News Releases

The pen is mightier than the sword – Kenyan Garissa University Students’ Memorial

For Release Upon Receipt - April 8, 2015

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago – From Thursday 9 April from 5.30am onwards, UWI students and the public are invited to show their solidarity with Kenyan Garissa University students’, and all students' right to freedom, tolerance, justice and peace in the pursuit of their education at a memorial located next to the North entrance of the campus.  

Exactly one week ago, from dawn, 148 Kenyan students were killed by al-Shabab, a Somali militant group, which attacked their campus. 

Make a unifying gesture by attaching a pen to the fence above the banner. Pens are symbolic of learning that crosses geographical, ethnic, gender, religious and all other boundaries. Pens signify self-expression and self-empowerment for students. Pens are markers of the dialogue, sharing and community that define the philosophy of universities.  Pens will serve as a symbol of solidarity because they are a student's 'weapon' – mightier than any sword. Other symbolic objects are welcomed to be added to the memorial such as ribbons, messages etc.  Participants are encouraged to take photographs at the memorial and upload them to the Facebook Event Page so that this collective effort can be recorded.

This invitation remains open for the rest of the week to individuals who wish to collectively mourn, remember, connect and express solidarity with students on campuses around the world.  Express your allegiance to this cause virtually by tagging the hashtag #147notjustanumber across social media platforms. For more information, please contact Dr. Gabrielle Hosein at 662-2002 ext. 83568 or 689-9471.


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)