West Indian Student Organization introduces Rutgers to Caribbean culture
Jeavonne Thompson, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, has been involved with the West Indian Student organization for a year, and ran for its executive board before becoming the club's historian. Thompson is not of West Indian descent, but feels welcomed by other members.
The goal of the club is to connect the Caribbean community and its culture with the greater Rutgers population, Thompson said in an email.
“Although forming this connection can sound challenging, my fellow e-board members are amazing, loyal body (who) are always present and willing to help in any situation,” she said.
The club's inclusiveness is what drew Thompson in, she said.
The West Indian club is a non-profit student organization founded at Rutgers in 1973.
WISO, the largest collegiate organization catering to Caribbean students in New Jersey, is dedicated to bridging the gap between the Caribbean community and the Rutgers student body, according to their website.
The club aims to promote greater understanding between the U.S. and the Caribbean region by focusing on the concerns of the Caribbean people, both in the Caribbean and in the U.S., their website reads. The organization sponsors cultural and educational programs and participates in volunteer efforts. But they also work to create a stronger relationship with students of every ethnic background at the University.
Although the club welcomes all students, it has a special responsibility to cater to the concerns of the Caribbean students at Rutgers, according to their website.
“Introducing aspects of Caribbean culture to the University in the general building of linkages between Caribbean students and other student groups at Rutgers University as a necessary part of cultural awareness, and overall to pursue all meaningful activities necessary to the achievement of the above,” their website reads.
The club has not had any difficulties with reaching their goal, Thompson said.
“I love that the organization is so inclusive to all and I just hope that we continue to grow,” she said.
Noa Halff is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in journalism and media studies. She is an associate news editor for The Daily Targum.