Open Letter to UH Hilo Regarding the UH Hilo Student Government Election and Election Process

Aloha Dr. Oaks and UH Hilo,

This is an open letter to UH Hilo regarding the UH Hilo student government election and election process. We have not had a clear response from UH Hilo as to why the past election results were ‘nullified.’ We contest that decision and call for the past election results to be made public. We will sign the necessary paperwork to participate in the upcoming ‘new election,’ but we do this in protest.

​We are ​​ greatly concerned as to the way this ‘new election’ is already being handled by UH Hilo staff. Please see the individual complaint made by previously disqualified student candidate Ardena Saarinen below.

We have requested that the ‘new election’ will be fair and transparent. Dr. Oaks responded to our requests as to the handling of the ‘new election’ by saying,

Our campus IT person, Mr. Sunny Walker, has set up a secure system with firewalls and also included measures to protect against hacking and fraud. Only myself, Mr. Walker, and possibly Interim VC Makuakane-Lundin will have access to the votes.

We formally request that information technology specialist, Mike Purvis, be allowed to confirm the accuracy and security of the new voting process. From the handling of the last UH Hilo student government election we do not have confidence that UH Hilo will run a fair, secure, and transparent ‘new election.’

We emailed you a list of questions on April 30, 2014 (attached) regarding questions we have about the last election, and the overall election process . Please answer those questions. We are paying students at UH Hilo, and we have a right to know why we were disenfranchised.

Respectfully submitted,

Disqualified UH Hilo Student Candidates:

Glenn Aanstoos          Ryu Kakazu
Josh Boranian             Chantelle Mashreghy
Jarod Campbell           Ardena Saarinen

These students have filed an ethics complaint against the UH Hilo Election Committee.

These students have filed an ethics complaint against the UH Hilo Election Committee.

Complaint from formally disqualified UH Hilo student candidate on ‘new election’ process:

On Sat, May 3, 2014 at 4:56 PM, Ardena Saarinen <ardena@hawaii.edu> wrote:

Aloha Dr. Oaks, Ms. Makuakane-Lundin, and fellow candidates,

Again I am writing out of great concern for the way this ‘new’ election is already being handled by UHH staff. My previous email to you pointed out that there was supposed to be an email sent out on behalf of UHHSA on Friday 5/2/14 with the attached fair campaign election code to be signed and returned. I did not hear back from you regarding my concern and the promised email was never sent. In fact, no candidates received an email with this promised information.

Seeing as that my confidence in, UHH, UHHSA and Ellen Kusano has already been greatly diminished, I replied to that ‘candidates meeting’ email and requested that UHHSA send me the documents ASAP so that I could sign and return them.

Ms. Kusano then sent me (and only me) all of those documents. I read them, signed the code of conduct as required, and then scanned it and emailed it back yesterday evening 5/2/14. I was then told via email by Ms. Kusano that I still needed to bring in the original copy to her office by Noon on Monday 5/5/14, or if I could not to have someone else do it.

I feel that this is completely inappropriate in today’s technological world, does campus center not utilize their own computers and printers? This is not a legal document for which an original signature would even matter. I wonder why I must spend even more time on this disaster of an election to meet the demands of

Ms. Kusano. There is nothing ANYWHERE that states I must bring in the ORIGINAL document. This, I believe is another tactic to potentially disqualify either myself or even some of the other candidates. And I absolutely feel that there in nothing FAIR or ETHICAL about the unequal treatment we (candidates) are being subjected to especially during the last week of classes and when we are ALL working on final projects and papers.

Mahalo,

Ardena Saarinen,

Student Intern – Land and Property Management, Office of Hawaiian Affairs

 

UH Hilo Faculty Honored by Hawaiʻi Book Publishers Association

Three faculty members from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo were honored at the 2014 Ka Palapala Poʻokela Awards held recently at the East-West Center in Honolulu and presented by the Hawaiʻi Book Publishers Association (HBPA). The competition included 48 entries from 37 separate book projects representing a spectrum of local publishers who were nominated in 10 categories.

UH Hilo Moniker
Hawaiʻi: A Novel, by Mark Panek, professor of English, won the Award of Excellence for Excellence in Literature. Kerri Inglis, chair and associate professor in History, earned honorable mention for Excellence in Hawaiian Language, Culture, and History for her book Mai Lepera. Alohalani Housman, associate professor, Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, won honorable mention for Excellence in Illustrative or Photographic Books for Ke Ao Nani: He Puke Huaʻōlelo 1000.

The event marked the 21st year for the awards, which recognize the finest books published in Hawaiʻi during the previous year and honor the individuals and companies involved in their creation.

Nine Hawaiʻi Island Students Awarded Dorrance Scholarships

Nine Hawaiʻi Island students who will begin their studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo in fall 2014 have been awarded Dorrance Scholarships.
UH Hilo Moniker
The Dorrance Scholarship is an innovative, four-year award designed to benefit local students who are the first in their family to attend college. Each year, the program awards up to 10 students need-based scholarships of $8,000 per year to attend UH Hilo. The 2014 recipients include:

• Kapuanani Arsiga, Christian Liberty Academy
• Kawena Case, Kealakehe High School
• Tifaine Crivello, Hilo High School
• Kamrie Koi, Ka`u High School
• Melissa Mizuguchi, Waiakea High School
• Kodie Solis-Kalani, Kamehameha Schools Hawaiʻi
• Kalena Spinola, Kealakehe High School
• Tara West, Hilo High School
• Turfa Zaman, Kealakehe High School

This year’s awardees are the third cohort to receive the prestigious scholarship. Prior to the start of fall classes, the students will take part in a custom-designed summer bridge program to help them transition from high school. They will also participate in international travel and employment preparation in subsequent summers, bringing the total estimated value of each award for the entire four-year period to more than $60,000.

“The Dorrance family has become a valuable partner in UH Hilo’s effort to help more students shatter that proverbial ‘glass ceiling’ by becoming the first member of their family to obtain a college education,” said Chancellor Donald Straney. “Their gift to the past, present and future cohorts will have a profound impact on the lives of those students.”

UH Hilo’s program is an extension of the highly successful Dorrance Scholarship Programs that have operated in Arizona for the past 14 years. The program is credited with opening the doors of higher education while boosting graduation rates for more than 600 first-generation college students.

For more information about the Dorrance Scholarship Programs, contact Maria Martin at (808) 557- 6268 or email mmartin@azfoundation.org.

​Disenfranchised UH Hilo Students Respond ​to Nullifying Elections

Aloha UH Hilo,

We have just received notice from the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs office and the UH Hilo Student Association (UHHSA) Election Committee that the recent UH Hilo student election was nullified. We have also learned that a new electronic election has been implemented for May 6 and 7th.

It is unfortunate that it has to come to this. Many students put in a lot of work legitimately campaigning and running for office only to have the election nullified by an elections committee acting unethically being advised to discriminate by Campus Center Director Ellen Kusano. The, at least, 7 disqualified student candidates have had their name dragged in the mud by the elections committee, and have yet to receive a response to their alleged offense. This is unacceptable behavior at UH Hilo and any institution of higher learning and we would like to file an ethics complaint against UHHSA adviser Ellen Kusano. We would also like our ‘Open questions for UH Hilo’ answered (see www.uhhilowithaloha.com).

We ask the office of Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs to assist in making the new election fair and transparent. From our previous complaints (see website) we maintain that we have no confidence in the UHHSA election committee or in UHHSA faculty adviser Ellen Kusano who appear to be, once again, governing the UH Hilo student election.

We make the following requests to the UH Hilo office of Student Affairs and UH Hilo as a whole:

  1. we call for the new electronic election process to be 100% transparent and untamperable,
  2. we call for the current UHHSA election committee to not be involved with the new election process,
  3. we call for the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs office to take over the duty of the election with ample oversight,
  4. we request that Campus Center Director Ellen Kusano not be involved with the election process,
  5. we call for a date to be set for when the new UHHSA is to take office,
  6. we call for equal access of all elected UHHSA members to the UHHSA office once in office,
  7. we call for autonomy from campus center once in office,
  8. we call for the opportunity to select a new adviser upon taking office,
  9. we call for the option to move the UHHSA office away from Campus Center,
  10. we call for an UHHSA executive senator to be established upon taking office,
  11. we call for fair and equal access for all UHHSA members to the rights and privileges of UHHSA,
  12. we call for a summer schedule to be established upon taking office (who’s present for the summer, who’s not),
  13. we call for the new UHHSA to establish quorum,
  14. we call for a fair and transparent process regarding campus room reservations,
  15. we call for authority, oversight and handling of the UHHSA budget to be governed solely by UHHSA,
  16. we call for a fair and reasonable timetables and deadlines to submit UHHSA related paperwork,
  17. we call for the opportunity to hire a professional student government adviser,
  18. we call for the opportunity to hire a professional financial clerk,
  19. we call for a definitive date an UHHSA member can expect to have his/her stipend checks for the summer, fall, and spring semester,
  20. we call for a non-hostile institutional environment for the new incoming UHHSA,
  21. we call for more administrative oversight of campus center,
  22. we call for more administrative attention to complaints made by UHHSA

Respectfully submitted,

Disqualified UH Hilo Student Candidates:

These students have filed an ethics complaint against the UH Hilo Election Committee.

These students have filed an ethics complaint against the UH Hilo Election Committee.

Glenn Aanstoos          Ryu Kakazu
Josh Boranian             Chantelle Mashreghy
Jarod Campbell           Ardena Saarinen

 

Disqualified UH Hilo Student Candidates Asking Questions Regarding Unfair Election Process

On April 24, 2014 at least 7 of the 17 student candidates for UH Hilo student government were ‘disqualified’ by the UH Hilo Student Association Election Committee consisting of Yuri Zhuraw and Joyce Pulega Auau under the advice of Campus Center Director Ellen Kusano.

These students have filed an ethics complaint against the UH Hilo Election Committee.

These students have filed an ethics complaint against the UH Hilo Election Committee.

We feel that we have been treated unfairly. We ran a campaign on a platform of reform and transparency at UH Hilo. We believe we are being falsely accused and unfairly treated as a result. Because Ellen Kusano and the Election Committee have been unwilling to answer questions previously from student candidates we will again ask these questions to UH Hilo, students, and to the public:

1)  UNFAIR PROCESS

You claim 5 of us were disqualified for violating the following the election code:

‘SECTION 3. LIMITATIONS.

Candidates and/or their supporters shall neither actively campaign nor allow campaign posters to be displayed within 200 feet of the polling area during the election on April 22 – April 23, 2014 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

1a) Why don’t you give specifics as to how we violated the election code?
1b)  Why were no students running for office warned that they might be in possible violation of the election code?

2)  VOTE COUNTING/ BALLOT BOX HANDLING

The voting ended at 5pm on Wednesday.
2a) Where did the ballot box go at that time?
2b) Who had access to it?
2c) Did anybody have access to it alone?
2d) Where is it now?
2e) Have the votes been counted or handled in any other way?
2f) If the results have been counted what is the result?
2g) Were the votes counted before or after you decided to disqualify the UHHSA candidates?

3) WHO WAS DISQUALIFIED?

As far as we know, you disqualified 7 of the 17 candidates running for UHHSA office, 2 of whom were running unopposed.

3a) Was anybody else outside of the 7 people disqualified?
3b) If so for what reason?

4) UNFAIR DISQUALIFICATION

One student candidate, Ardena Saarinen, was disqualified the day after the election. She had been confirmed via email on April 10, 2014 as a candidate prior to her notice of disqualification. The Election Committee claims that was that she had not completed her initial paperwork correctly. She claims to have filled out her paperwork correctly and asked for what specific paperwork she did not fill out properly and you do not respond to her.
4a) Why are you not responding to her?
4b) Do you think it is fair to disqualify a confirmed candidate the day after the election after they were previously confirmed?

5) PRIVACY AT THE POLLING PLACE

From the UHHSA Election Code:

SECTION 2. BALLOTING.

Voting shall be done by secret ballot.

5a) In past years at UH Hilo students were given a voting booth of sorts to vote in private. Why weren’t students given a private place to vote this year?
5b) Why were election officials verbally influencing students to vote by telling the students they could not reference their private handouts?
5c) Why did election officials encourage students that they “don’t have to mark a vote for a candidate who is uncontested because it doesn’t matter?”

6) LEGITIMATE HAND OUTS

In the election packet it states,

 ‘Consider making hand outs or stickers for campaigning on the VOTING days.’

6a) Why were students being told they could not reference the handout?
6b) Why did Yuri Zhuraw physically grab the handout out of students’ hands?
6c) Why did Ellen Kusano tell Chantelle Masreghy that Chanetelle was acting ‘unethically’ by handing out handouts over 200ft from the poll on election day?
6d) Why did Ellen Kusano advise the election committee initially to tell student voters they could not use the election handout? When candidates objected to Mrs. Kusano arbitrary rule she went to the election table and said (recording available),

‘’If a student comes with one of these[candidate hand outs] please ask them if they will throw it away because it is improper in the voting area, if they don’t want to they don’t have to.’
- UHHSA Adviser Ellen Kusano

6e) Why did Ellen Kusano advise the UHHSA election committee to tell students something that is not in the election code as if it is a rule?

7) UNFAIR TREATMENT

You disqualified one person, Melinda Alles, who was running unopposed for Treasurer. Melinda was on our handout but wasn’t actively campaigning.
7a) Why did you disqualify her?

 CONCLUSION

We believe a hostile working environment is being created by Campus Center Director Ellen Kusano. We believe we are being treated unfairly by the UHHSA Election Committee consisting of Yuri Zhuraw and Joyce Pulega Auau under the advice of Ellen Kusano.

In conclusion we ask:

1) that the votes be counted fairly,
2) that the Election Committee be censured for their unfair behavior,
3) that Ellen Kusano be censured for fostering a hostile and unfair institutional environment,
4) that Ellen Kusano not be allowed to have influence over students in the future,
5) that the legitimate UHHSA be allowed to take office May 1, 2014,
6) that the new UHHSA have the right to:
a) hire a professional student government adviser,
b) hire a professional financial clerk,
c) be allowed autonomy from Ellen Kusano and Campus Center.

Respectfully submitted,

Mahalo,

Disqualified UH Hilo Student Candidates:
Glenn Aanstoos          Ryu Kakazu
Josh Boranian             Chantelle Mashreghy
Jarod Campbell           Ardena Saarinen

 

Nobel Prize Winners in Medicine to Speak at UH Cancer Center Monday

Co-recipients of the 2011 Nobel Prize in medicine will headline a roster of experts focusing on bridging the U.S. and Asia in the fight against cancer during this year’s Weinman Symposium at the University of Hawai’i Cancer Center.

The Symposium takes place on May 5 in the Sullivan Conference Center at the Cancer Center in Kaka’ako, and is free and open to the public. The speaker roster includes Ann Chao, PhD, who grew up on the Big Island and today serves as Director of Cancer Research Programs, East Asia, with the Center for Global Health of the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Ann Chao

Dr. Ann Chao

“This year’s theme highlights cancer as a global health issue, and shows the pivotal role Hawaii plays in the international efforts to prevent, detect, and treat cancer,” said Dr. Michele Carbone, director of the Cancer Center. “Researchers in Hawai’i collaborate with scientists across the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific region, and that benefits everyone.”

Dr. Jules A. Hoffmann

Dr. Jules A. Hoffmann

The Nobel laureates speaking at the symposium are Jules A. Hoffmann, PhD, professor of Integrative Biology at the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Studies and an Exceptional Class Research Director (emeritus) at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Strasbourg, France, and Dr. Bruce A. Beutler, Regental Professor and director for the Center for the Genetics of Host Defense, and holder of the Raymond and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research, in Honor of Laverne and Raymond Willie, Sr., at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Dr. Bruce A. Beutler

Dr. Bruce A. Beutler

Drs. Hoffmann, Beutler and Ralph M. Steinman won the 2011 Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology for their work on discovering underlying mechanisms that trigger activation of innate immunity. The Nobel committee cited their work for opening up new fields of research that could improve vaccination and treatment against infection, cancer and inflammatory diseases.

The Weinman Symposium is supported by the generosity of the Weinman Foundation. In 2010, Barry and Virginia Weinman of Honolulu created the Weinman Foundation Fund for Innovation at the UH Cancer Center with a $1.7 million gift. This fund makes it possible for the Center to invite prominent leaders in cancer research to Hawaiʻi every year. These globally-recognized experts are selected for their work in cancer research and its successful translation into therapy and care. While here, they work with the Cancer Center and establish research collaborations with the faculty.

The Cancer Center faculty winner of the $50,000 Weinman Innovator Award, which recognizes researchers developing innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to treating cancer, will be announced at the event.

The UH Cancer Center is one of 68 research institutions designated by the National Cancer Institute. Affiliated with the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, the center is dedicated to eliminating cancer through research, education, and improved patient care. Learn more at www.uhcancercenter.org. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/UHCancerCenter. Follow us on Twitter @UHCancerCenter.

UH Hilo Students File Ethics Complaint Against UHSA Election Committee

A group of seven University of Hawaii Hilo students have filed a group ethics complaint against the University of Hawaii Student Association Election Committee alleging the university has an institutional environment that fosters unfair practices.

These students have filed an ethics complaint against the UH Hilo Election Committee.

These students have filed an ethics complaint against the UH Hilo Election Committee.

WHAT HAPPENED

We, students of UH Hilo have been wrongfully discriminated against by the University of Hawaii Student Association Election Committee consisting of Yuri Zhuraw and Joyce Pulega Auau under the advice of Campus Center Director Ellen Kusano. We were informed on Thursday, April 24, 2014 that the 7 of us running for student government have been ‘disqualified’ for violating the Election Code. No specifics were given, no warnings, no appeal process, no response. This is an example of an institutional environment that fosters unfair practices.

Numerous complaints were made against the election committee and the unfair advice of Ellen Kusano (see individual complaints below). One student had a piece of paper grabbed from his hands by an election official. Another student with a disability was told he could not use a piece of paper with endorsed candidates, became discouraged, and did not vote. Another student was disqualified to run for office the day after the election, after she had been confirmed as a candidate weeks prior. UH Hilo students deserve better. We are the shareholders of the university and we call for UH Hilo to be fair, open, and transparent.

SOLUTION

We call for the UH Hilo Student Association Election Committee to rescind their decision of ‘disqualification.’ We call for an open, fair, and transparent vote count. We call for a censure of Ellen Kusano, and ask that she be removed from any position where she has influence over students. We call for UHHSA to select and pay for a professional student government adviser and clerk and allow student government autonomy.

Mahalo,

UH Hilo student candidates:

Glenn Aanstoos          Ryu Kakazu
Josh Boranian             Chantelle Mashregry
Jarod Campbell           Ardena Saarinen

Election Complaints:
1.

UHHSA Election Complaint

April 25, 2014

At 9:49pm on April 24, 2014 I received a notification from UHHSA stating that I was disqualified from the campaign.

I filled out all of the paperwork that I was given in the election packet.

In the packet it states ‘candidates would be notified of eligibility by April 11.’

I received an eligibility confirmation on April 10.

In the packet it states, ‘Failure to attend mandatory meeting would be disqualified if not provided a alternate.’ Ryu Kakazu attended the meeting for me as my alternate and as my paperwork reflected, recorded the meeting for me, and I then listened to that recording.

I feel that my disqualification is outrageous and deceptive practice of the organization where they tell us their philosophy is fair open and honest is certainly questionable and I do not feel this is fair treatment. I feel like the UHHSA Election Committee changed the rules as they wanted.

Ardena Saarinen

UH Student

ardena@hawaii.edu

2.

Election Complaint

April 25, 2014

On 11am Wednesday, April 24, 2014 I went to vote in the student government elections. I had a paper with me with the names of the people I wanted to vote for. I was told at the table that I could not use the paper. I have a disability that limits my short term memory. I left the table discouraged. My caretaker, Stephen Paulmier approached the table and told them that I had a disability and should be allowed to use my paper to vote. The election official agreed that I could use the paper. By that time I was discouraged and left without voting. I hope the election process can be improved in the future for disabled people.

Thank you,

Keola Benjamin

UH Student

keolai@hawaii.edu

3.

Attn: UHHSA

Re: Election Complaint

April 24, 2014

Hello, my name is Joshua Boranian and I am running for the senator seat of the CAFNRM. Over the past two days I was actively campaigning. Spending meager amounts of money to print my ideals I was willing to work for and my name on a small piece of paper to hand out to students. Not just passing out paper but asking for a minute to explain my platform and if they agreed I expressed the importance of voting for me. I was shocked to learn that they were turning students away from the voting table for holding this piece of paper, or straight snatching the paper out of students hands under the claim that this was unethical campaigning. How is that unethical campaigning? In fact, on the last page of the election packet I received from UHHSA says to “consider making handouts or stickers for campaigning on the voting days.” I feel that not only I was being discouraged from participating in a democratic process but the student body was too.  Many students complained to me about their voting experience ranging from no privacy, no signage, being told to throw away the paper before voting, having the paper taken away from them forcefully, etc. What I want to know is why the workers of the voting table were following these rules and who handed them these guidelines? I feel student rights were being violated on multiple levels and now distrust me and the organization I am trying to be elected into. Whoever is in charge needs to express why they felt this was the right thing to do and apologize. I hope that this distrust that has developed doesn’t continue as it will only hinder student and student government relations.

Thank you for your time to review my concerns.

Sincerely,

Joshua Boranian

UH Hilo Student College of Agriculture

josh2008@hawaii.edu

4.

Formal Election Complaint UHHSA

April 24, 2014

I, Ryu Kakazu, hereby make a formal complaint to the UH Hilo Student Association Election Committee, The UH Hilo Student Association, Campus Center, and the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs office.I called the UHHSA office today, Thursday, April 24th, at 9:21am, the day after the UHHSA elections, and was told by Johan that the ballot box location was confidential. Johan went on to say that only the two members of the UHHSA Election Committee has access to the ballot box. Johan told me that he got his information from Yuri, who is on the Election Committee. I asked to speak to Yuri and Yuri refused to speak with me. I told Johan that I would like to make a formal complaint about the lack of transparency with the election process. From actions demonstrated throughout the UHHSA election process over the past two days I do not have confidence that the ballots will remain untampered. I request that the location of ballot box be made public, that its security is verified, and that observers be allowed to participate in the counting process.

Aloha,

Ryu Kakazu
UH Hilo student CAS

5.

Election Complaint
April 24, 2014

At around 2:30pm on Tuesday, April 22 at the election area I was told by the people working at the election table that I would have to put my endorsement ticket away. They told me that I wasn’t able to look at it. I was shocked that I was told this like I don’t have the right to access my own private property. I have friends who were told they were not able to access their endorsement list while voting and they became discouraged and never ended up voting. The next day I witnessed Ellen Kusano telling the people working at the election table that, ‘If a student comes with one of these [endorsement tickets] please ask them if they will throw it away because it is improper in the voting area, if they don’t want to they don’t have to.’ I was surprised to hear her advising UHHSA members to knowingly discourage students to do something that is within their rights.

Thank you,
Jarod Campbell

Student- University of Hawaii at Hilo

jarodc@hawaii.edu

6.

UH Hilo Election Complaint
April 24, 2014

Aloha UHHSA,

I am running for Senator at Large for UHHSA. I was told by Ellen Kusano on Wednesday, April 23, the second day of the UHHSA elections that it was unethical for me to hand out endorsement papers. I was outside of the voting area, employing my democratic rights. I was insulted that Mrs. Kusano, an authority figure on campus, called my legitimate actions unethical.

The same day I witnessed a student with a learning disability being told that he wasn’t able to have his endorsement ticket with him while voting, and that he would have to remember the names on the ticket away from the table, and then return to vote. The student suffers from a learning disability affecting his short term memory. He was embarrassed from having this highlighted and ultimately discouraged from voting.

Many people were discouraged from voting because of the aggressive attitude demonstrated by UHHSA senators working at the election table. It was clear that they were being instructed by Ellen Kusano.

Thank you for hearing my complaint,

Chantelle ​Mashreghy

UH Hilo student

csm74@hawaii.edu

7.

Election Complaint

April 25, 2014

I went to vote in the UHHSA elections around 12:30pm on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. I had my endorsement list in my hand that was given to me by a trusted friend. I wanted to

vote for the people on the list. Yuri Zhuraw physically grabbed the paper from out of my hand and told me that there is no campaign material in the election area. I was not campaigning nor do I consider the endorsement ticket ‘campaign material.’ I felt assaulted. I told Yuri that I thought it was disrespectful that he had done that. He could

have simply told me something without taking my property. I hope in the future the UHHSA election process could be run with more respect for students.

Aloha,

Nathan Clark

UH Hilo Student

natclark108@gmail.com

You can view their group complaint here: group ethics complaint

Governor Abercrombie to Sign Industrial Hemp Bill

On Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 3 pm, in the Office of the Governor, Governor Abercrombie will officially sign SB2175 into law. SB2175 authorizes the University of Hawaii at Manoa to establish a two-year industrial hemp remediation and biofuel research program.

Click to view bill

Click to view bill

This year, the United States Senate approved the Agriculture Act of 2014, also known as the “Farm Bill,” and industrial hemp is now allowed to be grown for research purposes. According to the National Farm Bill, any university can now grow industrial hemp without obtaining a Drug Enforcement Agency permit. Twenty-two other states, including Colorado and Oregon, have passed legislation relating to industrial hemp similar to Hawaii’s SB2175.

State Representative Cynthia Thielen has long been a proponent of industrial hemp because the economic capabilities of the crop will be a great asset for the State and will promote self-sustainability. In addition to hemp being used to decontaminate soil, hemp can also be processed into building materials.
“Hempcrete, a hemp and lime composite, is termite proof, making it an excellent choice for the construction industry,” declared Representative Cynthia Thielen.

Representative Thielen notes, “There is a huge global market for hemp and the U.S. is the largest consumer at nearly $500 million per year. The passage of SB2175 is the first step for Hawaii to become a national and global player in the hemp market. We could profit hugely off this environmentally friendly crop.”

Students Sue UH Hilo for Violations of Free Speech on Campus

The University of Hawaiʻi was informed on April 24, 2014 that two students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court alleging that the University violated their free speech rights on campus.

Anthony Vizzone

Anthony Vizzone

Merritt Burch

Merritt Burch

A copy of the complaint can be found here: hilo.hawaii.edu/documents/Burch_v._UH.pdf . The

Click to read the lawsuit

Click to read the lawsuit

University has issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit:

“The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is committed to free expression and the open exchange of ideas. This case involves the application of specific campus policies that were implemented to protect those values while preserving the educational environment for all students. UH Hilo has initiated a review of the policies involved and the manner in which they were enforced. We will make any changes that are needed to ensure that free expression and First Amendment rights are fully protected.”

Legislature Approves Funding for Pharmacy Building at UH Hilo

State House and Senate Budget conferees have reached final agreement on a proposal to fund a building to house the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP).

UH Hilo Moniker

The agreement totals $33 million, including $28 million in Government Obligation or G.O. bonds and $5 million in Revenue bonds.

“This project has been a collective effort from the very beginning and we want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this outcome possible,” said Chancellor Don Straney. “We’re especially grateful for the support we’ve received from the House and Senate, beginning with the efforts of our Hawaiʻi Island delegation.”

The DKICP was established in 2007, awarded its first degrees in 2011, and will graduate its fourth class in May. A site has been selected for a permanent facility, which has already been planned and designed.

Pacific Islands Climate Science Center Head to Speak at UH Hilo

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo hosts a seminar featuring David Helweg, director of the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center (PICSC), on Wednesday, April 23 at noon in Room 118 of the Science and Technology Building. The event is free and open to the public.

David Helweg

David Helweg

Helweg’s talk, entitled Vision and Framework of Science at the Department of Interior: Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, focuses on the Center and its efforts in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region. PICSC, hosted by a consortium of the University of Hawaiʻi and the University of Guam, was launched in 2012 as one of eight regional Climate Science Centers (CSCs) set up by the Department of Interior to complement and work with a national network of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives to address challenges of climate change.

PICSC, in partnership with the Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative (PICCC), works with Federal, State and other entities to deliver scientific research and interpretation to support management of natural and cultural resources. PICSC’s vision is to inform and support sustainability and climate adaptation of human and ecological communities in the Pacific.

For more information, call 933-0759 or email ziegler@hawaii.edu.

UH Hilo Student Awarded Space Internship

A University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo student has been selected for NASA’s prestigious Sally Ride Internship.

Melissa Adams. (Photo courtesy of PISCES)

Melissa Adams. (Photo courtesy of PISCES)

Melissa Adams, a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Geology, was among a select group chosen for the program, which awards only 10 internships during the spring and fall semesters of each school year.

The Sally Ride Internship was established in 2013 to encourage more students from underserved backgrounds to pursue a research interest at one of NASA’s centers nationwide and eventually enter careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The program named after the first American woman in space provides students the opportunity to work side-by-side with practicing scientists and engineers.

Adams, a native Hawaiian, was awarded the internship for joint research she conducted with Jacobs/NASA Scientist Trevor Graff and John Hamilton, logistics and EPO manager for the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES). The trio employed satellite imagery to identify specific geologic properties contained in basaltic lava located on Mauna Kea. For Adams, a former PISCES intern, her selection is a dream come true that took a while to sink in.

“I am so busy with school work that the news about getting the internship did not phase me at first,” Adams explained. “But one evening in the middle of the night, I awoke out of a deep sleep, startled, and said to myself, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to be working at NASA this summer.’ I still cannot believe it.”

The 10-week internship begins in May and will reunite her with Graff and fellow NASA Scientist Dr. Richard Morris, who will serve as her mentors at the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Directorate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas. Their research will involve a chemical analysis of the analog samples collected in Hawaiʻi, with the findings used to support various robotic missions to Mars.

Adams will prepare samples, conduct instrumental analysis and assist with data analysis and interpretations using some of the most sophisticated instrumented research techniques, including Visible Near-Infrared Spectroscopy, X-Ray Diffraction, Optical/Digital Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy.

“To think of where I was two years ago and what I have done since then makes me feel so blessed,” Adams said. “I am so grateful for the people that have been instrumental in helping me get this opportunity. To them I say my warmest mahalo nui loa!”

UH Hilo MOP Students Take Top Awards in Annual Symposium

Four University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Marine Option Program students were recently awarded top honors at the 31st Annual Marine Option Program System Symposium held on April 12 at Kapiolani Community College on O`ahu.
UH Hilo Moniker
The Award for Best Overall Research Paper went to Marine Science senior Amber Forrestral for her project entitled, “Bioimpedance and Condition of Reef Fish Across a Landscape Gradient.”

The Award for Best Internship Project was won by Rebecca Rogers for her project on “Automated, Remote and Near Real-time Sampling and Detection of Harmful Algae using the Environmental Sample Processor.”

Jenae Olson received the Award for Best Poster. Her project, in association with the Division of Aquatic Resources, was on “Determination of the Oxygen Tolerance of Valamugil engeli (Marquesan mullet).”

The PACON International (Hawai’i Chapter) Award for the best project integrating marine science and technology, with a Pacific focus, went to Bradley Young for his project, “Establishment of High Frequency (HF) Radar and Kiosk Interpretation in Hilo, Hawaiʻi.”

Four other UH Hilo students presented their work in the form of oral and poster presentations on research and internship MOP projects that were well received. These students were Christina Crockett, Kevin Bruce, Emily Wallingford, and James Stilley.

The UH Hilo MOP is a hands-on program open to students in any field of study who have an interest in the ocean. It is a certificate granting program that offers courses on marine project development through the Department of Marine Science.

The annual symposium rotates between UH campuses and will be hosted by Windward Community College in April 2015.

For more information, email uhhmop@hawaii.edu or lparr@hawaii.edu.

New Stop Added to UH Hilo Bus Service

UH Hilo Moniker

The County Mass Transit Administration has revised its bus service for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College to include an additional stop at the new UH Hilo Bookstore by the University’s main Kawili Street entrance, effective Monday, April 14, 2014.

The Hele-On Bus timetable runs Monday through Saturday and offers services to and from the University and HawCC within Hilo. Visit www.heleonbus.org for schedules, including transportation to Kona, Pahoa, Volcano, Pahoa, Keaukaha and other areas.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore to Present Public Lecture at UH Mānoa

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Sea Grant College Program and U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D- Hawai‘i) announced today that former U.S. Vice President Al Gore will present a free public lecture at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa campus on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at 7 p.m. in the Stan Sheriff Center.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore

The seminar is the capstone of the day-long summit, Ascent, organized by UH and Senator Schatz, which will welcome notable dignitaries from around the country to Hawai‘i in order to discuss and propose solutions to Hawai‘i’s most pressing problems. The topics include renewable energy, sustainable energy and water use, and the impacts of human practice and climate change on the essential resources.

Vice President Gore, known for his visionary leadership and decades of work on reducing the harmful impacts of climate change, will be sharing his insight on these and related topics and how they relate to Hawai‘i.

“We are very fortunate that former Vice President Gore will be in Hawai‘i to address an issue that is very important to our university and community,” said UHM Chancellor Tom Apple. “We hope the discussion about sustainability and climate change have a lasting impact and will push Hawai‘i into the global arena.”

“Vice President Gore has been a true friend and ally in the climate change fight. He is a leading voice on clean energy and I am honored he is joining us to discuss Hawai‘i’s future,” said Senator Brian Schatz, Chairman of the Senate Water and Power Energy Subcommittee. “Our state has charted a path forward for a clean energy economy and served as a model for the rest of the country. We need to continue to promote the development of clean energy, which will make Hawai‘i more sustainable and self-sufficient.”

“I am continually impressed by Hawai‘i’s innovative thinking, from clean energy to water to transit,” said Vice President Gore. “Through his work as chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Water and Power subcommittee, Senator Schatz is proving himself as a committed leader for our country while simultaneously shining a light on Hawai‘i’s achievements as a national leader on clean energy, sustainability, and climate adaptation.”

The seminar is part of the Stephen and Marylyn Pauley Seminar in Sustainability series, organized by the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program and co-hosted by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the University of Hawai‘i Foundation, and other partners, which periodically hosts speakers of the highest distinction. The University’s most prestigious seminar series honors the Pauley Foundation’s significant support of the University of Hawai‘i, Dr. Stephen Pauley’s remarkable individual sustainability efforts, and Mrs. Marylyn Pauley’s national and visionary leadership in higher education.

Stephen and Marylyn Pauley Seminars in Sustainability are only offered when a particularly significant, timely and critical issue and notable speaker are identified. Seminar topics are diverse with academic, social, cultural, and economic importance. To date the seminars have included light pollution, human health and community design, energy independence and climate change, and fiscal sustainability.

The free seminar is co-hosted by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Sea Grant College Program, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Chancellor’s Office, and the University of Hawai‘i Foundation. It will be held at the Stan Sheriff Center which can accommodate approximately 10,000 people.

Miss Saigon Opens at UH Hilo on Thursday

Miss Saigon, the award-winning musical about love and loss in the Vietnam War, opens at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Performing Arts Center Thursday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. for a two-weekend run. Other show dates are April 11, 12, 17, 18 & 19 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, April 13, at 2 pm.

Miss SaigonCreated by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil in 1989 as a pop opera, Miss Saigon is directed by UH Hilo Performing Arts Department Professor Jackie Pualani Johnson with Armando Mendoza as Musical Director and faculty choreographer Celeste Staton. A cast of 37 performers bring to life the story of an American G.I. who falls in love with a Vietnamese girl just as Saigon is sieged by the North Vietnamese.

“This superb artistic team is joined by UH Hilo Performing Arts senior Katherine Wilson as vocal director and advanced student choreographers Kawehi Kanoho-Kalahiki and Kawai Soares, and assistant directors Kimo Apaka, a UH Hilo Performing Arts graduate, and Denyse Woo-Ockerman,” said PAC Manager Lee Dombroski.

The cast includes Norman Arancon as The Engineer, Rachel Edwards as Kim, Scott Wuscher as the American G.I., and the working girls of the Dreamland Bar: Gigi, Mimi, Yvette, and Yvonne, played by Lilinoe Kauahikaua, Angeline Jara, Bailey Woolridge, and Kawehi Kanoho-Kalahiki. Arancon is a faculty member at UH Hilo, and the women in the bar are created by UH Hilo students. Wuscher is a community member who returns to the UH Hilo stage to realize the turmoil of a soldier caught in the war’s emotional choices.

Tickets are reserved seating and priced at $20 General, $15 Discount and $10 UH Hilo/HawCC students (with a valid student ID) and children, up to age 17, and are available by calling the UH Hilo Box Office at 932-7490 or ordering online at artscenter.uhh.hawaii.edu.

UH Student Thinks Girlfriend is Being Disrespected… Leads to Fractured Jaw

The following was reported by the University of Hawaii Security Department:
UH Hilo log

Report Status: Pending.

Location: Hale Kanilehua lounge.

Time Reported: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 8:55 PM.

Incident Occurred Between: 12:00 PM and 12:05 PM on Wednesday, April 2, 2014.

Crime Details:
A verbal misunderstanding lead one student to believe his girlfriend was being disrespected. A subsequent physical confrontation involved a knife and resulted in a fractured jaw. The student drove himself to the hospital. HPD and Campus Security have initiated investigations.

Governor Releases $58.4 Million for University of Hawaii System Facilities

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $58.4 million to the University of Hawaii (UH) system for capital improvement projects (CIP) at various campuses that will further energize our growing construction industry to help sustain our economy.

abercrombieheader“A majority of these funds are going to improvements at our community colleges, which make up the largest sector of the UH system,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “These projects will help increase job growth and ultimately improves our state’s affordable education opportunities.”

Allotment of funds for the following projects, identified by state legislators, has been approved by the Governor:

$38,213,000 – Honolulu Community College Advanced Technology Training Center, Oahu – Construction funds for a new three-story facility for science- and technology-related programs. The building will include classrooms, offices and laboratories, and will support technical workforce development in areas including diversified agriculture, aquaculture, renewable energy development and creative media. UH indicates that Honolulu Community College has established itself as the technological training center of the Pacific and has the expertise in technical workforce development to warrant a new facility.

$6,500,000 – Minor Capital Improvements Program Projects for Campuses of the Community College System, Oahu – Design and construction funds for the renovations of Kapiolani Community College’s (KCC) Kopiko Building, Wing B ($3,500,000) and Windward Community College’s (WCC) Hale Naauao ($3,000,000). KCC project includes renovating the building’s first floor (Wing B). Built in 1994, Wing B has three classrooms used by the nursing program, and will be upgraded with current technology and renovated to connect with the outdoor courtyard. WCC project includes renovations for the TRiO and special project programs including air conditions installation, restroom upgrades and converting spaces into offices, storage rooms, a staff room and a conference room. The 10,150-gross-square-foot building was constructed in 1930 and has not been renovated to meet the College’s academic and technological needs. The TRiO program includes Student Support Services, Talent Search and Upward Bound, which help disadvantaged and low-income individuals graduate from secondary/post-secondary institutions.

$6,312,000 – Coconut Island, Oahu – Design and construction funds to renovate the interior of the Old Pauley Laboratory for the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. The research institute specializes in tropical marine biology, and is located on the 28-acre Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay.

$5,415,000 – Coconut Island, Oahu – Planning, design and construction funds for improvements at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. Improvements include utility upgrades, replacement/rehabilitation of existing sewer lines by direct drilling between Oahu and Coconut Island under Kaneohe Bay, sewer pump replacement and wet-well repairs, and rerouting of north end sewer lines.

$2,000,000 – University of Hawaii at Hilo, Office of Mauna Kea Management, Hawaii Island – Design and construction funds for infrastructure improvements within UH’s managed lands on Mauna Kea, renovate mid-level facilities at Hale Pohaku and improve the summit access road. The summit access road between the mid-level facilities and the Mauna Kea summit needs improvement. A section of the road was paved in the late 1980s and is deteriorated due to age, snow, rock debris and natural earth shifting. The Visitor Information Center (58-person capacity) is also overextended in terms of parking and facility infrastructure, and is unable to accommodate the significant increase in visitors who come for stargazing activities.

Hawai‘i Community College Announces New Director of UH Center, West Hawai’i

Hawai‘i Community College (Hawai‘i CC) is pleased to announce that Dr. Kenneth “Marty” Fletcher has been hired as the new Director of the University of Hawai‘i Center, West Hawai‘i (UHCWH).

Dr. Marty Fletcher

Dr. Marty Fletcher

The University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents approved the hiring of Dr. Fletcher in February, and Hawai‘i CC hosted a Kīpaepae Hoʻokamaʻāina for Dr. Fletcheron Friday, March 14 at the UHCWH location in Kealakekua.

“With the construction of Hawai‘i Community College — Pālamanui underway, Dr. Fletcher joins us at an exciting time for higher education in West Hawai‘i,” said Hawai‘i CC Chancellor Noreen Yamane. “Dr. Fletcher’s talent and experience as an administrator will serve the college well as we continue to grow and provide opportunities for the people of Hawai‘i Island.”

Dr. Fletcher spent much of his youth on O‘ahu and still has family there. Prior to joining UHCWH, he was the Senior Lecturer (Online Education) and Program Director for Open Universities Australia at Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.

“I feel truly blessed to be joining the West Hawai‘i ‘ohana of Hawai‘i Community College and the University of Hawai‘i system,” said Dr. Fletcher. “I’m excited to work with the college and the community to make sure we are delivering the excellent higher education opportunities West Hawai‘i deserves. If I had dreamed of a scenario for my return to Hawai‘i Nei when my wife and I first started contemplating returning home, it couldn’t have been any better.”

Dr. Fletcher’s Background

Dr. Fletcher received his Ph.D. in Education, specializing in Learning Management and Educational Technology from Walden University, Minneapolis, MN, and his Masters in International Management from Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University), Darwin, NT Australia, from which he also acquired a credential in Adult/Vocational Education. Dr. Fletcher has family roots on O‘ahu but so far spent his professional career mostly in Australia.

Dr. Fletcher was most recently the Senior Lecturer (Online Education) and Program Director for Open Universities Australia at Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. His responsibilities included developing and delivering global online degrees, with approximately 10,000 course enrollments per year, while also leading a small campus-based Bachelor’s Degree program of approximately 80 students (low SES, Indigenous and Pacific Island, first-generation college) in the Logan community.

Contracted after college from Hawaiʻi to play professional basketball in Melbourne, Australia, he worked as a manager in operations and marketing in several industries and public enterprise. His supervisory/managerial experience spans responsibilities over facilities and equipment, staff occupational health and safety, production, accounting, marketing/promotions, and strategic planning.

Subsequent to his athletic career, Dr. Fletcher obtained his postgraduate credentials and worked in vocational and academic tiers of higher education in both the United States and Australia as a manager, teacher, academic staff developer, and scholar. His research publications report on his practical experiences working with educators to apply combined management and technology theories with educational and human behavioral sciences.

About UHCWH

The University of Hawai‘i system operates three University Centers, including the UHCWH. Currently located in leased space in Kealakekua, the UHCWH is administered by Hawai‘i Community College.

UHCWH delivers Hawai‘i Community College classes and programs.

UHCWH also offers distance learning programs provided by the system’s four-year institutions. Through these programs students can earn bachelor, master and doctoral degrees, as well as professional certificates.

UHCWH will move to Hawai‘i Community College — Pālamanui after construction is complete.

For more information, visit: http://www.hawcc.hawaii.edu/ucwh/

National Science Foundation Renews UH Hilo’s $5 Million CREST Grant

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) Program has been awarded a second $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) CREST (Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology) Program. The award represents Phase II funding of the original $5 million grant received in 2009, and covers a five-year period.

UH Hilo Moniker
The CREST: TCBES Project brings together a diverse, inter-disciplinary team spanning several natural sciences led by Principal Investigator and TCBES Director Dr. Donald Price, with Drs. Patrick Hart, Elizabeth Stacy and Misaki Takabayashi as Co-Principal Investigators. Other senior personnel on the project are Drs. Jonathan Awaya, Jie Cheng, Abby Cuttriss, William Mautz, Adam Pack, Jonathan Price and Michael Shintaku along with Terrilani Chong and Doreen Koizumi. The project’s overarching theme is Understanding Biotic Response to Environmental Change in Tropical Ecosystems Through a Place-Based Context.

“To fully understand the impact of climate change you need to start with the leading indicators, which are those life forms, whose well-being is tied to the state of their environment,” Price said. “The CREST team we’ve assembled will employ emerging genetic, physiological, bioacoustic and bioinformatic tools to examine various effects of anthropogenic change on animals, plants and microbes.”

The project is organized around three sub-components for which separate teams will be formed to develop interactive research programs with each team contributing to the overall synergistic center theme.

An Organismal Response to Environmental Change (OREC) team will analyze the short- and long-term responses of key organisms to a range of steady and fluctuating environmental conditions in their respective habitats, which will be incorporated into landscape-level response to climate change.

The Behavioral Responses to Environmental Change (BREC) team will examine how behaviors central to the survival and reproductive success of animals have evolve through natural and sexual selection in conditions that greatly differ from today’s ecological environment.

A third team will examine Dynamic Interactions between Symbioses and Environment (DISE), or how symbiotic relationships between macro and micro organisms can shift in response to environmental changes.

The results of the research is expected to produce a deeper understanding of the impacts climate change will have on the geographic ranges as well as social and symbiotic interactions of species in Hawaiʻi and the broader Pacific region.

“Hawaiʻi’s unique natural resources are our heritage, and it is our kuleana to be effective stewards to provide for future generations,” said Chancellor Don Straney. “The CREST: TCBES project will provide the next generation of scientists and professionals with the depth of knowledge and the inter-disciplinary perspective required to both study and effectively manage those spectacular, yet fragile, resources.”

Beyond its discovery value, the CREST Project is expected to enhance faculty research capacity and attract students from groups traditionally under-represented in the sciences, whose participation will open up opportunities in Ph.D. programs and professional careers. As involvement from students of native Hawaiian and Pacific Island ancestry grows, so too should the application of indigenous knowledge to environmental issues as they forge ties with federal and state agencies, along with researchers from Ph.D. granting institutions throughout Hawaiʻi and the U.S. mainland.

“In the span of its 10-year history, TCBES has established itself as a truly outstanding graduate program with both national and international distinction,” said Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Matt Platz. “Through the CREST project, the program is taking another important step in its development as a center of excellence for research and training throughout Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region.”