WE WANT WATA! Noble Knights of Cedar Hall protest water crisis since September; USM in support.
Photo Credit- Jaleel James
From left to right- Noble Knight, Cedar Hall resident, Northern Caribbean University President, Dr. Lincoln Edwards and United student Movement VP of Student Services and Social Affairs, and Cedar Hall resident, Wrenaé Hudson awaits the arrival of water trucks.
|USM Director of Publications Chantelle Rochester
MANDEVILLE, NCU- Residents of Northern Caribbean University’s (NCU) male dormitory, Cedar Hall, conducted a protest against the dorm’s ongoing water crisis.
On the morning of November 18, chants from residents of Cedar Hall bellowed throughout the campus as they positioned themselves beside a barricade of broken windows and old furniture in protest against the dorm’s water crisis.
The protest began at approximately 8:30 a.m. and lasted for about one hour. It was led by dorm resident who is also the United Student Movement (USM) VP of Student Services and Social Affairs, Wrenaé Hudson who was aided by residents of Cedar Hall.
Since the semester began, the residence hall has been experiencing regularly prolonged water shortages, making it difficult for residents to maintain personal hygiene. However, this periodic absence of water has seemingly become unbearable for the men and Hudson said that other efforts to remedy the situation were futile thus an act of demonstration seemed to be the best option to garner results.
“Having realized that the solution is not forthcoming, we decided that at this particular point in time we have to step our game up to the level of making our presence felt and our voices heard and whether it took a radical or an unconventional approach, once it was responsible and mature we just had to do what we did.” said Hudson.
Hudson added that the reason for the protest was to receive necessary attention from the university’s administration.
“The purpose of the protest is to get the attention of the relevant authorities and once we get their attention then we can proceed to starting discussions so that the challenges the students are facing can be alleviated,” he said.
President of NCU, Dr. Lincoln Edwards encountered the protest en route to his office and conducted an impromptu tour of the dorm. Edwards remained at the location until the issue was resolved. Other top officials of the university were also present. The president had not been aware of the water crisis prior to the protest.
USM President, Kavion Allen, applauded the men for their display of unity and said that when everyone is on the same page the message is conveyed more forcefully. He added that one of the main duties of the USM is to advocate on behalf of the students and the movement is prepared to support and defend any student having any major concerns on campus especially if they believe their voices aren’t being heard.
Allen also mentioned that the university needs to formalize contingency plans and inventive methods to alleviate issues on campus.
President of the Excelsior Club, the official club of Cedar Hall, Ivanhoe Smith, who played a significant role in the staging of the protest, joined Hudson in defending the demonstration.
“We are really fed up. We have taken necessary actions before and we didn’t get a response, and this was the only thing we had left to do” said Smith.
The protest seems to have achieved its end as according to Smith in a matter of hours following the action, the dorm received a truck load of water along with three water tanks.
Since the end of their protest, the dorm residents have returned to their daily routines in hope that similar extremes would not need to be repeated.
This was the second protest that residents have staged in three years.