Tag Archives: UVI Voice

New Students Set Sail for Academic Success

Feature Photo Caption: Ryan Shaw ready to take on the new academic year and next, the world. (Photo taken on St. Thomas courtesy of Adeola Adelekan, Orientation Leader)

By Alicia Taylor and Nathalie Trow-McDonald

IMG_0560Albert A. Sheen- St. Croix campus new student orientation island tour, August 20, at Point Udall. (Courtesy of Catey Mendoza, a National Student Exchange student from Alaska)

Albert A. Sheen – St. Croix Campus Orientation: Perspectives of An Exchange Student

Attending UVI is the beginning of our flight towards success. With the help of the orientation staff and student leaders, we were introduced to the flight attendants and captains that will assist in our navigation throughout the journey we call college.

Throughout our flight journey at UVI, we were instructed on safety precautions and instruments we can utilize to assist us. We were educated about campus security, dating and violence, sexual assault and physical and mental health concerns. Through counseling and health services, RAVE and a variety of other departments on campus, students can be reassured that the flight they are traveling on is a safe one.

The theme for orientation on the Albert A. Sheen campus on St. Croix was “Navigating Your Path to Academic Success,” hence all the flight metaphors.

Being a National Student Exchange (NSE) student, the Virgin Islands was an unknown territory waiting to be revealed to me. Attending orientation allowed me the opportunity to experience the university and the culture of St. Croix first hand.

The orientation staff and faculty made it their priority to make sure each student either learned or was reminded of the heritage of St. Croix and the Virgin Islands. Meals were prepared with a variety of foods local to the Caribbean, including the introduction of two local food trucks for students to try at lunch.

The St. Croix campus offered orientation students to take part in a movie night at the Caribbean Cinema, an island tour, bowling at Ten Pins and snorkeling lessons.

Of all the organized activities and events, the New Student Convocation and Buccaneer Welcome Reception was my favorite. Specifically, President Hall’s address to the students.

“He was engaging, relatable and genuinely cared about each of us individually,” said Cassie (Cassandra) Glodowski, a NSE student from Wisconsin. “He didn’t just see us as a statistic, but rather as a student of UVI.”

After walking the stage and being bestowed the medal, I felt like an official member of the Buccaneer community. UVI is proud of each and every student, whether they are here for a semester or five years. The bond created here is unbreakable and each individual of this community will assist in navigating you towards the path of academic success.

Regardless of the destination, you have allowed UVI to provide a stamp on your passport of life. Continue reading New Students Set Sail for Academic Success

UVI Welcome Back How-To: The Parking Permit Situation


Featured Photo: Designated Parking Map of the St. Thomas Campus. (Courtesy of the University of the Virgin Islands)

Alayna Belshe |

ST. THOMAS – This is my third fall semester at UVI and every year I learn a little more about how to get things done at our university. This year, I mastered getting a parking pass and completing the vehicle registration process.

If you are new to campus or if you have been lucky enough to get a new vehicle over the summer, you need to register your vehicle online through your BanWeb account before you visit the security office.

To complete the online registration you need:

  • Your driver’s license
  • Your license plate number
  • Your car’s make
  • Your car’s color
  • Your car’s year

Accessing BanWeb is as simple as logging into your MyCampus page on the UVI website and selecting the BanWeb link on the left.

BanWeb Location

Screenshot of the BanWeb Home Page after Logging into MyCampus (August 2016)

After filling out the vehicle registration form found on BanWeb, proceed to the campus security office. The entrance to the office is right next to the Banco Popular ATM on the St. Thomas campus and near the First Bank ATM by the Evans Center on the Albert A. Sheen- St. Croix campus.

You will need to bring your driver’s license, registration and your student ID. (If you still don’t have your UVI Student ID, a piece of paper with your name and ID number will be accepted).

The campus security office is open 24 hours a day, so there is no excuse for not getting this done.

The best part of this whole process is that the permit is free. (Provided that you do not lose said permit, otherwise be prepared to fork over $25.00 to the security office.)

As of Wednesday morning all members of the UVI community received an email detailing the parking policy and the process of registering your vehicle including maps of appropriate parking for each campus.

Good luck to all of us finding our preferred parking spaces!

stxparkingposter1 (1).jpg

Designated Parking Map of the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. (Courtesy of the University of the Virgin Islands)

New Semester, New Approach


As the new semester starts, students here at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) have a lot on their minds. Our staff went around surveying local and exchange students to learn their thoughts and opinions for the Spring Semester of 2016.


davidbeavansDavid Beavans

first semester exchange student

What was your first reaction to St. Thomas and/or UVI? What surprised you the most?

My first reaction to UVI was kind of bad. This school is super tiny compared to my college back home. I arrived and my phone didn’t have service, hardly anyone was on campus, I didn’t have the code for the WiFi, and there were problems with my room. It was pretty tough for the entire afternoon. Then I met some other National Student Exchange students at dinner and everything changed completely.


What was your biggest mistake of last semester/something you want to improve this semester?

Last semester, I slacked off at the beginning of my classes. Thus, I dug a hole for myself and was forced to climb out of it by the end of the semester. This semester I’m going hard in the beginning so it will be easier at the end.


What are your goals for the end of the semester?

My goals by the end of the semester are to visit a lot of places, make lifelong friends, and become more cultured.

Continue reading New Semester, New Approach

Truth to Power: My Time in Journalism


ST. THOMAS – In his 1839 play, “Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy,” the English writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton first coined the phrase “… The pen is mightier than the sword.”

More than a century and a half later, the idea that the written word could be stronger than any force of aggression or intimidation remains both undeniably true and immensely important. It is a belief that has taken hold across all of humanity regardless of borders such as nations, culture or language.

It is also an ideal whose usage – and indeed misuse – has shaped the course of history time and again, and will continue to play a guiding role for mankind as we collectively move into this new age of uncertainty.

Thanks to the astounding advancements in technology, the world is now more connected than ever before, and events that were once unknown or kept far at a distance from us can be brought to the attention of the entire world.

However, with all the potential for good that this can generate, there is an equal, terrible potential for harm; for we are indeed more connected through news as a species than we have ever been, but that same news also arguably less trustworthy that it has ever been too.

To easily have half-truths and yellow journalism enflamed opinions and stirred outrage and passion in the hearts of many, only to ruin the lives and reputations of innocent people by the time their falsehoods are exposed to the world.

In this time of both journalistic greatness and uncertainty, institutions such as the UVI Voice and UVI’s Communications classes are more important that they have ever been before.

Through my experiences in my Com 200 class, I learned how to do research, draft articles and write for an audience in a professional and – most importantly for news – impartial manner.

My time as a writer and reporter for the UVI Voice helped me even more giving me real, hands-on experience in working for a newspaper company in an educational and familiar environment. These two experiences have helped me immensely, and as we move towards a future where the power to become a reporter and change the world is at everyone’s fingertips, it’s important that we have a place that can instruct us and teach us about the enormous responsibility that comes with that power.

We live in a world where pen being mightier than the sword is not only a clever adage but the law, and in this world, each and every one of us has the power to change the world.

Freshman Fears


St. THOMAS- Transitioning from high school to college may be a breeze for some, but for others, it may become quite the headache.

Shaquan Lewis, an 18-year-old accounting major, thought that “making friends and keeping up with the work load would be the most difficult things to get used to.” In the high school he attended, his teachers and friends made it seem like the college professors were “heartless monsters.” To get over his fear, Lewis made sure he stayed on top of the game. He always made sure to look at his syllabus, and plan his day the night before, to make sure to complete every task that he is given.

Bombarded by work
Bombarded by work

Jakobi Peetes, an 18-year-old applied math major at the University of the Virgin Islands on St. Thomas, said, “The hardest thing for me was finding a balance between school work and fun.”

Some students are prepared and ready for the change, like Jaelene Henderson who is an 18-year-old freshman. This commuter said, “I haven’t had any difficult experiences with transitioning from high school.”

Partying, sex and peer pressure, are present everywhere, and it increases during the years of college. Peetes said he wasn’t worried because he “knew what he was taught.”

This is not the case for some freshmen. Sadly, many of them lose themselves to become part of the crowd.

Safety is a big part of what students are afraid of. School shootings occur across the United States, and that can traumatize many freshmen.

Procrastination is an epidemic that has become a serious problem for many. Some students, especially freshmen, may procrastinate way too much.

“In some subjects like social science and English I can save for last,” Peetes said, “ but classes like math and science, I complete right away.”

The transition from high school to college may be frightening, but there is always a way to conquer it. It’s up to you to figure out your balance and make your college career successful!


Safety and Security Measures at UVI

Karine Cox |

ST.CROIX- The University of the Virgin Islands has implemented new safety and security measures such as the electronic gate and parking plan to improve the day-to-day operations on campus.

The safety and security of UVI students, faculty and staff is a fundamental concern. The Security Department on the UVI campus works around the clock to ensure the safety of everyone.

“When it comes to security, we have to take it as priority. It means the safety of people and buildings so we have to make sure the people who come here are safe whether they come by vehicle or foot,” Security office, Leonard Nero said.

However, Cheddi Rogers, a male residential student, expressed his views on the safety measures on campus.

“I feel safe to an extent, it’s not 100 percent safe because it is an open campus,” Rogers said. “As far as the gates and swipe cards, I feel that the campus is so small all of this is not necessary, someone could still get on campus easily.”

Surveillance cameras and emergency phones have been installed around the campus as a safety measure; however, in 2013, the installation of the electronic gate and parking plan came into effect as another safety measure on campus.

The electronic gate is of one UVI’s recent projects. The operation hours of the gate are from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Mondays to Fridays and 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Saturday, Sundays and holidays. The electronic gate helps control, grant access and keep track of who goes in and out of the campus. Upon entry into the campus, everyone is required press the button to call the Security Department and then give their name, license plate number or student ID if they are a student or the reason for entry onto the campus. There have been reports about the gate in terms of lack of privacy and giving fake names or license plate numbers.

“I won’t say the gate ridiculous, it kind of makes sense, for instance when someone is coming to me and I don’t know, security won’t let them in unless I call them and let them know someone is coming to me,” Rogers said.

The parking plan is another safety measure. It serves as a means for improved parking safety on campus, effective utilization of parking spaces and to keep a record and distinguish between faculty, students and visitors.

“It is knowing who park where, we might not know where a particular student park but if it’s a student we know he or she is supposed to be parked in a student parking lot,” Nero said.

Every faculty and student on campus is required to register his or her vehicle online via Ban Web. After completion of this, faculty and students may obtain a sticker for his or her vehicle in the Security Department on campus.

In addition to all these measure being put in place, the UV I Security Department restricts the use, selling or possession of marijuana, alcohol and other drugs. The UVI campus is a drug and alcohol free campus. UVI also has a hotline with VIPD, therefore in case of an emergency they call 911.

The safety of everyone at UVI is of importance to the UVI Security Department.

UVI Contracts New Vendor for Dining Pavilion


New furniture at UVI Cafeteria Photo Credit: Patrice Harris

ST. THOMAS — Responding to concerns and outcry from students for an improvement in the dining experience at the University of the Virgin Islands St. Thomas Campus, the university contracted Goddard Catering Group (GCG) as the new vendor in January 2015.

The five-year contract with GCG , which commenced in spring 2015, replaced L’ettoile Catering, which served the university for nearly a decade.

Housing and dining services supervisor at UVI, Sean Georges, said “the university received bids from four vendors and were impressed with the plans and presentation by GCG.”

Georges also said that the new cafeteria is a brand new style of dining.

The new vendor has implemented massive changes since assuming its role in January 2015. These changes include: All-you-can-eat buffets from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, and the installation of new furniture and healthier meal options for students. Another newly implemented change is that students are no longer allowed to remove food from the dining pavilion.

According to a statement on the company’s website last September, GCG intends to improve “student nutrition and meal plans as well as the dining area by providing unique, innovative, cost-effective concepts that would provide the students with a variety of meal options with flexible pricing and meal times to accommodate their busy schedules.”

General Manager Jahmal Dyer said the dining pavilion is not complete. Other changes to be made include the installation of air conditioning, a sound system, touch screen monitors to display daily menus and a wider variety of menu choices.

Dyer added that the company is currently searching for another chef to help implement a greater selection of special diet meal options and cultural days including Oriental Day.

Secondary education senior Kimberly Donovan said that she likes the new cafeteria. She said that the staff is friendly, the décor is welcoming and the food has improved significantly.

While students have lodged complaints and provided suggestions on how service at the new cafeteria can be further improved, the overall feedback on the new dining pavilion has been positive.

The award winning company supplies food to US Airways, United Airlines, Continental Airways, Delta Airlines and Net Jets. GCG is also the proprietor of Delly Deck on St. Thomas.

GCG is based in Latin America and the Caribbean and owns restaurants in the Virgin Islands.

New and Improved Buccaneers Fall Short to Sacred Heart

Gerald Bellot |

ST. THOMAS –The University of the Virgin Islands men’s basketball team traveled to San Juan, Puerto on Jan. 31 to play their second conference game against the University of Puerto Rico’s team, Sacred Heart.

The UVI Bucs look to better their record (1-0) on the road against a team that outmatched them by 31 points last year.

This year has already proved to be a better season for the Bucs, as last season they did not taste a win.

The Bucs, previously coached by Ryan Skinner, have made a plethora of changes going into this season. One of the changes was the acquisition of Coach Myron Brown.

Coach Brown spent two seasons at the University of St. Thomas in Miami, Florida. He joined the St. Thomas Bobcats after a season as the Head Coach for DeVry University where he built the DeVry University Men’s Basketball program from scratch without any athletic scholarships.

The Detroit native brings along four years of coaching experience in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics  to the Liga Atlética Interuniversitaria de Puerto Rico for the Bucs this year. In addition to adding a new coach for the program there are also several new athletes that will not be eligible to play in conference this season but are practicing with the team. It seems as though the program may have a better future.

Tip off for the game was scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

At the tip, the Bucs gained the first possession. The Bucs brought the ball down the right side of the court and dumped it in to Dornel Weaver who finished at the basket.

The Bucs opened up the game in a full court man press, a different look from what we have seen in the past.

Sacred Heart responded on the other side of the floor. Chris Rodriguez, Heart’s biggest scoring threat this year, made a 15-footer in the middle of the paint.

Both teams seemed to be a little slow at the beginning of the game, each team with three turnovers. Neither seemed to be completely dominant. At the end of the first quarter the Bucs led by three, the score was 14-11.

After the first quarter the Bucs were led by Weaver with six and Rodriguez with seven.

The second quarter started at a much higher pace. The bench for the Bucs began to respond to the home crowd with chants. It nearly felt like playoff atmosphere.

Sacred Heart came out of the quarter making several adjustments, including a full court press that momentarily baffled the Bucs. They forced two quick turnovers. Joaquin Martinez scored his first bucket on the night.

After a quick timeout, it seemed Coach Brown said all the right things that his team needed to hear. They responded by scoring a quick 8 points, ending Sacred Hearts 5-0 run. Sacred Heart didn’t let that rattle them; Rodriguez fired two corner threes with 2:44 remaining to put them up 29-28.

The Bucs entered the half leading 32-31.

In previous seasons, the Bucs have come out rather sluggish in the second half which lead to their 0-10 season last year. Coach Brown has put a large emphasis on a few things this year. When asked about his team’s ability to play hard in the second half, he responded,  “Games are won in the second half not the first. If we are going to win this game we have to come out ready for a fight.”

This philosophy must have been engraved in the Bucs because they came out swinging. Chris Lockhart and Salim Ross lead an early surge in the beginning of the half. Ross scored an easy four points transition.

Lockhart was just starting to warm up, he scored a quick 8 points from the mid-range. Lockhart found Weaver under the basket with a no look pass. Chase Tomas may have been the game changer in this contest; he scored two and-one baskets early in the quarter that turned the momentum away from Sacred Heart.

Freshman Jabari Alexander and Paul Watson also had great debuts. With 5:20 remaining in the 3rd quarter, Alexander drove along the baseline and dished the ball to Weaver for a basket. The next possession Watson scored an easy bucket on his defender.

There was 3:13 left on the clock in the 3rd quarter. Sacred Heart took the ball out on their sideline after a time out. Steven Quiroz lobbed the ball on the inbound to Alejandro Grant and nearly connected for a game changing alley-oop.

Both teams continued to score back and forth until the end of the quarter. Grant, got his first bucket with 1:00 remaining. Going into the 4th   quarter the Bucs trailed 49-45.

Lockhart led a frenzy from the bucks in the beginning of the quarter, scoring 8 points to give the bucks the lead. Early in the quarter, Grant picked up his 4th foul and went to the bench leaving Sacred Heart at a size disadvantage; However his substitute William Schaening was eager for an opportunity. Schaening hit two big shots to bring Sacred Heart back within single digits.

With 6 minutes left in the 4th quarter, the bucks were up seven points. It seemed as if they had the game in their hands, but that was not the case. Turnovers continued to plague the Bucs and Sacred Heart began to regain life.

It was nearly a comedy of errors, fumbled passes stepping out of bound and shot clock violations. Nothing was going the Bucs way, yet somehow they remained in the game. In fact, they led by 2 until Schaning hit another big three to put Sacred Heart up 1 with :57 seconds remaining.

Lockhart brought the ball down the court and ran through their play looking for a shot. He had an open look in the middle of the floor and took the shot; he came up short. Watson got the rebound and attempted to score when he was fouled.

Watson went to the line to attempt his 3rd and 4th free throws of the game. His first free throw was short and he had one more attempt. His second free throw was also short; Ross followed the ball and attempted a put-back dunk and he also missed.

Sacred Heart now had possession of the ball with: 5.6 seconds remaining. The ball was in-bounded and Grant was fouled by Watson. Grant went to the line to shoot 2 and cashed in on both attempts.

The Bucs down 3 called their final timeout and advanced the ball to half court. Coach Brown drew up a play for Lockhart but it was defended perfectly. A quick adjustment was made, Watson found Lockhart in the corner for a 3.

Lockhart’s left foot was out of bounds and the ball was called dead before he got to attempt the shot. Sacred Heart took possession and won the game 71-68.

Sacred Heart was led by Rodriguez with 21 and UVI was lead by Lockhart with 26.

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.


A student’s jeopardy, JFL and the effects of the decertification

By Shani Isaac | ST.CROIX–A medical textbook lays wide open as the harsh light of the laptop beams out onto a intensely studying  student’s face. Facts and data must be recognized, for in this young woman’s  desired line of work, a simple mistake could mean death for her patient.

This is an average scene for a student, in this case,  Shanice Rawlins, a sophomore here at UVI studying to be a nurse . Her future, or at least, her future for gaining a start here in the Virgin Islands is uncertain due to the troubles afflicting the sole hospital on the island, the Juan F. Luis Hospital. Due to certain decisions and inadequate  response to situations at the local hospital, there is disappointment and uncertainty regarding its future. This aspiring nurse is among the uncertain faction.

“I am actually more concerned about being accredited so that when we go to get a job on the mainland, they don’t say, “Oh, the hospital you were at wasn’t certified.”  says Rawlins, a look of anxiety on her visage. While it is also an option to go elsewhere to get experience, some students may not be in a financial situation to go abroad, or even to the mainland, to gain valuable internships or experience. The decertification of Juan  F. Luis Hospital, due to questionable care and incorrect observation of procedures may negatively impact this select group of students, as many institutions in the United States look far more favorably  on receiving nurses from certified hospitals, rather than the alternative.

Students, and not just the nursing students, at UVI are concerned about both the professional and medical aspects of the fall-out from JFL. “Health wise, there is a right way of doing things and the wrong way of doing things. People at JFL tend to take the short way out. Their technology is not that advanced. For example, stateside hospitals are equipped with scanners, and our hospital is not.”, says Rawlins, who has shadowed at JFL in the past. This is a claim supported by some of the stories coming in from previous reports of incidents that have sickened and even resulted in the death of several people. Then there was a case of the mismanaged handling of the corpse of a 22-week year old baby. One of the highlighted cases of questionable management is the hiring of a doctor allegedly responsible for the death of two patients, whose license was suspended at the time of her hiring, according to the St. Croix Avis.

There is a general sense of fear among the populace, particularly for elder relatives of the UVI students who rely on Medicare in order to get the medical treatment that they need. Now that Medicare has given JFL an extension, those people are worrying, not just for themselves, but for their families and communities. More and more people are going to the states for medical treatment. “The atmosphere is friendly,” says Rawlins , “but the bills are ridiculous.” With many Crucian families suffering from the high electric bill and a general raised cost of living, being hit with a medical crisis cannot be anything short of harsh for them.

“They had enough time to do it, they had enough time to fix the issues.” Rawlins says, “Rather than purchasing unnecessary crap  The fact that so many years passed between the initial investigation and the subsequent decertification is shocking to many. “Yes, you have to make the place look nice, but still, you have to worry about the procedures and how to take care of the patient.

She finishes out, a stern, almost angered look on her face, “The purpose of the hospital is to care about the patient. We shouldn’t really be worrying about ourselves but of the patient and how we take care of them.” Although Rawlins is fond of her home island and the program she participates it, it would appear that for now, her future lays elsewhere.

On The Road with Coach

Maxwell Peerman Daniels

On the Road with Coach

We’re driving to a three o’ clock game in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, a town of decrepit wooden and metal homes in the rolling hills, three and a half hours from the steel bar hugging doorways of apartments in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Coach David Santesteban  is leading the University of the Virgin Islands soccer team to a historic season, but the traveling situation for the team has eight, athletic, determined university men squeezed inside one rental van.

“This is unreal!” Coach Santesteban yells, directing a hand and his voice towards traffic in Puerto Rico.

Speeding down the road, assertive with controlling traffic towards his favor , coach commands traffic. Coach speeds up the van, taking what little space he has in traffic and running with it.   Suddenly he switches lanes in order to follow the lead van of soccer players from St. Thomas, and instantly becomes agitated.

“Unreal!” Coach Santesteban yells out into the air again.

It’s because after only three games traversing this island in a soccer convoy, he believes he knows this island like the back of his sun tanned hand.   With experience playing the forward position in soccer professionally for the San Jose Oaks and San Francisco Diablos, scoring is second nature and winning is the ultimate goal. Now,  although Coach Santesteban is a man of faith and pride, leading a young team filled with heart and ability, among the multiple things that annoy coach within a given day, following another car going in a circle is a big one.

The University of the Virgin Islands needed someone with vision to spearhead the development of the soccer program after the completion of their new home field, but the result of what they’ve gotten in seven games has been historic. For the first time ever,  the University of the Virgin Islands has made it into the post season.  He’s a man with a last name that almost nobody on island can pronounce correctly at first try, but normally everyone just calls him coach. Only weeks from leaving his family temporarily in Houston, Texas, driving around island he’s already greeting folks on St. Croix with a honk.

Coach is a religious man, which fits in with the Caribbean culture. He dresses sharp in his Sunday best clothes, and has dreams of new uniforms and boat shoes for his players. On countless occasions he’s chastised his players about how to properly behave in public.

“We’re all in a fishbowl!” Coach preaches to his players after a win on the road in Puerto Rico.

With a resume that displays a culture of success, coach understands how champions should present themselves, constantly comparing his team to Real Madrid, explaining how professionals behave themselves. With a team filled with upper-classmen, and lower-classmen at various skill levels, it has been coach’s job to get everyone on the same level, playing at the same speed. This is not an easy task for a coach, a month in to coaching at any university.

At the inaugural home game on Oct. 4, coach led the UVI Buccaneers to their first win on their new home field. With a team comprised of 15 men, the UVI soccer team is relatively small with aspirations towards a championship. Most of the other teams have a bench filled with six or more players at a time for substitutions, while the Bucs on average have only two. That means more playing time for tired players on the road. Despite all the hurdles on the way through the 2014 season, the Bucs have played through it all because of the passion for the game.

The passion that Coach  Santesteban (santa-stay-ban) brings to the field can be seen on the side line and in practice. For a coach who tries to abstain from yelling too much on the side line, sometimes he can’t help himself. On Nov. 1,  the Bucs played their first home game of the playoffs, but the refs didn’t give us home field advantage. By the 88th minute of the game, coach had enough with the refs and their bad time-keeping. Our players were kept on the field during a scorcher of a day almost 10 minutes longer than appropriate. In Spanish coach yells  that the ref was extending the game in the other team  favor.

“Que está extendiendo el juego para el otro equipo.”

Immediately the ref raises his hand and dismisses coach from the last supposed two minutes of the game. Although coach might not always get what he wants on this team, he gets what he needs. Coach in frustration , takes his leave from the field, not before stalling at least 45 seconds from the game clock.

At the end of that game,  which resulted in a 1-1 tie, coach didn’t have much agitation in his voice towards the players. He knew that this team played with the pride of an island on their back, and with that he knew he was at the right place. All that waits now is the future of Bucs soccer in the playoffs and next season. Already the team has been accepted to new tournaments, and new players have taken interest. Bringing coach Santesteban to St. Croix has brought needed to change the culture and image of soccer at UVI, but even the coach won’t let you forget about the talented players on the team who sacrifice their bodies and time on the field for the Buccaneers.

UVI School of Education awarded accreditation status; programs will run until 2016 and 2020


The University of the Virgin Islands School of Education has been awarded accreditation status from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Accreditation was granted for the undergraduate and graduate programs, according to a prepared statement from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation on Nov. 7. The undergraduate program accreditation runs until 2020, and accreditation of the graduate program runs until 2016. The U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognize NCATE as a professional accrediting body for teacher preparation.

“This achievement is the result of the outstanding and dedicated work of Dean Linda Thomas and all members of our School of Education,” said UVI President Dr. David Hall, who recalled that when he arrived at UVI five years ago, Dr. Thomas, who served in a different role at that time, was coordinating the accreditation efforts in the school. “She was deeply committed to ensuring that we achieved this institutional goal, and I am delighted that now, in her role as dean, this dream has become a reality.” He continued, “However, we are uniquely aware that this type of achievement requires a team effort, and all of the faculty members – full-time and part-time – have played a critical role in order for this honor to now be bestowed upon them.”

Dr. Hall thanked all of UVI’s students in the School of Education, because their academic work, portfolios and conversations with the visiting team communicated a very positive impression. The various external stakeholders, including the Department of Education, the Board of Education and the various schools where UVI students conduct their practice teaching, were all instrumental to this success, he said.

 “We are indeed proud to have achieved this goal of NCATE accreditation,” said UVI Provost Dr. Camille McKayle. “Though this goal is stated in the Pathways to Greatness Strategic Plan, it is the standard of excellence that it represents that is the true prize for our students.”  She continued, “By achieving this accreditation, we are able to demonstrate to others external to the institution that the University of the Virgin Islands provides programs in education that meet national standards set by professionals in the field.”

 “NCATE accreditation is a major accomplishment for the School of Education and the University,” said Dean Thomas. “It is an endorsement of the quality of the institution’s teacher preparation programs, and an assurance that students will receive superior education in the School of Education and the University.” She added, “Accreditation is a mark of distinction and provides recognition that the School of Education has met national professional standards for the preparation of teachers and other school professionals.”

Dr. Thomas said teacher candidates from NCATE-accredited institutions will be better prepared for new and more demanding initial licensing expectations in many states, and for new National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification – particularly since certification standards for both are compatible. “Graduates from NCATE-accredited institutions will generally find it easier to apply for licensure when they move from state to state,” she said.

The School of Education’s accreditation is the second school at UVI to receive accreditation this year. UVI’s School of Business received initial accreditation status in May from the Baccalaureate/Graduate Degree Board of Commissioners of the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The University is completely accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools through 2017. The Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation.

Lights, camera, action-Sen. Alicia ‘Chucky’ Hansen kicks off her election campaign with the residents of St. Croix

ST.CROIX– The residents of St. Croix came out in droves to support Sen. Alicia “Chucky” Hansen’s campaign party kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Canegata Ballpark despite the senator’s recent tax evasion conviction and controversial rape comment.

The bass of the music could be felt radiating through your body as you came closer to the gates of the ballpark, with incomers swaying and moving their bodies to the beat. Continue reading Lights, camera, action-Sen. Alicia ‘Chucky’ Hansen kicks off her election campaign with the residents of St. Croix

Royes hosts presentation on Homophobia

Associate Professor of Journalism Gillian Royes hosts presentation on homophobia in Jamaica


ST.CROIX — Faculty and staff from both University of the Virgin Islands’ campuses attended on Feb. 27  Dr. Gillian Royes’ presentation on homophobia in Jamaica via video conference.

Royes’ presentation not only examined homophobia in the Caribbean, but also chronicled the struggle many gays in Jamaica have with coming out. Continue reading Royes hosts presentation on Homophobia