Amidst the humidity, hundreds of new and continuing students came out in hopes of joining various societies and groups in the engaging atmosphere of the JFK quadrangle at the UWI, St Augustine campus.
“So far we have had a very successful first day,” said Darrion Narine the guild’s vice president on Tuesday.
“We had all the societies and clubs coming out in their numbers and students are very engaged and enjoying the village. We have a lot of games and free give-aways. One of the things we put forward as a guild this year is to showcase student entrepreneurs on campus as a way of showing our support to them.”
Guild Fest 2017, hosted by the university, was successfully launched on Monday. The week-long event brings together all the university’s clubs, island associations and societies to promote a different aspect of the campus community.
Among the various clubs was the UWI Entrepreneurial Society which is a student-run initiative which seeks to engage and motivate students to fuel their entrepreneurial spirit. Among the young business owners present was Meg’s Jewellery Creations by Meagan Smith and sister-duo Sarah and Sharlee Barkar, co-owners of Marie’s Online Boutique. Their business has been in existence for two years and they offer people who do not have the luxury of owning a credit card to purchase quality clothing, make-up and jewellery at affordable prices, with free delivery to UWI students. This year being their first time at Guild Fest, 22-year-old Sarah who is pursuing a degree in Management Studies said, “This is a fantastic opportunity and it has expanded my business because a lot of people are now getting to see my sister and I, the faces behind the online boutique, as many people are sceptical to make online purchases, so we have definitely gained customers.”
Exquisite Beauty by Zara had a lot of young women rushing to her booth as they offered spa services and gave women the chance to get their nails polished for free. Trinidad Babe, another business specialising in all-natural handmade soaps, wine glasses and beer koozies, also attracted students.
Beast Body Supplements, created by 23-year-old personal trainer Villon Stanley, had an outstanding display of their supplements and clothing line. “My business aims at providing affordable supplements to anyone who wants to look and be healthy,” Stanley said. “I also have a clothing line that has inspirational quotes on them to empower my clients.” Beast Body Supplements was created in 2015 by Stanley who is also pursuing a degree in Law.
The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts was also present to educate students on the technical vocational services they offer, from tiling and events management to learning about vegetarian cuisine. These short courses sponsored by the ministry are all free.
The tents with the most interactive games were UWI’s Linguistics Society, Communication Studies Association, Economic Society and the National Trust, to name a few. Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter was also present.
“We came here to educate the student body on fostering appreciation for our natural heritage, build heritage and cultural heritage,” said Chenelle Spooner, communications officer at the National Trust. S
pooner and Ashleigh Morris, heritage preservation research officer, had engaging activities for students to name local sites, while giving them the opportunity to join the National Trust on tours throughout the country.