The University of the Virgin Islands will on Friday, for the first time, host a meeting of the presidents of the 21 universities in the LAI (Liga Atletica Interuniversitaria) athletic league. Virgin Islands Governor John P. deJongh, Jr. is expected to give remarks.
This is the third year of UVI's membership in the LAI, which has resulted in UVI students and students from other LAI member universities being able to engage in varsity competition that had not previously been available. It is the first time that an LAI Governing Board meeting is being held outside of Puerto Rico.
UVI President Dr. LaVerne E. Ragster is a member of the Finance Committee of the LAI Governing Board. The meeting on Friday, in the UVI Administration and Conference Center on St. Thomas, is being held to finalize athletic schedules and to address issues having to do with the forwarding of changes in regulations, Dr. Ragster said. LAI Governing Board meetings, which are held in Spanish, take place several times each year.
"It will be my pleasure to welcome my LAI colleagues to the University of the Virgin Islands," Dr. Ragster said. "This historic visit gives the UVI community an opportunity to show our neighbors what Virgin Islands hospitality and VI-Puerto Rico friendship is all about."
Among those expected to be in attendance are LAI Commissioner Jose Enrique Arraras and UPR Mayaguez Chancellor Dr. Jorge Ivan Velez-Arocho, who is president of the LAI Governing Board. UVI is a member of the Cosme Beitia Division of the LAI, which includes four University of Puerto Rico campuses (Rio Piedras, Bayamon, Humacao and Carolina) as well as Metropolitan University, Politechnica University, Sacred Heart University, American University and Caribbean University. The Rafael Mangual Division of the LAI includes six University of Puerto Rico campuses (Mayaguez, Cayey, Arecibo, Utuado, Aguadilla and Ponce), as well as Inter American University, Catholic University, Turabo University and Eastern University.
UVI student-athletes participate in twelve varsity sports within the LAI, including men's and women's basketball, track and field, cross country, volleyball, table tennis, swimming and a dance team. Participation in the league has helped to build school spirit and attendance at athletic events.
For further information on UVI's participation in the Liga Atletica Interuniversitaria, please call UVI Athletic Director Peter Sauer at (340) 693-1102.