Men of Standard pilot concludes

Four
men were presented with certificates on Tuesday, 20 May, after completing what
has been dubbed the “Men of Standard” programme.

Designed
by President of the University College of the Cayman Islands Roy Bodden, the
course is not part of the general curriculum offered at the school. Instead,
the pilot project is executed by Mr. Bodden, who said he felt the need to
launch an initiative that would encourage self-esteem in young Caymanians.

Sessions
started with 12 young men initially. However, due to lack of transport, only
four of the participants were able to continue to attend sessions consistently.

The
programme seeks to expose young men to the art of being a gentleman or man of
standard by equipping them with the tools needed to be good examples and make
sound decisions.

Topics
covered in the programme included anger management; interpersonal relations;
sexual behaviour; elocution; right conduct; dress; conflict management;
personal finance management.

For
two hours every Saturday over thirteen weeks, the men focused on cultivating
the qualities that would help to make them more polished well-rounded
individuals. 

Mr.
Bodden explained that he thought this kind of undertaking was an essential part
of attacking many of the social issues the Cayman Islands are facing and made a
commitment to continue to develop the idea.

“This
is the beginning of what will be a growing programme. UCCI graduates must be
more than just degree holders,” affirmed Mr. Bodden, who compounded his
commitment to the programme by purchasing the textbooks used by participants.

“To
whom much is given much is required,” he told a packed room of supporters,
participants and trainers who contributed to the sessions.

Mr.
Bodden said he was mindful of one young man, who expressed thanks to him
personally for the experience, while at the same time revealing that he did not
have the privilege of being exposed to social skills that could empower him at
home.

Additionally,
the university president applauded Assistant Collector of Customs Jeff Jackson,
who after hearing of the training, contacted the university to ask if the
course was exclusive. After learning that it was open to all men wishing to
better themselves, Mr. Bodden said he was humbled when Mr. Jackson called to
enrol himself and his son.

It
was this kind of example that would help to create men of standard moving
forward in the Cayman Islands, said the University president.

Berna
Thompson-Murphy said she was excited and optimistic about the prospect of
giving young men the right tools to progress in all areas of life, adding that
she thought many females could also benefit from such an exercise.

She
told listeners that as a young girl, she had the privilege of learning etiquette
and other important skills from her mother and people like National Hero Sybil
McLaughlin and insisted that returning to this communal style of collective
refinement was a beacon of hope for Cayman.

Presenters during the sessions included Virginia
Madison of the Protocol Office and Mitch Ebanks of the Counselling Centre, who
were also on hand for the certificate presentation.

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