West Indian Society keeps their Caribbean culture alive
Jamila Young – Arts & Entertainment Editor
Whether you are a student of Caribbean descent, or if you just want to learn about the culture, the West Indian Society (WIS) is the organization for you. Freshman Sydney Tyghter joined the club to be around people from her same background. “I’m Jamaican. I came from a white town, so it’s like finally! My people!” said Tyghter. Since becoming a member of the (WIS) Tyghter says she is enjoying herself. “It’s a cool place to come to.” Tyghter said she wouldn’t mind having an E-board position in the future. “Sure. Why not,” said Tyghter. “Anyway I can contribute without getting overwhelmed — I’ll do it.”
Junior Jamarr Daniels has been a member of WIS for a year so far. “It’s somewhere you can meet with people of the same culture, and talk about the beliefs you have, and learn different things about the culture.” Daniels participated heavily in the WIS Caribbean Showcase last year. “I was very active in that,” said Daniels. “It was really rewarding. Helping out and being in the show was really fun.” Daniels wants more people to join the WIS in the future. “I hope to meet more people of Caribbean descent, and build a friendship with them.” Daniels, like Tyghter is also Jamaican — his father was born there.
WIS has some events coming up that Southern students can look forward to. One of their main events is a “Barrel Exchange.” They will be collaborating with the NAACP organization (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), to collect donated school supplies for underprivileged kids in the Caribbean by Feb. 28. Then Shaden Barrett, president of WIS will help make sure the supplies get to the kids when she goes to Jamaica for her spring break. Barrett will be putting boxes in Student Life, the Women’s Center, and in the DRC office for Southern students, faculty/staff to drop off donations into. Another event to look forward to is a bake sale. It has postponed for a date TBD because of school cancellations due to the snowstorms.
Barrett said that she became the president of WIS by default because the old president didn’t return for the spring 2013 semester. “If I didn’t step up we wouldn’t have a West Indian Society,” said Barrett. As the president, Barrett has a lot on her plate. She makes sure that there is a location to have the meetings at, and that the E-board is properly prepared. It got to be a bit of a challenge for her when she was putting together the Caribbean Showcase. “It was hectic. There was paperwork I didn’t know about.” Barrett said she first joined the organization because the members made it feel like a family. “It was like a family setting,” said Barrett. “Our model is divided by water, but we’re still home.”