UWI Five Islands Campus Responds to Condacey Samuel

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Setting the Record Straight

There seems to be a concerted effort by Ms. Condacey Samuel, an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Management with Psychology in the School of Business and Management at The UWI Five Islands Campus to use her social media platform to spread falsehoods about the operations at the campus.

While we do not interfere with free speech and will not be responding to all criticisms of the operations of our campus, we wish to respond to Ms. Samuel via this medium as we had contacted her before and spoke to her about the issues she raised, in a private setting.

However, she has reverted to her social media platform as her means of communicating issues about the campus. We have no choice, therefore, but to respond to her publicly to set the record straight.

On September 1, 2022, Ms. Samuel made a post specifically about The UWI Five Islands Campus. When it was brought to our attention, the Campus Marketing Officer called Ms. Samuel in order to: a) better understand the issues she was having; b) provide her with appropriate information to clarify issues; and c) point her to the channels through which to communicate to get things resolved.

The issues included number of observations in relation to registration, behaviour of lecturers, extra-curricular activities and transportation arrangements. At no point did Ms. Samuels report any of her discomfiture to the administration of the campus.

Ms. Samuel failed to note that, as a student, she is straddling different levels of the student life cycle and as such, there are bound to be clashes with her classes, given that the timetable is established to meet the needs of students at the various levels of their academic journey.

So, if a student, who is in his/her final year, still has outstanding courses from the second or first year and is trying to do those while sitting final year courses, unfortunately, the timetable cannot be constructed to meet those special needs.

Further, Ms. Samuel also noted that she operates a small business and would need the flexibility in the timetable to accommodate her business hours. Again, the Campus cannot build a timetable to suit individual needs like those.

However, there are certain core principles on which we build the timetable for the institution, taking into consideration the idiosyncrasies of all our students. One of the core principles is that, as best as possible, we will place more of our classes in the evening sessions to allow working adults the time to leave their place of work and get to classes, given that a significant number of our student population, especially in the school of Business and Management, are working adults.

It must be noted that we operate a landed campus and not an online campus with asynchronous delivery of teaching and learning. While the latter is aspirational, we have not implemented that modality as yet. Our Open Campus at The UWI does provide that flexibility.

Campus Facilities

Recently on September 26, 2022, Ms. Samuel went on another rant, spreading false information about our facilities at the campus. The Five Islands Campus has seen tremendous growth over the past 36 months moving from 178 students in 2019 to over 600 students in 2023, along with over 70 adjunct faculty and over 50 full-time faculty and staff.

This meteoric growth will undoubtedly lead to challenges in terms of space, given that the campus was purpose built for a high school and is now being converted to a modern university facility.

As a community, we have explained to our members that there is a larger and more comprehensive plan to build out the physical infrastructure of the campus in very short order.

Through the adroit, visionary and energetic leadership of Prime Minister Gaston Browne, we are now on the cusp of signing a major financing agreement to execute on the masterplan for the expansion of the campus facilities. This plan has been presented in the most transparent way to all. It is no secret what the future holds for the modern facilities for The UWI Five Islands Campus.

Despite the futuristic development of the campus, we continue to operate in the most optimum way to ensure the members of our community can enjoy a respectable quality of accommodation. As we returned to face-to-face classes in September 2022, we have secured all relevant classrooms with furniture, properly planned to accommodate all students through their teaching and learning experience. Further, we have acquired and installed the latest cutting edge technologies to ensure that as a new campus, we are globally competitive in the delivery of our teaching and learning activities.

In-terms of space for our students to lounge around between classes, we have designated the gymnasium, a space which has built in seating for up to 140 persons at any one time, as one of the areas where our students can hang out between classes. There is also a courtyard that seats students. We are now in the process of acquiring tents to ensure that students can have covers courtyard space if they do not desire to use the space in the gymnasium.

Further, there is an exceptionally hard-working Guild Council that is providing innovative solutions to deal with the transportation issues for their constituents. For the record, it should be noted that it is not the University’s core business to provide transportation for students to get to the campus. Hardly ever, any university takes on this responsibility given the wide and varied mix of its student body.

However, as a campus, we have facilitated conversations with interested parties who see a market opportunity to provide transportation to students who ply the Five Islands route. We have offered them a captive market, the campus community, so they can advertise their services and capture market-share to run a profitable business in the transportation sector. This is in addition to the innovative proposals that the Guild of Students has been working on.

Concluding Thoughts

If Ms. Samuel is desirous of supporting the growth and development of her campus to ensure greater access to post-secondary education, which is critical to enhance the development agenda of Antigua and Barbuda and the wider, OECS region, she should use her social media platform to provide accurate information and do not mislead the public and berate the institution from which she intends to acquire a post-graduate certification to better her life and her community.

While we respect freedom of expression and accept constructive criticism to help us grow as a campus community, we do not think the cavalier manner in which Ms. Samuel has gone about identifying issues at the Five Islands Campus is adding value to the growth and development agenda. We expect, as a responsible member of the community, that she would raise her issues with the administrators and dialogue, rather than revert to social media and spreading false information.

As the campus develops and grows despite the challenges we face as an incipient institution, we want to thank the Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda for the tremendous sacrifice and support they are making to The UWI FIC. Prime Minister Browne and his team in the governmental architecture have never relented in providing support to our campus.

They understand and facilitate the broader vision of having a high-quality university to move Antigua and Barbuda to the next level of its development. The hard-working staff and faculty of the FIC must be commended for their diligence, patience, and strong work ethic as we continue to build a strong and internationally competitive, high-quality university campus at Five Islands. We are building and building, stronger together.

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39 COMMENTS

  1. Well… now I wanna know who Ms. Samuel is and what she’s really been posting on social media.

    But… irrespective… if smaddy don’t like the space or how it runs, she’s not a tree – MOVE to open campus or come back when it’s to your liking.

    • You wouldn’t make a comment like this if you were a student or even had the slightest clue as to what the students are experiencing.

      • Correct. If she is paying for HER education she has a right to bring issues to the table. I don’t understand why people are upset. Saying she has the right to free speech and to disparaged her is so ridiculous. Even if her education was free you should be able to voice your concerns.

  2. Condacy is a very unhappy human who uses social media to get attention as there is little life in her life.

    The irony of her post knowing very well its the same institution that she is attending. Her poor account of the learning institution within which she enroles only proves that she herself is a woman with mediocre standard and low ambitions.

    Secondly!! You are an adult not a baby! Why does the school have to find a way for you to get home?

    If you cannot figure out how to get home how are you going to figure out how to pass your university classes? After all getting home in a small island where clearly you seem to know EVERYONE should not be that hard. Unless!!! Of course you merely a social fraudster and not as popular as you may wish to portray.

    I feel sorry for you.

    • Degrading Ms. Samuel does not help the situation whatsoever. Only when you’re in the kitchen is when you’ll feel the heat. People really like to speak about things they have no clue about and that’s just weird. Smh.

    • You must be a miserable human being. Not everyone has the privilege of owning a vehicle not do everyone has family members with transportation. She’s not a baby, what is she supposed to do, pay a taxi every night to go home? If the campus has to schedule classes this late they should at least consider that not all these same working adults are not working for a jackpot figure to hire a ride. This is Antigua and since the government and others love to compare Antigua with what goes on in the region, in places like Barbados there is a proper bus schedule that the citizens can actually depend on. 🙄🙄

    • I sadly agree with you. She seems to be very miserable and attention seeking with no claim to fame other than having internet access. I guess her complaints on social media are a way of letting people know that at her ripe old age, she’s doing something of value… getting a degree. I believe in learning at any age but girl, we’re in a time where cats, dogs and mice have degrees so no need to make it seem like you’re walking on water.
      Further, I studied in Jamaica and the lawns were immaculately kept but being a student living on campus, there were times when I was in bed and a lawn mower was going at it. There were mornings when I was getting ready at the Mary Seacole Hall and I’d be hopping over the janitor’s mopping. I understood janitors had a lot of area to cover so while I’m getting ready for my 8 o’ class, they may just be in front of the bathrooms. Even with more cleaners at a university, people are constantly moving around so while cleaning should happen before the first classes, is it worth ranting on social media about? The transportation lineup can be improved through cooperation with the Guild, Administration and public transportation. However, it may still have issues. Check the Jasmine Deen case in Jamaica. She’s saying she could go on but I trust she named her biggest issues. She’s saying “But this is UWI Five Islands Campus” like she’s graduated from another university. Chups.

  3. I think her comments are justified, as a tertiary institution that claims to be competent enough to run on a global scale, no one should have to report to you to keep track of your class sizes. You should already be monitoring that to ensure that there’s adequate enough furniture for students or at least having a class enrollment cap to prevent situations like these. It’s obvious the campus is either understaffed or it doesn’t carry out basic maintenance because why in this climate are A/CSS not working? You cannot be serious. And she’s completely in the right to criticize the bus system. If you have classes running that late how hard is it to schedule a government bus to go up there and bring them back? The students could even pay for that. I’ve been in a university where there’s systems like that that in place. These are the responsibilities and obligations of tertiary institutions. You cannot complain about the education rate in this country while simultaneously berating students for speaking out about barriers to their education. Let’s have some tact, compassion and empathy when having conversations like this. We can’t claim to be a educated nation and we’re running around calling people babies for being aware of their limits.

    • THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENT @ Someone with sense.
      To many promises have been to us as students about these same issues and semester after semester willingly we operate under these conditions STILL. Nothing she said was wrong and nothing she said was a lie. If only we would stand together. SMH SMH SMH

    • well said n i agree, there must be some validly in what she is saying and i do believe so, for eg understaffing, maintenance issues and everyone knw the area has terrible bus/transportation service if u dont drive. instead of attacking or trying to discredit her, validate and admit that the university is not perfect and has issues and will see what can be addressed, there is nothing wrong in accepting criticism n finding ways that it can be improved instead of being defensive n acting as if everything is so perfect. i sure other students see the same issues and agree but may not speak up, shit ppl r paying their money n should be at least comfortable in order to learn properly…

    • Thank you for actually showing some of these people in the comments what common sense is. How can you have a program and not have enough furniture for the students in that program? Smh

  4. How does one enroll in an institution for the betterment of themself and in the same breath cry down the institution. If you’re not comfortable… LEAVE! It’s that simple. You’re there taking up space for someone who wants to be there.

    It’s sad in this Antigua how people forget to use their common sense.

    Public knowledge…the facility was built with a vision of facilitating secondary school students. Another vision came into play NOW it’s a University.

    Things take time!! Like I said if you nah comfortable LEAVE!!

  5. When she was going All Saints Secondary School how she get home smh 🤦‍♀️ and no school will ever make time for your classes if you have a small business that’s something she will have to adjust herself too Lmfaoooooo my Niece Goes there and she is fine!!!! Candacy concerns are useless even when we went to schools yard being cut we still learn chupz gal go sit somewhere chupz again

  6. Soooo this peice was authorised for publocation by the faculty and board of a so called prestiged institute of higher learning ?
    This comes of very childish……. a game for tit for tat… tasteless.

    • This is what I am thinking as well. UWI should have dealt with this differently. Condacy obviously ruffled some feathers! If things are not where they should be then UWI should make some efforts to remedy the situations instead of making it seem as though the points raised are invalid. I mean, UWI is ours and we only wish the best for the institution. As a graduate myself (Open Campus), I can say that there is much work to be done. No situation is perfect, but acknowledging that more effort is required to better facilitate teaching and learning is a start.

    • I agree. As I said in my previous post, I think some of her issues weren’t wholly on the university or issues at all but I guess were based on her inexperience BUT whoever wrote this should be put on a probationary period after undergoing some level of training/ retraining. I think some people in PR/ Marketing/ Communications spend too much time on social media and don’t know that the echo chambers they operate in may not be reflective of the broader issues. This woman is still quite unknown and irrelevant. You deal with her privately. This screenshot and respond message is just piss poor. If it was a comment by a lecturer or a stalwart in education… a public response would have been warranted.

  7. Through the adroit, visionary and energetic leadership of Prime Minister Gaston Browne

    Why was that nessiccary to respond to a social media post? Who wrote that the vice chancellor who help to huff the secondary school from the people of gray’s green?

    • @CooRuler how is it that even Baldwin Spencer, now sees the vision behind the university and its placement, while you are still lost?

  8. Condacys rants speaks to her level of cognitive development and public disregard for using the appropriate channel.

    I would love to see her grades because clearly she is not very smart. How does one enroll in a school and cry it down PUBLICLY??

    This school is just 3 years old and opened to help educate some of the dunduh heads around the island by providing education so they don’t act like she does.

    Face it, some people could not even afford to pay a bus nevermind a school outside of Antigua yet you are crying down the school that can make your life better. Think Sis! Think

    Anyway take your 2 minutes of fame! That’s what you were looking for anyway.

    Funny how you can find a ride to strut your batty in all sorts of fetes and on the roadside but can’t find ride to take you home from school. Smh

  9. Piss poor reply. Uncouth and unnecessarily detailed, apparently with malicious intent.

    It actually reads that they had no choice. There were a number of choices in how this could have been approached and responded to.

    Why did I need to know any of the student’s business?

    And in this long reply it is admitted that space short…but more should be made soon….so hush up until then?

    This is the world we live in now, UWI. People don’t like things, they post. They love things, they also post.

    Save your diatribe and excuses and kiss arsing, and hurry up get the tent them even. Like none of the big brains around could have suggested a tent in advance of complaints?

  10. I want to comment on the Private Bus System on Antigua. I was a Traffic Police officer for a number of years, there need to be a solution with our Bus system on Antigua. We are a Tourist Country, there are students who go to After class, some persons visit Relatives at the Sir Lester Bird Hospital etc etc. among other Places, The Visiting Hours at said Hospital ends at 9:00 pm. A Person wending their way to both Bus stations East and west has Problems, the Buses at East Bus station cut operation about 6:45 -7:00pm west Bus Station a little better, but going Valley Route is a Problem after 8:00 pm. Sometimes the Odd Bus from Valley Route pops in After a long wait at the station . I must congratulate the Bus Route Going Allsaints Liberta area ; the Best Bust Route on Antigua. I wish the other Bus Routes take a Page out of their Book. I was attached to the Antigua and Barbuda Transport Board to assist with the Bus Stops among other things, I told the Authorities Antigua/Barbuda is a Tourist country and the Bus System needs to be Regulated, sometimes my heart goes out for the shift workers in the nights hanging around the West Bus station for hours waiting on Bus to go home…sad! Some of the shift workers get so frustrated hire taxi to go home on Meagre salaries. I could go on and on.. I believe the Authorities understand my Point . The Bus System on Antigua needs an assessment and put proper thing in Place for Commuters. The Bus System on Antigua needs to move with the times…we are in the 21st Century. Not 1935.🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬

  11. Hmm, although the student makes some valid points, I agree with the UWI that her first step should have been direct communication with the relevant persons at UWI about her concerns. If her concerns were ignored and sufficiently important, only then should she take the matter to the public. Ever since call-in radio programmes that people could complain on became popular, our society has shifted to one where too often people talk “at” each other or “about” each other instead of “to” each other in good faith. Problems are better solved with open-minded, empathetic, sincere conversation. But these days persons talk to score points in a never ending debate not really to solve problems…

  12. To be honest, I feel embarrassed by the campus’s response to someone’s opinion on social media. This is petty and silly coming from a higher education institution to label a student’s opinion “rants” just because it doesn’t align with your marketing efforts. This response was so laborious and unnecessarily wordy to read I was literally falling asleep. Further, based on this post, not the so called rant, I would not enroll and definitely will not enroll my children. You just helped me to change my mind. So silly a marketing office has nothing better to do than peck at social media posts of random students. Can’t believe you are teaching business classes.

  13. Down there wasn’t purpose built for that. You Ms Samuel who is a ABLP supporter I know of a fact champion that uwi five island campus being in that building that was built for a secondary school.

    Take your fucking blows now you getting them. You have so many fans, followers and man let the puck u up late at night when classes over.

    All of a sudden the cracks showing yall complaining and u were one 9f them that championed the cause is a fb post supported by the other ablp whore that is or was A certain “directore” of education secretary.

    You need some acid to wipe your eyes

  14. Everything Condacey said is the truth. When you pay your money you expect a certain level of professional and service in return……

    My dear Condacey you forget to mention:
    1. Lack of communication and informing students with prompt information to make proper choices in choosing classes.
    2. How students have to be calling teachers to teach them cause the University has not communicated to them about classes. (Date and time of classes)
    3. Students taking 2 classes at the same time or part of that time because of clashes
    4. The late night classes have no proper security. One at the gate telling you you can’t drive in

  15. Forget Condacey. Name and shame and consider firing whoever wrote this despicable response.

    I had not seen or heard a peep about the original post. Thanks for also bringing it to my attention.

    When are the tents going up?? Not even that self included in this wordy response.

    Does UWI offer any courses in public relations? This reply is a laughingstock if so.

  16. 1)We all are aware that it was not purpose built.
    2)We all are aware that transportation is poor from five islands.
    3)We all agreed that the University has challenges.
    So what is the problem.
    The problem here is simply that Ms.Samuel took to social media instead of approaching the administration and if they did not listen then of course social media.
    The other problem is that we live in a politically charged environment. The opposition UPP did not support the University taking over the building purpose built for a second school. The ALP decided we are going to turn it into a university and develop as time progress.
    My question is Ms.Samuel politically motivated and hence social media.
    Another problem- The university response was a poor one and should have never mentioned the Gaston Browne. All they had to say is that they are still developing and have already acquired financial assistance through the government etc.
    my conclusion is that she should have felt with administration and that the negative publicly on social media is not the place to start, as a student and as an Antiguan. We all need to embrace the University and work towards its success.

  17. Many of the issues raised by the student have plagued other long-standing local tertiary institutions for many years without any public outcry. Although there have been improvements, there is still lack of space, equipment, furniture at some of these places. Perhaps UWI just assumed that the Antiguan public was ok with such standards since we have been making do with such for donkey years.

  18. Looking at this optimistically, it’s great news that the number of our students trying to access tertiary education is increasing exponentially. I believe that every single student who wishes to be trained at that level and who is willing to put in the necessary work should have the opportunity to specialize in something or the other for their career. So, what is needed now is simply an expansion of infrastructure at ALL of our tertiary institutions – colleges and universities – to accommodate this increasing student demand by Antiguan and other OECS students. We will soon have a population well trained at different levels in many areas needed to improve the functioning of our society and also allowing for better employment for all. Great News!

    • I LOVE THIS COMMENT!!!

      Bravo and well done. Yes we are in the infant stages now but in 5-10 years WATCH OUT!!!!

      Students it’s rough in college/university BUT it’s even rougher out there without a proper education. Hang in there. It will be worth it!!

  19. I understand this young lady’s plight but I can tell her that I did college and university in both the US and Canada and yes, there were days the A/C didn’t work, there wasn’t enough heat in the winter, there were water leaks and heavens one time we even had a hawk that got in a window in the classroom. Crap happens. You are there for a reason…to get an education. We have all been there. As students we struggle. With regards to the transportation….see if you can join a car pool arrangement with someone you know and trust.

    I find that most people sign up for college/university and not do their homework. Did she talk to the campus and explain her situation? She said she is a small business owner so I can only assume that her only option is night classes. Is this feasible, do you have kids, family support, transportation? All these questions should’ve been investigated before she signed up to see if The Five Islands Campus was the right fit.

    No system is perfect but if you want the education, make it work for you. If not….try and see if you can switch to the Open Campus option. If not then maybe UWI is not for you.

    Wishing this young lady all the best in her studies.

  20. Class sizes, cleaning during classes, and malfunctioning a/c are legitimate concerns, but Ms. Samuel and all students at UWI5I need to make their own transportation arrangements. This is not primary school.

  21. I find that the response from UWI was unprofessional and immature. If you’re going to respond think twice about the words you’re using. It sounds more like someone took what she personally and responded based on feelings not as a professional organization. Secondly I can’t believe some people response in regards to the bus system. Like honestly what her concerns are, she should have went to the school first of course but people are free to do as they please. Nothing what she said is wrong because she’s paying out of pocket. As for grass cutting and mopping not a big deal but when you are paying out of pocket your money goes to ensure you have the necessities to be in the class. Your out of pocket pays for the teachers, pays for classroom equipments, pays for remodeling, pays to have extra courses implemented. And the school being a university should probably change their perspective on how it should run. Universities usually have parents, working adults, people who are investing in themselves. They should make students have the option to take classes whenever they want but at the availability of that class. So perhaps a PT flex program because she should be able to take classes while she runs her business. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY OKAY. And that comment about her going to ASSS how she find her way home. That person didn’t think about their comment. ASSS and other secondary schools finish at 1:30 and buses use to wait for people down the hill so broad day light you can get home even if you walked but the option of buses were always there. As for the other comment about taking school in the US or Canada. I get what you’re trying to say but the difference is that if you actually or if any or all the students complain even the teacher complain to the school about classroom malfunction they will fix it IMMEDIATELY. They got the funding, they want more students from outside to apply, that MATTERS to them. And if you didn’t report the incident of the AC/HEAT or broken window I’m sure someone did and the problem was going in the direction to be fixed. As a student actually you can even go to the maintenance people themselves and let them know or the cleaner would report it to maintenance. The structure is different so we can’t compare. Antigua has a different mindset and tbh; if places just like this school and some of theses people in the comments keep thinking and responding the way they do, it will struggle for a while because Ms. Samuels didn’t do anything wrong but express true concerns as a paying citizen. That shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s an opportunity to create new ideas and grow.

  22. Universities are not usually required to rearrange their schedules to suit the problems of individuals nor to provide transportation for students.
    I’m actually surprised at how unreasonable and disrespectful some of the comments are.

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