Mon | Jun 18, 2018

Vasciannie’s humanity a lesson to us all

Published:Saturday | March 18, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Stephen Vasciannie (right), newly appointed president of the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech), accepts the honour in the presence of Edward Seaga, UTech's chancellor, and Richard Powell, pro-chancellor.

Mean-spiritedness is so prevalent in our society, though so few take notice of this phenomenal culture among us, so when one does what should be the norm, that action is highlighted as performing some great task.

Take, for example, recently I attended the installation of Professor Stephen Vasciannie as the new president of the University of Technology (UTech). Addressing the ceremony, an official of the university said this to Professor Vasciannie:

"Recently you astounded us ... . A member of the ancillary staff lost her dad, and you sent her a condolence card. This is new indeed."

As I listened to the speaker, I remembered, too, how a sister at my church (not my bosom friend) lost a family member. As is the norm with me, I presented her with a card of comforting words. Her reaction of gladness and disbelief gave the impression that I did something great.

Simplistic as the speaker might have sounded, highlighting a small deed done by the new UTech president has once again brought to the fore the kind of poverty that exists in the management of public institutions, as the speaker went on (with loud applause from the audience) to bemoan the university's loss of its core values, and how workers will deliver when they are appreciated by management.

A gentler society is needed, and it must begin with the man in the mirror, but a greater responsibility is on those who lead.

Big up to Professor Vasciannie. Continue to shine in an environment where coarseness has been allowed to reign.

There are some places of work in Jamaica, sadly, public institutions even, where administrators spend hours praying, and at times seek to penalise others who wish not to be part of their devotions. Amazingly, these people have a skewed take on justice.

They can only be fair when they are dealing with their friends, or workers who genuflect, forgetting that the pillar of Jesus's ministry was about justice to all. It should be illegal for so-called Christians to use public institutions, and their authority, to impose religious rites.


Spanish Town PO

St Catherine