Caribbean students bring conference to campus

Students across Florida are migrating to the campus this weekend for the Florida Caribbean Student Association conference hosted by Florida A&M University’s chapter of CSA.

“I am pumped; this will be the largest CSA conference ever,” said Sherrill Leon, conference chair of CSA.

With approximately 800 students anticipated to arrive Friday, CSA will kick off the conference in FAMU’s Grand Ballroom and Lee Hall auditorium with student registration followed by an evening of cultural acts and spoken word performances.

“We are extremely excited about this year’s conference being in Tallahassee,” said Naashon Ducille, vice president of CSA. “We have waited four years for this conference to come back to the city, and I can’t wait.”

With this year’s theme, “Sankofa,” which means to “look to the past to claim the future,” CSA hopes to educate and enlighten Caribbean students throughout the duration of the conference from Nov.11 to Nov.13.

On Saturday, the FCSA conference will begin its opening ceremony in Lee Hall by officially welcoming the participants. The ceremony will feature a list of keynote speakers and will conclude by saluting each school and Caribbean country with a traditional “country call.”

“A country call is tradition for us,” said Malika Harrison, co-chair of CSA.

“During a country call students get a chance to present their country’s flag that will show off their pride and patriotism,” said Harrison, 19, a junior journalism student from Miami.

Following the morning’s opening ceremony, students will be able to participate in two of the six workshops aimed to educate and inform students of several issues affecting Caribbean students and the world.

“I’m really excited about the workshops because my committee had a chance to work on bringing informative seminars to the students this year,” said Ducille, 21, a senior health science and pre-physical therapy student from Hollywood.

After an afternoon of workshops and networking, students will be able to relax as student participants rival in fun at this year’s first soccer tournament from 3:30-6p.m. at the FAMU Intramural Field.

In keeping the spirit high, Caribbean students will continue the night with fun and dance at the Civic Center where Caribbean music, including reggae, dancehall, soca, zouk and Latin rhythmus, will ring through the night as students bring in the morning from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Concluding on Sunday with a farewell picnic, Caribbean students will say goodbye while satisfying themselves with Caribbean cuisine, music and games at the Intramural Field.

For 27 years, the FCSA has sponsored a bi-annual statewide conference that is held in the fall and spring semesters. Last year, the conference was held at the University of Miami and Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach.

Many CSA members look forward to the FSCA conference.

Ducille, who has participated in the FCSA conferences since she was a freshman, said she will miss the conference when she leaves FAMU.

“It’s probably the most exciting thing to me,” Ducille said. “I look forward to FCSA’s conference because it means a lot to me and gives me an opportunity to network with other Caribbean students from Florida and the islands.”

For more information about the Florida Caribbean Conference contact Sherrill Leon, conference chair at 850-345-0517 or email

Contact Christina Hordge at