinate an effective and efficient grievance committee to defend the rights of students; lobby against the inflation of students’ tuition and institutional fees; actively advocate for profitable ventures and opportunities for students, such as on-campus jobs and scholarships; and enhance the overall academic, recreational, and sanitary conditions at UVI.  Martin’s aim, according to his catchphrase, is “To Satisfy the People.” If given the mandate, Halbert will ensure “better cafeteria conditions, learning assistance, new and diverse activities, renovations and additions, and policy updates and outreach programs,” according to his campaign poster.   Deeno Cumberbatch, Cashkim Bussue, and Cody Richardson, who is Martin’s running mate, have their eyes on the vice presidency. “Change is a must not an option” is Bussue’s rallying cry.  He is assuring students that a vote for him is a vote for “re-evaluated parking system; improved health system/insurance; employment opportunities for international students; and revived campus life.” The position of SGA Treasurer is being sought after by Tonya Greene and Denaesha Phipps. Greene has taken to social media to boost her campaign and according to her Facebook page, her number one focus “would be the financial and economic concern of the student body.”  As SGA Treasurer, Greene will “lobby for fair and equal disbursement of funds to all registered clubs, organizations and associations; actively advocate for profitable ventures for the benefit of the SGA and student population; coordinate financial seminars to educate and encourage students on the best practices for savings and wise money management; encourage clubs to collaborate with other clubs on events to help share the financial burdens of organizing events; have monthly financial reporting for transparency; and ensure the proper and accurate record keeping of the SGA.” Phipps is simply urging students to “Make A Vote That Counts.” Contestants vying for SGA Sophomore Senator are Denine Hurtault and Kaunda Williams. Both Lisa Marie-Hodge and DeWein Pelle are campaigning for the office of SGA Junior Senator. If elected to serve in that position, Pelle plans to increase campus engagement/activities; foster UVI-related projects to better the Virgin Islands community; increase students’ academic performance; and facilitate student internships (career productivity and readiness). Hodge’s catch line is “Let her voice be the change you wish to see! Vote for progress and equality!”  	The lone candidate for senior senator is Tonecia Rogers.    	SGA hopefuls have been seen around campus familiarizing themselves with students in meet-and-greet sessions inside the classrooms, at the library, at the cafeteria, in the hallways, and in dormitories. 	Two students – Hakim Potter and Devon Williams – are each hoping to be elected as Student Representative to the Board of Trustees. 	Potter describes himself as “a student who is not afraid to speak up; a student who believes in equality” and he is asking his peers to “let him be your voice.”  On Tuesday night, SGA aspirants will officially launch their platforms before the student population at a “Meet the Candidates” forum scheduled for 7 at the West Hall Conference Room. 	Election Day is slated for Thursday April, 15. There will be two polling stations – juniors and seniors will cast their votes at the library (upper campus), while freshmen and sophomores will be balloting at the CA building (lower campus). Polls open at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. 	   DeWein Pelle, candidate for SGA Junior Senator, handing out campaign flyers to students in the hallway just outside the office of the Center for Student Success. Photo by CORLISS SMITHEN.   DeWein Pelle, candidate for SGA Junior Senator, handing out campaign flyers to students in the hallway just outside the office of the Center for Student Success. Photo by CORLISS SMITHEN
 DeWein Pelle, candidate for SGA Junior Senator, handing out campaign flyers to students in the hallway just outside the office of the Center for Student Success.
(photo credit: Corliss Smithen)

Hodge’s catch line is, “Let her voice be the change you wish to see! Vote for progress and equality!”

The lone candidate for senior senator is Tonecia Rogers.

SGA hopefuls have been seen around campus familiarizing themselves with students in meet-and-greet sessions inside the classrooms, at the library, at the cafeteria, in the hallways, and in dormitories.

Two students – Hakim Potter and Devon Williams – are each hoping to be elected as Student Representative to the Board of Trustees.

Potter describes himself as “a student who is not afraid to speak up; a student who believes in equality” and he is asking his peers to “let him be your voice.”

On Tuesday night, SGA aspirants will officially launch their platforms before the student population at a “Meet the Candidates” forum scheduled for 7 at the West Hall Conference Room.

Election Day is slated for Thursday April, 15. There will be two polling stations – juniors and seniors will cast their votes at the library (upper campus), while freshmen and sophomores will be balloting at the CA building (lower campus).

Polls open at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.

 

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

A leader among peers

A Profile of SGA President Kevin Dixon

ARIGE SHROUF| Sept. 15  

ST. CROIX — Jack Welch once said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

SGA President Kevin Dixon
SGA President Kevin Dixon

St. Croix— Jack Welch once said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

There are leaders of large nations and small organizations, but great leaders strive to help and inspire others; they “have a heart for outreach.” Student Government Association (SGA) President Kevin Dixon has been described as one such leader.

Since being elected president last year, Kevin has made it his mission to “move the organization forward” in order to better serve the student body. Under his leadership, SGA has become an organization that junior Zoe Walker believes “could really make a difference.”

A senior majoring in business administration with a concentration in marketing, Kevin Dixon is a very busy person. On his second year at UVI, he decided to “get involved” on campus and that has been one of his goals ever since.

In addition to being second-term SGA president, Kevin Dixon is also a member of several other clubs, organizations and committees on campus. These include the UVI Senate, the Honorary Degree Committee, the Voices of Inspiration Choir and the St. Croix Presidential Advisory Committee. With so much on his plate, Dixon still manages to excel in his classes and is even the student ambassador for the Thurgood Marshal College Fund.

How does he do it? “Long nights and weekends” and learning to “balance and prioritize.”

“It’s stressful, but knowing the stress is worth it, makes it okay. When you have a purpose, it makes up for all the stress and when it’s over and you know you did things right and people enjoyed it, it’s all worth it.”

One word Kevin Dixon tries to live up to is “ambitious.” He is motivated by “that sense of having an impact.”

Even at sixteen he had taken on leadership positions in an effort “to help change lives.” He led walks in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in which his group raised the most money.  During his second year at UVI, Kevin joined SGA and became its public relations officer. He then became treasurer and worked his way “up the scale” to president of the organization.

However, Kevin has not always been the confident and charismatic young man you can see walking around campus greeting people with a smile. Before becoming a leader, Kevin faced his own struggles to “grow himself.”

When he moved here from St. Kitts in 2003, Kevin was “shy and quiet” and he “did not like speaking in front of audiences.” Today, he can be seen giving speeches and representing various organizations at events.

He credits the change in him, in part, to the “support of his family members,” and Ms. Washington, Ms. Finch and Ms. Elliot. However, the greatest influence in Kevin’s life has been his pastor, who acted as “a mentor and role model” to a young Kevin Dixon.

Without the influence of people such as his pastor, Kevin believes he “would not be as involved on campus as he is.” He also “would not have grown as much as he has in the past few years” in which he has overcome most of his shyness to become the public figure he is on campus today. For that influence, says Kevin, he is “really grateful.”

Just as others have inspired and influenced his life, Kevin hopes to use his leadership skills to “inspire others” and “touch other people’s lives.”

As John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

For Kevin Dixon, “it is always a pleasure serving.” He advises students to “get involved” and “set themselves apart from other students by showing they are well rounded.” Kevin says about every situation, “make the best of it.”

Sophomore Felicia Emmanuel describes Kevin as “not only a strong leader, but also a visionary.

Using fresh ideas such as the SWAGG (Students with a Greater Goal) movement, he not only improved the appeal of SGA, but also how SGA stays current with the student body” Emmanuel said.

Because of Kevin’s dedication and effectiveness as a leader, several family members and individuals have been encouraging Kevin to run for government office. It makes sense, they argue, “since he has been setting himself up to do so.”

“It’s definitely something to think about,” says Kevin, but right now, he is focused on his last year at UVI and intends to “go out with a bang.”