The Best Hall To Live In At The UWI Mona Campus

Since the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus offered ten (10) unique halls of residence to students. Being a full-time, apparently life long UWI student, I have had the opportunity to reside in a number of these halls. In no particular order, I have resided in the AZ Preston Hall, Elsa Leo Rhyne Hall, Marlene Hamilton Hall and the new hall by 138 student living (Leslie Robinson Hall). I have also spent many nights in the other halls so I am very familiar with the offerings of each. Each hall selects unique colors, animals or symbols to identify themselves and they compete in various activities throughout the school year. Residents of each hall are acculturated to believe their hall is the best place to live. It is this belief that gives rise to strong rivalry.

The UWI tries to accommodate as much persons in campus as is possible. This is not just for security but living in hall makes facilitating student’s development a lot easier. Programs are implemented in hall which allows students to grow as leaders, they encourage networking and make the UWI experience so much more enjoyable. Having activities outside of the class room not only guarantees the maintenance of sanity but encourages better academic performance. Now with over 16000 students at the university and just under 3000 rooms available, there must be a way to filter students so that those who would be most beneficial to the hall are given the opportunity to reside in the hall. With such a privilege students are usually expected to support the hall’s activities in order to be offered a room for the following school year. But which hall is the absolute best hall to live in at the UWI campus? I will try to be as objective as I can as I describe the features of each hall below.

ABC (Alston Barry Chevannes) Hall
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At only 5 years old ABC Hall is among the newer halls. It is an old nurses residence which now boasts the best place to buy food on campus. Like the newer halls the residents are placed on floors based on gender. Each resident has a room and members of the floor share a kitchen and bathroom.

The hall is making small strides where popularity is concerned but still has a long way to go. The hall is the furthest from the most frequently visited places on campus as it is the only hall on the hospital compound. They are actively competing in sporting events but so far have not distinguished themselves as beating them is usually as easy as… ABC?

The hall colors are orange and grey

The total accommodation fee for 2016-2017 is:

ABC (all single rooms) = $214,120

ABC

AZ Preston Hall

AZ Preston - www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress (12)

The AZ Preston Hall was established in 1995. The motto for the hall is; ‘relentless pursuit of excellence’.
By far AZ Preston Hall is the most visually appealing hall in campus. The well groomed landscape and brilliant design of  the buildings makes the atmosphere feel like living in a villa or hotel. Residents are very friendly and never fail to greet each other. The hall conveys a culture of togetherness and the warm spirit of the sharks really take a bite out of the stressful life at school.

The hall is separated into 13 clusters, each having approximately 25 residents. Each cluster is again separated into 4 households. A kitchen and dining area is shared among 6 or 7 residents. There is a complete bathroom downstairs in each household and a toilet upstairs. Each room also has a face basin inside. A feature unique to AZ Preston hall. The 13 clusters are separated into 4 zones for in hall competition with each zone having its own color and chants. The hall is known to be among the most vibrant, with good support and creative hall songs.

The hall symbol is a shark and the color is purple.

The total accommodation fee for 2016-2017 is:

Single rooms = $220,480

Double rooms = $186,030

See images below:

AZ Preston - www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress (1)AZ Preston - www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress (5)AZ Preston - www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress (6)AZ Preston - www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress (3)AZ Preston - www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress (10)AZ Preston - www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress (2)AZ Preston - www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress (4)AZ Preston - www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress (7)AZ Preston - www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress (9)AZ Preston - www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress (8)

AZ Preston - www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress (11)

Chancellor Hall

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Chancellor Hall is the all male brother hall of the all female Mary Seacole Hall. Chancellor Hall is one of the traditional halls and though the population is very small, their presence is felt around the entire campus.

The residents of Chancellor Hall are generally conceited and use very aggressive approach to attract female students. They strongly endorse heterosexuality while they refuse to accept openly effeminate males.

The hall is separated into blocks each block has a kitchen and bathroom which are shared among the 38 members of that block. Like all the traditional halls, first year students are exposed to block induction which allows them to be accepted into the brotherhood.

The hall symbol is a lion and the hall colors are black and gold.

The total accommodation fee for 2016-2017 is:

All single rooms = $202,990

Block X = $269,240

See images below:

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Chancellor 1Chancellor 2

Elsa Leo Rhynie(Towers) Hall

Towers hall opened its doors in 2012 and is already a force with which other halls struggle to contend. The halls vibrant spirit and aggressive competitiveness is a direct result of the effort of the hall’s administration.

The hall is composed of 5 towers each having 5 floors and 23 residents for each floor. Each floor has 2 large bathrooms and 1 kitchen with dining area. Though each resident gets their own room, integration is certainly needed at the Towers hall.

 

The hall symbol is a wolf and the color is red

The total accommodation fee for 2016-2017 is:

Single rooms = $247,510

Double rooms = $210,410

See images below:

Towers 3Towers 1Towers 2Towers 4

Irvine Hall
Motto: ‘Know thyself’
Irving Hall is the oldest hall in campus currently, and may be on its way to retirement. The hall is named after the chairman of the founding committee of the University and was built in 1950.

The hall is composed of 7 blocks, housing 280 residents and is the only hall with a hall way (spine) running through the entrance of each block. each block has a kitchen and 2 bathrooms , shared among residents of the block. Both males and females are able to rent shared or single rooms.

The hall is well known to be very boring where competitiveness is concerned. Though the home to many top athletes, the hall fails to gather representative support for most events. The hall is however known for its strict block induction process.

The hall symbol is a torch and the hall colors are green and yellow

The total accommodation fee for 2016-2017 is:

Single rooms = $202,990

Double rooms = $171,720

See image below:

Irvine 1

Marlene Hamilton Hall (‘Post grad’)

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Marlene Hamilton is most often called ‘postgrad’ simply because it was initially built to accommodate graduate students. The hall opened in 2012,when I just became a graduate of the UWI. They started accepting just about anyone who was willing to pay as the cost was a deterrent for most graduate students. The hall is composed of 4 six storey blocks, each having a maximum capacity of 100 residents.

When I lived in this hall I didn’t even know my neighbor’s name. I assumed it was a female based on the sounds I heard coming from her room as she made the beast with two backs roar. There was no culture in hall, just total solitude. It could be compared to renting an apartment off campus in a gated community. This may be fine for graduate students, but if undergraduates are living there as well, they may not have the opportunity to develop the qualities that defines a UWI graduate.

A recent move has seen the implementation of an attempt to encourage student development. To date the hall has no symbol or color.

The total accommodation fee for 2016-2017 is:

Studio = $39,600 Per Month. With A/C $64,600 Per Month

Super Studio = $44,600 Per Month. With A/C $76,400 Per Month

See images below:

Marlene Hamilton Hall - www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress (1)Marlene Hamilton Hall - www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress (3)

 

Mary Seacole Hall

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Mary Seacole Hall is the only all female hall on campus. It is one of the traditional halls and it opened in 1958. This hall is the sister hall to the all male Chancellor hall.

Mary Seacole hall has the highest level of security of all the halls in campus. It is often times refered to as ‘the prison’. The hall has a large concentration of christian girls and it is quite clear that the hall supports the conservative lifestyle.

The hall symbol is whatever happens when a pelican mates with a duck. They call it a ‘peliduck’. The hall colors are black and white

The total accommodation fee for 2015-2016 is:

Single rooms = $202,990

Double rooms = $171,720

See images below:

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Behind these prison walls…

Rex Nettleford Hall

Rex Nettleford Hall, the largest hall in campus, occupies almost 800 students. The hall opened in 2002. It’s hard to think that just over a decade ago Rex Nettleford hall was the new kid on the block. So many halls have been erect since then, that UWI is now an impregnable fortress of student housing.

The hall is divided among 8 clusters each occupying approximately 94 students. Despite having the largest number of students, Rex’s involvement in inter-hall activities is mediocre. They are seldom able to gather enough support and the competitive spirit often observed in the traditional halls is lacking.

Rex Nettleford hall is very liberal and accepts just about everyone. Students of differing cultural backgrounds can live there comfortably without the feeling of discrimination. (You guys know exactly what I mean here.)

The hall symbol is a T-rex and their colors are maroon and gold.

The total accommodation fee for 2016-2017 is:

All single rooms = $240,620

See images below:

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Taylor Hall

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Taylor hall, named after the first principal, opened in 1953 and still stands strong today. Taylor hall is known for its aggression and sporting excellence. The residents adapt a culture which makes them more assertive, bold yet fully adapted to communal living. The hall because of its relaxed rules, squatting and raw vibe, is often referred to as the’ghetto hall’. “It is alleged that Taylor hall isn’t actually a hall at all, given it’s residents are sleeping on walls, in desperate need if beds.” Rephrased words of a popular hall song, with the best rendition coming from the AZ Preston hall.

Each male is offered a single room while females are offered double rooms. The hall has a flat attached where senior female Taylorites my rent single rooms, of course at a much higher cost. There are 3 female blocks called Excellencia, Falconia and Galaxia respectively. Conversely there are 4 male blocks called Stallion Republic, Butchers, Roosters and Attica. Each block has a bathroom and a kitchen which is shared by the entire block.

The hall symbol is a pelican and their color is blue.

The total accommodation fee for 2016-2017 is:

Single rooms = $202,990

Double rooms = $171,720

See images below:

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Taylor 1Taylor 2

The New Leslie Robinson Hall

Just a few months old and the Leslie Robinson Hall has achieved much popularity. With a predominantly regional cohort, the Leslie Robinson Hall possesses the most substantial mixture of cultural diversity.

The hall, being new does not yet have a defined culture, but it is alleged that the spirit and uniqueness of the Leslie Robinson Hall, will rise from nothing, dust, ash, to dominate the entire UWI Mona campus. We will be observing the development as time progresses.

Each 6 floor block of the hall accommodates 144 students. Each floor has 2 flats parallel to each other, each being a duplicate of the other.  A flat accommodates 12 residents, each having their own room and bathroom. The kitchen and ‘common’ areas are shared among the 12 residents. The ‘common’ area has dining tables, chairs, couches, ceiling fans and cable television! Each room is equip with its own mini fridge.

Another very unique  feature of the hall is the laundry room, operated by an outsourced company which offers much more services in comparison to all the other halls. You may book a wash load using whatsapp and you are also notified of a completed wash using the same medium. Their popular VIP service allows you to pay for a wash, simply leave your dirty clothes and pick up your clean,folded clothes later. They also offer ironing services at a cost. While these services are great, they are not cheapest available.

The total accommodation fee for 2016-2017 is:

All single rooms = $50,560 Per Month (or USD 395)

See images below:

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Each hall is unique and while the ideal hall doesn’t currently exist, the best hall to live in may be a little subjective. It depends on your persona and the type of experience and development you want to achieve from your experience at the UWI Campus.

I am granting you the opportunity to participate in the selection. Vote below for the hall you believe is the best hall to live in based on infrastructure, opportunities, networking and the development programs offered.

The Leslie Robinson Hall by 138 Student living

Under construction, scheduled to be opened in August.

Single Rooms = $50,560 Per Month (or USD 395)

Double Rooms = $35,200 Per Month (or USD 275)

 

– Aldeam Facey 2015

 

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Should We Scam Them?

The Jamaican law enforcers have been working very hard to combat the rise in the lottery scams that have been associated with the nation in recent years. While I believe it is silly that persons actually get tricked by these scammers I cannot help but frown upon this unlawful and unethical behavior. Living on the side of life where the grass isn’t greener, I entertain thoughts of how I can make an extra change. As blacks we struggle to make it in this world, we have been placed at the 200 meter start line in the race to success while the whites start at the 100 meter mark. This disadvantage is a direct result of the slavery we endured for centuries. Isn’t it fair that we are paid some form of compensation from the countries which have been made exceedingly wealthy because of the inhumane torture we had to endure, for them? To be taken from the comfort of our African homes, to suffer for their sake is a deep wound that may slowly heal, but the scar will always be quite obvious. A little compensation may assist in purchasing some garments just to cover the wound.

I stumbled across a very interesting song by the troubled, incarcerated dance hall artiste Vybes Kartel recently. The song is entitled “Reparation”. In the song he expressed his belief that as long as the scammers aren’t buying guns or supporting violence, then tricking people into handing over their money isn’t scamming, but it is reparation. You may listen here:

I understand the point he is trying to make here and without much thought it may appear logical. Unfortunately, lottery scamming has been associated with murders and the importation of guns. I have not seen where the country has in any way benefited from the scamming activities.

Jamaica has been making requests for reparations from the UK and an offer was made by the UK’s prime minister, David Cameron. The offer was to build and fund a prison in Jamaica. A prison! Not well needed funding for hospitals or schools, not island wide infrastructure development, a prison. What a spit in the face! Is it a place where they may store Jamaican prisoners who are living in the UK? So to sum this up a bit; in order to repay us for keeping us in captivity, they are going to build us a prison. I do hope the Jamaican government handles this with some amount of logical reasoning.

With that considered I refer once again to the Vybes Kartel song. It may seem fair to obtain money from the UK using unethical means. Slavery was wrong, so is scamming. Two wrongs won’t make a right. It is unfortunate that Vybes Kartel has so much influence over the young, uneducated, unemployed population, who may even venture into the world of scamming after hearing his song.

The scammers are talented people who I encourage to pursue a legal avenue to earn a living. Some have fairly good telephone etiquette and are computer literate. They can easily get the required qualifications to work at a marketing company or a customer care center. There are other options, the easy way out is seldom the best.

-Aldeam Facey 2015

The Blue Mountains Jamaica: A Quick ‘Peak’

Blue Mountain Peak is the highest place in Jamaica with a height of 2256 meters. The journey to the peak starts at Mavis Bank. You will then cross the river and initiate the thigh burning climb. It is strongly recommended that you start the hike in the night as the sun, plus a climb can be a deadly combination. Usually groups will stop overnight at the cabins at Portland gap. The journey from Mavis Bank to the cabins will take between 4 and 7 hours depending on your level of fitness. I have however seen a case where it took a young lady over 13 hours without luggage! The journey from the cabins to the peak takes 1.5 to 2 hours – again depending on your level of fitness – so in order to view the breath taking sunrise, you will have to leave the cabins about 3:30am. To better describe the experience, view the photos below:

The Journey starts in the night. subsequent photos will be in the day for you to better view the landscapes.
The Journey starts in the night. Subsequent photos will be in the day for you to better view the landscapes.

Blue Mountain at the start

Blue Mountain Crossing the river

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

A dangerous area to walk at nights. A path just about half of a meter or less in width, very long fall!
A dangerous area to walk at nights. A path just about half of a meter or less in width, very long fall!

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

Beautiful!
Beautiful!

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

DON'T GET LOST: STAY ON TRACK: NO SHORTCUTS
DON’T GET LOST: STAY ON TRACK: NO SHORTCUTS
Many scenes to capture
Many scenes to capture

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

Fog
Fog

At the Cabin

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

"A nuh nuttn fi mi walk inna Rome an start a fyah"
“A nuh nuttn fi mi walk inna Rome an start a fyah”

At the Peak

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

Blue Mountain (www.lifeofajamaican.wordpress.com)

Just before the sunrise
Just before the sunrise
A photo, especially from a point and shoot camera, cannot in anyway grasp the true beauty of the Blue Mountain Peak sunrise! Breath taking - No really, I was out of breath by the time I got here.
A photo, especially from a point and shoot camera, cannot in anyway grasp the true beauty of the Blue Mountain Peak sunrise! Breath taking – No really, I was out of breath by the time I got here.

– Aldeam Facey 2015