Initiative seesk to expand languages in Hawaiʻi

Published on Sept. 30, 2013.
Published on Sept. 30, 2013.

Fujii Haw. Lang. Roadmap Sept. 30-2

Starting this month, the Hawai‘i Language Roadmap Initiative will be implemented to promote a multi-lingual workforce in the state.

“What we found is that there is actually so much language in this state that is just not valued. It’s just not recognized as resources,” Dina Yoshimi, program manager for the initiative said in a phone interview. “And so what we wrote in the Roadmap basically is that we just need to value the resources that we have and value the opportunities to build them.”

The initiative is federally funded and is in partnership with the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the Language Flagship, which is under the National Security Education Program in the United States’ Department of Defense.

“We need to accept the fact that it’s time to be able to talk to the rest of the world as skilled workers,” Yoshimi said.


The Hawai‘i Language Roadmap is a planning and policy document that contains initiatives that “identify what needs to be done to move the state towards multi-lingualism, so that the state will be able to see the benefits of being multi-lingual, especially in the workforce,” according to Yoshimi, who is also an associate professor in the department of East Asian languages & literatures.

“Our goal is a highly educated, multi-lingual population that’s globally competitive,” Robert Bley-Vroman, dean for the College of Languages, Linguistics and Literatures said.

The initiatives have to do with topics such as education, workplace, training, legislation and infrastructure.

“One of the initiatives is a data portal where we actually try to collect the data regarding which kinds of jobs use language in the state and then looking at what kind of language resources do we already have available in this state,” Yoshimi said. “And trying to make a match and see where we’re missing.”


Over multiple phases, the initiative will be implemented across the state.

According to the Roadmap, raising public awareness about the initiative is one of its first tasks. This will include a public service announcement campaign, a poster series promoting multilingualism and Multilingual Career Day activities engaging the employers of the state.

“The goal of the Roadmap of the policy and planning document is to look currently, short, medium and long term And long term is 15 to 20 years now,” Yoshimi said. “So that’s long enough for you to be able to think the trajectory of economic and educational needs.”

There will be one overarching council that will help coordinate the activity on the implementation.

According to the Roadmap, the council’s task would be to “continue the collaboration to implement the proposed initiatives, identify funding sources, solidify political and community support and move our agenda forward.”

“Right now we’re in the process of looking for which partnerships, based on the people who came on Monday night and the kinds of conversations we had, which partnerships look ready to go,” Yoshimi said, referring to the initiative’s launch on Sept. 16.

Each initiative will also have a working group.

“The existing working groups and developing new working groups and recognizing the structure of implementation will depend on the building of partnerships with different infrastructures,” Yoshimi said.


In 2002, the NSEP started an initiative to create opportunities across the country for higher proficiency in key strategic languages. According to Yoshimi, in 2007, it moved to include a whole statewide initiative for the broader population.

According to Bley-Vroman, the idea was that language capacity is central to national security.

“I mean national security, broadly understood in the sense that we need strong economies, a healthy society, as well as language capacity for specific defense needs,” Bley-Vroman said. “And the feel is, within the National Security Education Program, the NSEP, is that the United States is disadvantaged internationally. … (We are at a) disadvantage internationally because we don’t have the capacity of highly proficient speakers in crucial languages that we ought to have.”

In 2007, Oregon, Ohio and Texas launched their own language roadmaps and examined the language needs within each state. Roadmaps were launched in Utah in 2009 and in Rhode Island in 2011.

“Each one was a university partnering with the Language Flagship,” Yoshimi said.

Bley-Vroman became aware of the language roadmap process in 2010 when he had attended a conference sponsored by the Language Flagship. At the conference he met with people who had worked on the roadmap in Texas and learned “what a possibility it was for changing the way people thought about language in the state.”

Work on Hawai‘i’s roadmap began in 2012.


On Sept. 16, a launch was held for the initiative at the Halau O Haumea, Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies.

“One thing that’s really fantastic about the roadmap launch is that we had over 100 people and it was all by invitation,” Yoshimi said. “But the 100 people included significant representation from business, from state agencies, from community organizations, as well as educational institutions. … Here in Hawaiʻi we’ve found that people are very receptive to this.”

Nine student ambassadors were present at the launch as the face of the future, according to Yoshimi.

“A student ambassador in the case of the launch is the face of the future workforce of Hawaiʻi,” Yoshimi said. “These are students who have already made the investment in developing their language skills to a job-ready place so that when they go out they can use that language in their job.”

Mathew Tanaka, a graduate student studying Hawaiian, was one of the student ambassadors at the event.

“Basically the student ambassadors, for that particular event on the launch, were to be like someone that important people who were there could actually speak to, to talk about how language applies to the different industries that we’re in, respectively,” Tanaka said.

He believes it was important for those who attended to be able to talk to different students.

“It was an opportunity for them to see what examples of what the product of the initiative would be like,” Tanaka said. “So that maybe it would inspire some of them and show how important this language was too.”

Melissa Cotrone, a graduate from UH Manoa with an MA in French literature and language, said her involvement in the initiative as a student ambassador was to present to the business community the face of the next generation of interpreters and people who use a second language in business. She believed it was crucial for students to be involved.

“I think it was not only important but crucial to be involved as a student,” Cotrone said. “Students today need to realize that the demand in businesses for people with second and third language skills is growing faster than ever. As we move to an ever more increasing global economy, students who don’t become proficient in a second language are going to find themselves in a problematic position in the job market.”

Anna Sachs, a graduate student studying Spanish and another student ambassador, appreciates the push for language in Hawaiʻi.

“To learn another language, or more than one language even, because it just provides so many more opportunities socially, intellectually and also in the job market,” Sachs said. “I think it’s becoming increasingly important for employers and employees to see the value of knowing other languages.”

Tatiana Chauvet, a student ambassador and graduate student studying French, said that being bilingual has opened opportunities for her.

“We should have more languages in Hawai‘i that would benefit everyone,” Chauvet said.


UH Mānoa joins Association of Pacific Rim Universities

The University of Hawai’i at Mānoa will be joining the Association of Pacific Rim Universities which represents 45 premier research universities.

“We are honored by this news, and to be one of only 12 U.S. universities in this impressive international roster of membership,” UH Mānoa Chancellor Tom Apple said in a press release. “We thank our students, faculty, staff, alumni, lawmakers and supporters for their efforts in helping us to achieve research and academic excellence, culminating in this honor.”

According to a UH press release, to join APRU, a member university must be rated as a leading university of the country or a premier university within its geographical region. It should also have attained “broad excellence in carrying out the activities of its educational mission,” must embrace and achieve a mission of promoting research and scholarship and have a strong international orientation. The Carnegie Foundation classifies UH Mānoa as a Research University producing “very high” research activity, according to the press release. The campus extramural funding averages $333 million per year during the past five years.

The National Science Foundation ranks the campus among the top public research universities in the country for federal research funding in engineering and science. UH Mānoa ranks 51st overall.

APRU was established in 1997 by the presidents of Caltech, Berkeley, UCLA and USC.

APRU universities are located in Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States.

UH Mānoa launches first Persian Language, Linguistics and Culture

Published on Sept. 23, 2013.

Published on Sept. 23, 2013.

fujii persian program sept 23-2

For the first time at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, a Persian Language, Linguistics and Culture program has been launched on campus this semester.

According to Ladan Hamedani, Ph.D., a Roshan Insitute instructor of Persian language and culture, the program was made possible through a grant from and in partnership with the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institue.

Patricia Kim, the institute’s program officer, said the institute’s core mission is to promote the study, preservation and transmission of Persian language and culture. 

Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali, Ph.D., Founder, Chair and President of the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institue said the partnership between the campus and the institute is an opportunity to share the Persian culture.

“I am delighted that Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute and UH Mānoa have partnered to establish the Persian Language, Linguistics, and Culture Program,” Omidyar Mir-Djalali said in an email. “This is a wonderful opportunity to share the richness and diversity of Persian culture with the UH Mānoa community and beyond, and to engage and support students pursuing research and studies in related fields.”


The program offers two courses this semester under the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures: IP 101 (Introduction to Modern Persian Language,) and IP 261 (Introduction to Persian Art, Culture, History, and Literature.) Hamedani teaches the two classes. She said IP 101 will later be called PERS 101 along with the other Persian language, linguistics and culture courses.

The two classes have a total of about seven students, some of whom are auditing the courses.

“This is the beginning (of the program),” Hamedani said. 

In spring 2014, three classes will be offered through the program: IP 102, IP 111 and IP 365 (Persian Literature in Translation.) Hamedani said IP 111 is an intensive course for Persian 101 and 102; it will be offered to those who didn’t have a chance to take IP 101 this fall.

According to Hamedani, an advanced class will be added to the program next year if there is a demand.


Kim said UH Mānoa’s academic excellence in linguistics and languages designated it as a natural partner for the institute in creating a Persian Language, Linguistics and Culture Program.

“We have a history of supporting important cultural and educational institutions as well as outstanding students and fellows on the island,” Kim said.

According to Kim, UH Mānoa has planned two fellowships for students of linguistics and second language studies and six fellowships for students of Persian during the three-year period.

The Roshan Institute Graduate Fellowship Program will award fellowships to students of linguistics and second languages studies who develop collaborative research projects in one of the two fields and in relation to Persian language, according to Kim.

“Fellows will have the unique opportunity to participate actively in the instructional portion of the Persian Language, Linguistics, and Culture Program,” Kim said.

Roshan Institute Fellowships will also be awarded to graduate students of Persian. The fellowship plans are in accordance with the institute’s mission to encourage the study, learning and research in Persian language and culture, Kim said.

Students in Hamedani’s Introduction to Modern Persian class hope to pursue the language at a higher level.

Jimmy Weir, who has studied Persian in the past, is taking the class to “pick up where I left off and one day to be able to read.”

Honey Mohammadi, a teacher, speaks Farsi fluently and wants to learn to read and write in Persian. 

“I think (the program) is an awesome idea because there are several Persian students on campus.” Mohammadi said.

According to Hamedani, the Persian Language, Literature and Culture program is under a three-year plan. She hopes that it will continue its mission after the three-year period. 

“The initial three year term will give UH Mānoa the opportunity to evaluate the success and impact of the program, and plan for its future,” Kim said.

Kim said the program also includes public events that celebrate Persian culture and traditions. 

“The Persian Language, Linguistics, and Culture Program is a comprehensive initiative that encompasses courses in Persian language and culture, fellowships and support for research in Persian studies,” Kim said. “It also includes public events that celebrate Persian culture and traditions, and encourage participation from student organizations. These activities will continue to expand in the coming years.”

Side Street Inn full of big portions

Published on Sept. 18, 2013.

Published on Sept. 18, 2013.

Side Street Inn on Da Strip is going on its fourth year of serving “simple, local, consistent food,” according to Operations Manager Robbie Acoba.

“It started out as your normal ‘pupu’ bar, then groups came in consistently so ‘big portions’ was served,” Acoba said. “So if people come, you know, they say ‘oh this order $12,’ but when they get the meal they don’t realize how big it is, so they share that.”

Due to a lot of customers showing up to the restaurant in big groups, the food is served family-style with customers sharing a number of entrées from different cultures ranging from “ahi sashimi platters” to “kalua sliders” to “da woks fried rice.”

“We wanted to go big, and that’s what the draw was as far as Side Street is concerned. People came in groups. So with that, the whole theory was make it family style like Chinese food style,” Acoba said.

The mission of the restaurant is to have its guests “take a piece” of the local flavors that Hawai‘i has to offer.

“It’s a great melting pot for many cultures that we share, and we hope everyone that comes here gets a taste of that,” Acoba said.

Acobo believes Side Street Inn has its own style.

“I don’t think it’s unique and different. I think it’s in its own style. … Every time you go to Side Street Inn, it’ll be the same type of eat that you had the last time. It’s the simplicity and the consistency,” Acoba said, who has been in the restaurant business for more than 25 years.

Acoba said that Chef Colin Nishida, the owner of Side Street Inn on Da Strip, opened the restaurant because he wanted to open up something that served good, local comfort food. Nishida also opened the first location, Side Street Inn on Hopaka Street, more than 20 years ago, and a second location, Fort Street Grill & Bar in the downtown area, which closed around 2010 at the time of the Kapahulu restaurant’s opening.

Local celebrity chefs such as Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong have also frequented the two Side Street Inns, according to Acoba. The Side Street Inn restaurant on Hopaka was also featured on the Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations,” and Side Street Inn on Da Strip was featured on “Man vs.  Food Nation.”

Side Street Inn on Da Strip is located right out of the Makiki-Kaimukī area and a few minutes away from Waikīkī.

“We decided that Kapahulu needed a local place, and now there’s a bunch of great eating in Kapahulu and it’s growing. … You know, we’re out of the Makiki-Kaimukī area, the beach side, and we’re just a few minutes out of Waikīkī so that makes it really good,” Acoba said.

Address: 614 Kapahulu Ave.

Hours: Mon-Fri 3 p.m.-12 a.m.; Sat-Sun 1 p.m.-12 a.m.. Last call for kitchen, 11:30 p.m.

Contact: 808-739-3939


Local food with a twist: South Shore Grill

Published on Sept. 18, 2013.

Published on Sept. 18, 2013.

Family-owned South Shore Grill in the Diamond Head area offers local food in a different way, according to its owner Bruce Bryant.

“We like to say local style with a twist. … Our main thing is plate lunches. We also do fish tacos, burgers (and) sandwiches. Everything is cooked to order,” Bryant said. “Our ‘twist’ is two-fold. Almost everything is made from scratch, which you don’t see in a lot of places.”

Bryant also noted that the restaurant makes its own aioli, mac-nut pesto, salad dressings, marinades, cakes, cookies and more.

“Second is our tweak to the sauces,” Bryant said. “Our chipotle aioli is different than most, and that is easily our signature flavor: very tangy and garlicky.”

Bryant, born and raised on O‘ahu, took over the restaurant from a friend in 2007. He said the restaurant’s fish tacos are what make the restaurant unique.

“Local-style plate lunches and the best fish tacos – you don’t find that anywhere,” Bryant said. “It’s a great combination. Add in awesome burgers, etc., and we got something for everyone.”

Bryant has worked in different fields before, most being business oriented. He said South Shore Grill is kind of a byproduct of his life story and reflects his lifestyle.

“It matches my lifestyle and what I like to cook. You know, something that someone can show up after work or after the beach and get something to eat. Something, you know, hearty, but you know, not just bland and ordered that you can get at any other place,” Bryant said.

He said he wanted to take the local street lunch, burger or sandwich and add a little more to it. Bryant also said he wants people’s experiences at South Shore Grill to be memorable in its own way.

“Our aioli sauce is on almost everything we do, and often that is the flavor people will walk away saying, ‘What was in that?!’” Bryant said.

Bryant added that he cooks in the restaurant and trains the employees to cook. Employees also contribute to coming up with new items to the menu.

“It’ll be ‘Hey, what would it taste like if…’ or ‘My mom used to do this…’ or sometimes even just a craving may start it,” Bryant said. “Then we work on it for a while, test it on the menu or serve it up to some of our regulars. We have fun with cooking, and that can lead to good things.”

ADDRESS: 3114 Monsarrat Ave.

CONTACT: 808-734-0229

HOURS: Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m-9 p.m; Sun 12 p.m.-9 p.m.


Presidential Selection Committee reaches out to the community

Members of the UH Board of Regents Presidential Selection Committee are appearing at community gatherings to solicit input and suggestions from Hawaiʻi residents.

“Selecting a president for the university is the most important task of the Board of Regents,” BOR Chair John Holzman said in a Sept. 10 press release. “We want to take the time to identify the next leader of one of the state’s most visible and valuable institutions and the public’s input has weight with us.”

Holzman chaired the selection committee before assuming leadership for the whole board.

“We’re reaching out because the university has such a huge impact on the state. University of Hawai‘i is not the biggest university of all the country, but it’s a pretty big university for this small state,” Holzman said.

Holzman said the committee is trying to do two things by reaching out to the community: hear what people think about the university and where they want to see it go; and to let people know more about the university and what it does.


The selection committee will be appearing at community groups such as Neighborhood Boards, volunteer and civic clubs, professional organizations, service and church groups, UH alumni and related groups, educational councils and other community organizations to ask Hawaiʻi residents what they would like to see in UH’s next president and the presidential agenda.

“The neighborhood boards are a good place to go because they’re a contact with the neighborhoods and the people there,” Holzman said. “We want to go beyond that. We’re going to look for other organizations too that we can speak to.”

The committee will also be holding presentations on all of the islands.

“The committee, and the entire Board of Regents, knows how important this university is to the people of Hawaiʻi, and we want to hear their suggestions and thoughts on what type of leader we should be looking for,” Committee Chair Carl Carlson said in a press release.

Carlson said the committee hopes to speak with as many residents as possible in the coming months.

“(We) encourage those interested to visit our website for updates and to share ideas with us,” Carlson said, referring to the committee’s website,, which features a list of upcoming appearances and ways to contact the committee.

Holzman said the committee will be visiting each of the university system’s 10 campuses so students can voice their opinions.

Richard Mizusawa, Student Caucus representative and president of ASUH, said that students can give input at anytime by emailing the search committee at He has also requested that the committee come speak to the ASUH General Senate in October as well as the UH Student Caucus at its meeting in October.

“Or, students can feel free to chat with me on their thoughts that I can take into account when giving the student perspective on this matter,” Mizusawa said.

Mizusawa said that reaching out to the community gives those who serve on the committee a bigger variety of factors to consider when they make their recommendations to the full BOR.

“I think it’s great that the committee is reaching out to the community to solicit input and their opinions because the university president not only serves the students of UH, but also communicates with the outside community as well,” Mizusawa said in an email. “He/she will have to represent the University to them on a variety of topics, so it is important for the community to assist in providing some guidance for the next leader that will run our University.”

The committee’s outreach began on Sept. 3 at UH Mānoa with Chancellor Tom Apple’s campus-wide conversation and was followed by Neighborhood Board appearances at Waiʻanae, ʻĀina Haina and Liliha.


Holzman said the committee is trying to define what type of person the president should be and where people want the university to be.

The committee will be hiring a consultant to help with the process and has received proposals from companies and individuals.

“It’s a complicated process,” Holzman said. “Almost all the people we’ll be looking at are people who probably already have good jobs, not necessarily looking for a new job.  Part of our goal is to persuade them to come to the University of Hawai‘i because we think they can make a big contribution here.”

Holzman said the use of a search firm is still a possibility.

“This is a very, very specialized kind of search,” Holzman said. “So to the degree that we can get professionals who can help us do this, not make decisions for us, but help set up those decisions, we can make the best choices possible.”

The cost of the search firm would come from the cost of running the university, Holzman said.

“We want to try to do everything we possibly can to get the right person,” Holzman said.

Next in the search, the committee will continue to go out into the community and hear as much as it can from the public and then hire a consultant.

“Based on our work with the community, based on our work with the consultant, (we will) start coming together with a profile first of an idea of where we want this university to go, and then secondly have a profile of the type of person that we’re looking for to lead this university,” Holzman said.

The presidential selection committee is chaired by Carlson and includes Regents Jeffrey Acido, Chuck Gee, James Lee, Barry Mizuno, Saedene Ota and Jan Sullivan. The committee also includes community and stakeholder representatives Paul Lococo Jr., All Campus Council of Faculty Senate Chairs; Mizusawa, Student Caucus representative; and Walter Niemczura, UH Administrative, Professional and Technical employees representative. Regents Holzman and Coralie Matayoshi, J. Kuhio Asam, UH Foundation representative, and Dean Maenette Benham, UH Executive and Managerial representative, are the ex-officio non-voting members of the committee.

Current Schedule for Presidential Selection Committee visits:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
    Nānākuli Neighborhood Board meeting
    Nānāikapono Elementary School Cafeteria
    7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013
    Kaimukī Neighborhood Board meeting
    Kaimukī Christian School
    7 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
    UH West Oʻahu Campus Conversation
    10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
    Kapolei Neighborhood Board meeting
    Kapolei High School Cafeteria
    7:30 p.m.

To view the schedule of the committee’s upcoming outreach, go to

Students take action against tuition hikes

Published on Sept. 13, 2013.
Published on Sept. 13, 2013.

With tuition rising about 35 percent during a five-year period, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa students are bringing their rally against these hikes to the student government and state legislature.

“We’re rallying against (the tuition hikes) because we can see that students are hurting and we want to see a more balanced method of funding the university,” UH Mānoa senior Ian Ross said.

Ross and Associated Students of the University of Hawai‘i Senator sophomore Sean Mitsui, who will be proposing a resolution to ASUH; worked with Vice Speaker of the House John Mizuno to bring the issue to the state legislature.

“It’s necessary,” Mitsui said. “If it’s just a student government we’re not going to have much influence because we’re not going to have the power to change the entire school, but the legislature has because the school definitely falls under the state’s rule because it receives tax funds. And they have a right to know how the university is spending its own money.”


In March 2013, Ross began discussing the tuition hikes with Mizuno and worked with him during the summer, planning a piece of legislation.

Mizuno plans to propose freezing UH’s resident tuition for the 2014-15 academic year.

“It’s just too much,” Mizuno said in a phone interview.  “You’ve got five years in a row that the Board of Regents have approved of tuition hikes. That’s just too much and in the last three years, they’re going up 7.5, 7.5, 7.5.”

Mizuno said he foresees UH students dropping out due to the high tuition cost.

“We need to ensure that our residents have a very good state system to give them a higher education and allow them adequate ability to obtain the college degree. But that doesn’t happen,” he said. “Again, I foresee many of our students dropping out, maybe not being able to get their college degree, and that’s just not acceptable.”

Mizuno said the increase in tuition will be harmful to the state and its residents.

“It’s going to hurt more than help our state,” Mizuno said. “We want a very strong and educated state. We want to support a strong economy, and that’s why we want to invest in our Hawai‘i residents so they’re equipped with the proper education.”

Mizuno said this is not an attack on the faculty and professors. He said he would like to focus on the administration and see if there’s wastefulness.

“Because if we can cut out duplication of services at UH as well as inefficiencies and any waste we’re spending then there’s no need for the tuition increases,” Mizuno said. “An audit will help to uncover any duplication of services and inefficiencies at the UH.”

Mizuno said about 10 percent of bills introduced at the Hawai‘i State Legislature are passed.

“We have to be very conscious of the pass that it’s not easy to pass bills at this legislature, but if we have strong student support, I think we have a better than fair chance of passing it,” Mizuno said.


The College of Arts and Sciences senator is planning to propose a resolution to ASUH at the end of September. Mitsui’s resolution will request a freeze on resident tuition for the 2014-15 school year as well as a financial audit.

“In my perspective, this is the number one issue that students are concerned about, and I believe ASUH is obligated to have an official opinion and official stance on it- this issue,” Mitsui said.

Mitsui said he hopes to see the resolution passed and have a consolidated goal so he can work with the student senate more.

“Right now it’s only me and a couple of other people on ASUH, who are willing to work with this issue,” Mitsui said. “But if we have an official paper to state that we’re all in support of this issue, it’ll be easier to work with the state legislature and the university.”


According to a “Per-credit-hour and full-time semester tuition schedule” on the Board of Regents website, undergraduate resident tuition at UH Mānoa is set to increase about 5.5 percent from academic years 2012-13 to 2013-14, and about 7.5 percent for each year up until 2016-17. Undergraduate residents attending UH Mānoa full-time currently pay $4,572 a semester. Non-residents pay $13,356. Undergraduate non-resident tuition will increase by about 5.5 percent each year until 2016-17.

These tuition rates were approved by the BOR in October 2011 and issued in March 2013, according to the schedule.

Sen. Brian Taniguchi, Chair of the Senate’s Committee on Higher Education, said the UH administration’s reason for the tuition increases was to make tuition compatible to public institutions in the United States.

According to Taniguchi, the university is saying they plan to use more general funds for scholarships. The senator represents the Makiki, Tantalus, and Mānoa area and said that he gets complaints from middle class families that don’t qualify for scholarships because the scholarships are need-based.

“You got a lot of scholarship money, but a lot of middle class families who take the brunt of the higher education,” Taniguchi said in a phone interview.

UH system director of communication Jodi Leong said that the tuition schedule was adopted for five years to give students and their parents the ability to plan.

“There are two sources of revenue that pay for the cost of education, state appropriation and tuition,” Leong said in an email. “The state has not been able to keep UH’s appropriation at the same level as it has in the past due to competing state needs. At the same time, our costs, e.g., electricity, continue to rise. As a result, we have no choice but to raise tuition to make up the difference.”

According to the university, the Board of Regents wanted to keep the tuition increases as low as possible in the first two years of the schedule because the state’s economy, like the rest of the nation, was in a recession.

“As the recession eases, increases should be less of a burden on students and UH must begin using tuition revenue to help pay down the deferred maintenance on each campus,” Leong said.

Leong said that the UH system increases tuition only after careful analysis of its projected revenues and expenditures. The need for tuition revenue is related to the level of state appropriation.

“No one wants to increase tuition,” Leong said. “If the legislature is able to provide increased funding to UH, the Board of Regents could reconsider the level of tuition needed to meet its mission of providing high quality education to its students.”

The last tuition schedule was for six years, according to the university. In the academic years 2005-06 through 2011-12, tuition doubled. At the same time, UH quadrupled financial aid. According to the university, this was to make sure the campuses remained affordable.

“The tremendous increase in enrollment during that period suggests that UH succeeded in keeping college affordable,” Leong said


On Aug. 26, Ross lead a rally in Mānoa’s Campus Center to “get the information out to students,” according to Mitsui. Ross and Mitsui rallied with other students against the increasing tuition in general.

“I personally believe that the tuition increase is too high for everyone, and I support keeping tuition low for all students,” Ross said.

Ross coordinated the rally because “the administration, duplication of services and mismanagement have been in state news a lot lately.”

“In addition, nationally the U.S. is having a conversation about the exploding cost of college and the ballooning of student debt,” Ross said. “This makes right now an ideal time to talk about and address the issue of student tuition here at UH.”

Dozens of students attended the rally, according to Ross.

“There’s a lot of people who really want to get involved because this is an exciting idea,” Ross said. “And as you know, the legislature has been wanting to address some of the issues with UH.

He believes the rally will be successful because he and the other participants in the rally are working for a plan.

“Now we’re rallying for a plan,” Ross said. “We have a bill drafted. We understand how things move forward and we have a positive message about how to get there… We’re doing more than just saying ‘we don’t like plan A.’ We’re offering plan B.”


“What we need to do is get more students, you know, get them to understand what’s going on,” Ross said. “Get them talking about it. And pretty much, put together everything we need to rally bigger and stronger by the time the legislation gets here.”

Mizuno agreed.

“What’s next is rally the students- to rally and unite the students to support introduction and passage of this bill for the tuition freeze,” Mizuno said. “The students, this is on them. If they want this to pass, step up and do it.”

Ross said the main goal is to reopen the conversation about tuition cost and college.

“This is an issue all around the nation and we should have discussions, especially if students are affected,” Ross said. “And to be more specific, I want to see either this freeze, some sort of decrease in the scheduling of tuition increases and/ or an audit so we can see the expenses of the university more clearly so students can really understand where their money is going.”