The Westhampton Green was littered with people. Three women played jump rope behind a table supporting three cakes, a box of jerk chicken, a box of beef and two jugs of limeade and fruit punch. The smells of chicken and coconut wafted through the air. Two dogs scurried between the feet of the students while Caribbean pop music burst from a large speaker. This was Limin' Out.
Members of West Indian Lynk covered new territory Friday, ending the club's most productive semester since its founding with the relaxing Caribbean-style study break for students stressed about finals.
"This semester is probably the most productive WIL has ever been," former President Maria Lee said. "We have a reached a lot of internal and community engagement goals and educational awareness, and we are bringing it full circle by celebrating culture with this picnic."
Lee said WIL hosted one event each fall, the Island Showcase, where students represent a Caribbean island in a pageant. She said members typically planned 2 or 3 events in the spring. This semester, WIL members participated in the charity fundraiser Stop Hunger Now, began a partnership with the local Adopt Haiti project, which raises money for people in Haiti to rebuild after the earthquake, and designed a library display in March on Caribbean history. They also intended to participate in a Black History Month forum about Caribbean culture and life as a Caribbean student in Richmond, but the event fell through.
This is the first fun event the organization has sponsored, Lee said. "The event is the most exciting [for the club] -- we've never done this before."
Lee said Limin' Out had reached a broader audience than the organization had in the past. "We wanted to have an event that could bring together different types of people on campus, and having something on the Green would appeal to the campus [community] because of the warm weather. It would teach the campus a little bit about how we [West Indians] have fun."
President Francis Poitier said: "Part of our mission is to celebrate Caribbean cultures via social events, as well as to create an atmosphere that supports Caribbean students ... So, this event really allows us to share and to allow the wider community a forum for relaxation in this stressful examination season."
Andye Sanon attended the event and said she had believed it would garner a good turn-out because "people always come out for food, and it's a busy time of year, so it's a good study break. If I wasn't here, I'd be stressing over finals."
Sanon said this event and the Island Showcase were her favorites, and she hoped WIL would continue to hold Limin' Out in the future.
Poitier and Lee said campus reception of WIL was growing. "More and more people are recognizing that there is, in fact, a Caribbean organization on campus through our programming and outreach," Poitier said.
Lee said the number of events the organization had held in the last year was a testament to its efficiency in promoting awareness. "We're the voice for our region, and we're proud of that," she said.
West Indian Lynk was founded in 2006.
Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter
Contact staff writer Rachel Bevels at email@example.com
Support independent student media
You can make a tax-deductible donation by clicking the button below, which takes you to our secure PayPal account. The page is set up to receive contributions in whatever amount you designate. We look forward to using the money we raise to further our mission of providing honest and accurate information to students, faculty, staff, alumni and others in the general public.Donate Now