What’s the best way to get a taste of some Caribbean culture without even leaving campus? Instead of buying a plane ticket to the West Indies, you can just head over to College Avenue to check out of one of the numerous events hosted by the West Indian Student Organization at Rutgers University.
“The purpose of the West Indian Student Organization at Rutgers University, also known as WISORU, is to bridge the gap between the Caribbean community and the student community,” explains Arron Linton, a new WISORU member.
WISORU, which is New Jersey’s largest organization for West Indian Students, accomplishes their mission by hosting notorious events such as Caribbean Day and their Annual RU Caribbean Pageant. Caribbean Day brings famous artists, such as Mr. Vegas and Serani, to Rutgers so that thousands of students can vibe to this culture’s unique music. The Annual RU Caribbean Pageant involves approximately a dozen WISORU members that dress up in their ethnic attire to represent their heritage.
Randall Arthur, WISORU Vice President, said his favorite events to host were these two occasions. “Caribbean Day is the largest student led event at Rutgers University and it pays off when I see the thousands of students jamming to the artist we brought. The pageant is also a favorite of mine because of the individual transformation of our pageant contestants. To see them try something they’ve never done before and love doing it in front of friends of family is great.”
There are countless Rutgers Caribbean students who aren’t a part of WISORU or aware of what the organization can offer them. To encourage these students, Linton said, “WISORU makes it a lot easier to meet West Indians at school and you’ll get a better understand of what the culture is all about.”
“The goals of our WISORU members are to learn about their culture’s history, its present, and how it will live on in the future,” said Arthur. “We look for all of our members to grow from within, realize their goals, and be prideful of where they came from and where they’re going.”
For more information on WISORU you can visit their website.
By: Spencer M.