UVI students are wearing red and pledging their support of the National Red Ribbon Week effort with a series of activities this week on the St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses, continuing through Oct. 30, on St. Croix. The observance salutes the ongoing fight against drug and substance abuse, while honoring Drug Enforcement Agency Agent Enrique Camarena, who was killed in the line of duty in 1985.
While marches and a variety of traditional activities were slated to mark the week on both campuses, this year’s biggest event takes place on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix. UVI will host the First Annual Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Band Against Drugs Day activity on Tuesday Oct. 30. Some 600 St. Croix junior high school students are expected to spend the day – from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. – viewing helicopter and rescue boat exhibits on the campus grounds, experiencing a National Guard obstacle course and hearing presentations from UVI and a wide variety of law enforcement agencies involved in effort to reduce substance abuse and violence.
On hand to welcome the students will be the UVI Dance Squad and representatives from UVI’s Health Services Office, the College Access Grant program, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the V.I. Police Department, Homeland Security, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the U.S. Coast Guard, V.I. Talentless Talents, the Department of Health, Cruzan Environmental Services, Grove Place Weed and Seed, the Office of Highway Safety and the Alcohol and Drug Prevention Committee.
Ivanna Eudora Kean Marching Band to Lead St. Thomas Walk/Rally
On St. Thomas, a large Walk/Rally and Speak-Out Against Substance Abuse and Crime is planned for 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25. The Ivanna Eudora Kean High School marching band will lead UVI students, as well as faculty and staff participants, from the traffic lights at the main intersection east of the Cyril E. King Airport to the campus. The walk will end at the Recreation Center (Club House) on UVI’s golf course. Student Affairs coordinators have enlisted UVI Security Officers and the V.I. Police Department in an effort to minimize any disruption to traffic. (The traditional St. Croix campus march was held on Tuesday evening, Oct. 23.)
On St. Thomas, the walk/rally is being held in collaboration with the Prevention Council of the V.I. Law Enforcement Planning Commission and the Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse St. Thomas-St. John – COAST. The speak-out will follow the march, with keynote speakers including an active Drug Enforcement Administration agent and a retired V.I. police officer. Other participants will be invited to share their reasons for supporting the effort.
Both campuses are also sponsoring various pledge days and “wear anything red” campaigns to show support for the effort to combat drug and substance abuse and violence. On the St. Thomas campus a Red Ribbon Week Karaoke Competition is slated for 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, at the Dining Pavilion.
Mini Drug Awareness Rally Held at Lew Muckle School
On Wednesday morning, Oct. 24, some 50 students and others from UVI on St. Croix – including the Student Government Association and the UVI Bucs Dance Squad – accompanied representatives from various local and regional law enforcement agencies to a mini Drug Awareness Rally at the Lew Muckle Elementary School. Also participating in the school visit were representatives from the V.I. Fire Department and the Fire Dog Sparky, the Department of Justice and the I.V. Police Department’s K9 Unit.
The elementary students were invited to make pledges against drugs and violence. A dance performance and K-9 Unit demonstration followed. Finally, students marched through the school neighborhood to share the anti-drug and violence message with the community.
Most events at UVI are free and open to the public. For more on St. Croix activities, contact Irene Hatchett-Sealey at (340) 692-4208. For information on St. Thomas activities call Leon Lafond at (340) 693-1120.
Remaining St. Croix Schedule
- Oct. 25 – Wear Red – 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. – pledge tables, raffle tickets and information in the Cafetorium
- Oct. 26 – Wear Red – 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. – raffle tickets, pledge tables and information – 11:40 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. – drug-free bingo
- Oct. 30 – Wear Red – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. – first annual Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Band Against Drug Day
- Oct. 31 – Wear Red – 12:15 to12:50 p.m. – Jeopardy game in the Cafetorium, raffle drawing
Remaining St. Thomas Schedule
- Oct. 25 – Walk/Rally and Speak-out – 5 p.m. Concludes at UVI Recreation Center
Oct. 26 – Karaoke in the Dining Pavilion – 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.