Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Education, has challenged the twenty-four (24) newly elected University of the West Indies Student Councilors to adopt a resilient mindset at this time in the nation’s and the world’s history.
Addressing the topic “The Art of Resilience,” at the Inauguration Ceremony of the 60th Council of the UWI St. Augustine Campus Guild of Students, 2021/2022, on Sunday 18th July, 2021, Dr. Gadsby-Dolly labelled the event a momentous in their lives, one that sets them apart and on a path to make a difference. “It is not about the title or the perks, it is about dedication and service. It’s about integrity in office. It is being true to your commitment to serve, being selfless without losing yourself, your morals or your integrity. You are committing to represent the student body of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. Your oath mandates you to lead by precept and example with distinction. Leadership is no easy task; you have decided to take up this mantle at a time when the world, as we now know it, is almost an unrecognizable copy of what it was. Procedural templates no longer apply, what worked two years ago is suddenly no longer relevant. It is up to us, the leaders of today, to channel new ideas and to challenge those who don’t see the vision,” noted the Minister.
Reflecting on her personal experiences as a University student, Dr. Gadsby-Dolly reminisced on how joyous and important Campus life was and how it influenced and informed so many of her social interactions. She asked the twenty-four (24) University Councilors, what would be their plan of action to teach their fellow students the Art of Resilience.
As the Education Minister shared her own thoughts, she purported that “The description of resilience, as art, suggests there is more to this resilience concept than meets the eye. It is more than what we say with our lips, more than what we repeat as a mantra. Resilience is an internal paradigm, a mindset. It is the indefinable well-spring of optimism that exists within us, which must be tended, cared for and fiercely defended at all costs.”
The University of the West Indies Guild of Students President, Kobe Nathan Sandy, delivered remarks at the ceremony, where he assured the students that the Guild is aware of the serious challenges they are currently facing and has transformed itself to assist its membership to overcome adversity. According to the new Guild President, “ the Guild has learnt to redefine its representation to adapt to the current student experience. As we go forth in this academic year, we are tasked to re-establish the connection among the membership in an effort to support your academic thrust at this time. Your Guild Council has outlined a myriad of programmes and initiatives that are being manifested as we speak, that seek to connect us as one Caribbean Campus using the opportunities of technology.”
The ceremony was also attended by Campus Principal, Professor Brian Copeland, Deputy Principal Professor Indar Ramnarine, members of the Executive Management Team of UWI, among others. The ceremony was streamed via the Zoom Platform and aired live on UWI’s Social Media Platforms.