Settling into Jamaica - Exploring the University of West Indes

By on May 21, 2015

As our Service Learning group dives into their three week course at the University of West Indies in Jamaica, each student will be journaling their experience. We plan to share pieces of their experience - from travel updates to reflections on their studies. Here are just a few so far!

Dr. William Morrissette

It was a better day today.  The weather was a bit nicer, and we were able to see more of the campus.  We learned that the campus site used to be an old slave/sugar plantation and we were able to visit some of the old ruins of the aqueduct system.  We also learned about what is termed “Jamaica Time” as it took us half a day just to get our badges.  It is a very slow pace down here which is not a bad thing, but takes some getting used to.  We had our first two lectures this afternoon and they were very intriguing.  Of most interest to me was the way in which the Jamaican’s lived history as a British Colony and Slave State has impacted their views on restorative justice. 

Andreina R.

Greetings from Jamaica! The people here have been wonderful. I have come across many students that live here on campus that have given us tips on how to "live" at the towers we are in. Today we had a lecture which we could participate in with Dr. A. Harriott, a professor here at University of West Indies and we brought up online studying and how it is not so common here.  The professor explained to us that in addition to technological barriers, there is a higher unemployment rate in their area. People have more time to come to campus courses. I am looking forward to hearing and learning more from everyone here.

Katrina C. 

University of West Indies, Mona is more than what I expected. This small Island has risen from a British colony and has such a rich history. In today’s lecture we spoke about policy writings and crime statics from the country, region and world.  It’s clear that no matter what type of criminal justice system you have, there will always be crime.

One of the most interesting things I have learned today would have to be that the land the University of West Indies, Mona is built on use to be a slavery sugar cane plant. There is a structure of pipelines from the 1880’s still standing on campus. To me this shows where they were and where they are going as a country. I find it incredible how this land can have an incredible amount of meaning– a shift from centuries of struggling to the home of education and hope.

Professor Harriott made a great point in lecture this afternoon how society has a moral concept that they need to care for their community in order for it to blossom to where it should be. Without people caring what goes on, how can a community prosper into greatness? He also said that a professor’s purpose during the student’s education is to tell them the truth as it is in order for them to grow as liberal individual.