W.I.S.E kicks off back to school


Photos by Jocelyn Arroyo-Ariza

The night was still young after the jovert at the All White Party.

Jocelyn Arroyo-Ariza, News Editor

One of the newest clubs on campus is Iona University’s West Indian Student Establishment otherwise known as W.I.S.E. The organization was established last year to showcase Caribbean culture on campus and for others to learn more about their traditions. W.I.S.E. stresses that they are a safe haven for all students regardless of their descent. Its four pillars are teaching, learning, unifying and embracing the differences we see amongst each other.  

This year, the annual West Indian Day Parade returned to Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Iona had its own version of the parade with W.I.S.E hosting two events over the weekend.  

Saturday began with Jouvert at the Montgomery lawn. Jouvert is a traditional festival meaning “daybreak” or “morning” originating from the French word jour ouvert. Jouvert can trace its history to Trinidad with the festivities of Canboulay when sugar canes caught on fire and slaves were forced to collect the remaining crops. Masters mocked their slaves and reenacted the cruelty. However, after gaining their independence, they regain control of the narrative and mocked the slave masters’ imitations. Jouvert usually begins at the crack of dawn and ends after the sun goes up. Mud, paint and oil are splashed onto participants.  

At 3:00 pm, participants gathered at the lawn for Iona’s version of Jouvert. All attendees were required to register and were allowed to bring guests to the event. W.I.S.E advised students to bring comfortable clothing which they did not mind getting dirty although the paint is machine washable. Music provided by DJ BoogyRanksss played as Gaels threw paint and powder onto each other, laughing as they were chasing one another. 

After the celebration, W.I.S.E hosted an All-White Introduction Party at 8:30 at Burke Lounge. Although the party started off slow as everyone trickled in, eventually it started to pick up a half hour later. Guests were required to adhere to the dress code which was the perfect opportunity to wear white before Labor Day. Gaels danced the rest of the night away as those not introduced to the sounds of the Caribbean at the Jouvert were lucky to catch DJ BoogyRanksss. As the guests left, they took the remaining white balloons that decorated the lounge.