Regents adopt sustainability statement

Published on Jan. 31, 2014.
Published on Jan. 31, 2014.

A statement on sustainability is now included in the Board of Regent’s policy as the board gave its approval at its Jan. 23 meeting.

“A policy statement, such as the BOR adopted (last) Thursday, is not magic,” said John Morton, Vice President for Community Colleges. “But the policy statement does make it clear that the commitment to sustainability is a high priority and is fully supported by the governing board. The statement creates a framework but relies on the university to build on that framework to make the commitment real.”

According to Daita Serghi, a biology lecturer at UH Mānoa, the sustainability statement was added to the Mission and Purpose of the university (Section 4-1c) “which commits the university to sustainably allocate and use resources for the well-being of our communities and state.”

Seven goals following the statement specify the university’s commitment to social, cultural, environmental and economic sustainability in operations; education, research and service; planning, administration and engagement; and cultural and community connections.

A statement of sustainability 

As part of a UH executive leadership retreat, it was decided to strengthen UH’s commitment to sustainability, Morton said. He was tasked with guiding the effort.

The First Annual Hawai‘i Sustainability in Higher Education, a system-wide conference that was held at UH West O‘ahu last spring, was held to improve coordinating and planning.

“One of the ideas coming from that conference was that UH needed to make a formal declaration, at the policy level, of its commitment to sustainability,” Morton said. “Draft policy statements were developed and refined over the next several months.”

According to Serghi, the sustainability statement was presented to the Regent Committee on Student Affairs during the Oct. 18 meeting.

“The SA committee was very positive and only recommended a minor change, which strengthened the university’s commitment to sustainability,” Serghi said.

The committee reviewed the final language of the policy on Jan. 9 and recommended it for adoption to the full board, which unanimously approved it on Jan. 23.

“A section on sustainability in the board’s policy ensures that these broad and ambitious sustainability goals are embedded in the university’s bylaws from now on,” Serghi said. “These bylaws are rarely changed.”

According to Serghi, next is to develop the Presidential Sustainability Policy, which will define principles, establish key indicators (subject areas) for which performance measures will be set, identify strategic goals and support campus level implementations.

Sustainable students

According to Morton, another benefit of the conference last spring was the emergence of a group of students who shared the commitment to sustainability and the desire to have UH do more in that area.

“That group of students emphasized the importance of this issue and the policy with the BOR Student Committee and that committee is the one that then presented the matter to the full BOR,” Morton said. “Several of the students did testify, and several others submitted written support. This student interest and involvement was a powerful positive message to the BOR.”

Senior political science major Cali Reed, who testified in support of the sustainability statement, said she is thrilled to know the regents are as adamant about sustainability as she and other people who testified are.

“Now that we will be able to have a written policy regarding sustainability on campus, our efforts to improve the UH system will hopefully have less hurdles to pass over as we look for ways to make UH more ‘green’ and eventually move towards zero waste/zero emissions,” Reed said.

According to her testimony, Reed, who is also studying Environmental Studies and Peace & Conflict Education, represented the Student Sustainability Coalition, the Young Democrats at UH Mānoa and the UH Mānoa Ecology Club.

Matthias Keller, who also submitted testimony to the Board and is president of the Surfrider Foundation Club at UH, said the approval of the statement is a big step for the future of sustainability at the university.

“Being a leading educational system in the Pacific, I believe UH has a responsibility to promote and adopt sustainable practices on campus, acting as a role model for other island nations,” Keller said. “This also coincides with various student run organizations mission statements, like the Surfrider Foundation Club at UH. Living on an island, everything one does mauka side can have effects makai side.”


UH to conduct Mauna Kea environmental impact study

Published on Jan. 29, 2014.
Published on Jan. 29, 2014.

An environmental impact study will help the University of Hawai‘i mitigate potential impacts of additional development on Mauna Kea, according to UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney.

“It is the right thing to do,” Straney said.

The survey will cover the Mauna Kea Science Reserve, Mauna Kea Summit Access road and the Hale Pōhaku mid-level facilities, which are covered in UH’s request for a new 65-year lease. UH’s request will be on hold while the study is being conducted.

The university has started to plan the environmental review process.

“Because it is a very technical process, the university usually seeks outside professionals to conduct the actual assessment,” Straney said.

Straney said the university does not know how much the study will cost nor how long it will take to conduct and complete, but a draft of the environmental review document will be available for public review before a report is finalized.


The environmental review document is an informational document, according to Straney.

“The purpose of the EIS is to determine the impacts of the proposed new lease and to propose measures that would mitigate possible negative impacts and enhance possible positive impacts,” Straney said.

Francesca Koethe, vice president of the Associated Students of the University of Hawai‘i, said the student senate supports the new lease because of the EIS.

“In our resolution we had stated that if they had created a new lease, and which they did, we want an environmental impact statement.” Koethe said,  “So ASUH agrees with the new lease because of the EIS.”

Koethe and former ASUH senator Jennifer Wong had introduced a resolution last semester in opposition to the renewal of leases on Mauna Kea. The 101st Senate passed the resolution on Nov. 6.

Koethe said the senate was concerned about the environmental implications that the new lease would have on the mountain.

“It’s such a pristine area. It’s full of different species that are endemic to the area and can only be found there,” Koethe said. “So they have the lake, Lake Waiau, there. It’s the only freshwater lake at an elevation of 13,000 feet, and it’s slowly drying up. So we’re concerned about that.”

The new 65-year lease will allow UH to further enhance the university’s ability to work effectively with sublessees on issues such as decommissioning and removal of observatories, to develop those programs to meet the needs and requirements of the CMP, and a long-term horizon to better plan and commit to the design and development of instrumentation that has put the facilities on Mauna Kea at the forefront in cutting edge astronomical research in the world, according to Straney.

“The long-term lease will enable stronger commitments to long-term stewardship of Mauna Kea,” Straney said.

According to Garett Kamemoto, communications manager for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the office is gratified that UH agrees with its analysis that an environmental study is necessary.

“We believe an environmental study will provide important information so all parties can make informed decisions on Mauna Kea,” Kamemoto said.

According to Straney, the university reflected on all the testimony that it heard at the Nov. 8 BLNR meeting and decided it was in the public’s best interest to conduct the environmental review.


According to Straney, there has already been an extensive environmental review of the Thirty-Meter Telescope.

“The environmental review for the proposed new lease does not impact the construction of the TMT, which is anticipated to begin this year,” Straney said.

The EIS was accepted by former governor Linda Lingle in 2010, according to Sandra Dawson, TMT manager for Hawai‘i Community Relations.

The TMT Observatory Corp. is building the telescope, according to Straney.

“UH supports the TMT Observatory Corp.’s construction of the Thirty-Meter Telescope because it will enable scientists to advance human understanding of fundamental questions ranging from star and planet formation to the development of large-scale structure in the universe,” Straney said.

According to Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s 2014 State of the State Address, Mauna Kea is Hawai‘i’s gift to the world – the best place on the planet to observe the universe.

He said the TMT, which will cost $1.3 billion, will be the catalyst for the development of high-tech and high-paying jobs.

“Our state must support and ensure that this tremendous opportunity comes to fruition,” Abercrombie said in his speech.

UH owns and manages three out of the 13 telescopes on Mauna Kea, according to Straney.

Honor Society Conference aims to enrich the college experience

Honor Jan.17-1

Published on Jan. 17,  2014.
Published on Jan. 17, 2014.

Honor societies on campus will host the 2014 Honor Society Conference in February with the goal of forming a stronger campus community.

“The grand scheme purpose is to facilitate communication and campus spirit at UH because in addition to the honor societies being fractioned and not talking to each other, when we were talking about this, we also came to the conclusion that not only is it the honor societies, it’s everyone else at UH,” senior kinesiology major Brent Kobs said.

Golden Key, Mortar Board, the Honors Student Organization and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars will hold the conference on Feb. 8 with the theme of “enriching the college experience.” This is the second conference they have put on.

“The reason we did this in the first place was last year this idea came about because there’s a lot of overlap between Mortar Board, Golden Key and NSCS,” Kobs said. “And because of this, some of the executive board members started to wonder why these honor societies had never done a collaborative event together.”


Kobs said the campus community is divided largely because UH Mānoa is a commuter school.

“Because of that, people come, they take their classes, and once they’re done, they leave. Because there’s no reason for them to stick around and get to know other people of this community,” Kobs said. “So this conference is a reason for people to stick around and have conversations with their peers and get to know people from other areas of study and network and potentially form a stronger campus community.”

Although the conference is titled “Honor Society Conference,” the event is open to all faculty, staff and students, according to Kobs.

Kobs said presentations and the general discussion for the conference will be based around enhancing students’ college experience by getting involved in things other than schoolwork.

“Because there’s more to being a student than coming to class, taking notes, going home, studying for your test and that’s it. You can have a much better college experience by getting involved in clubs, RIOs (registered independent organizations) or just getting involved in other programs, finding a job that’s related to your interests, not just working at some retail shop that you don’t really like,” Kobs said.

The idea is to provide attendees with the information they need to go out and expand themselves. There will also be a small RIO involvement fair, according to Kobs. The Premedical Association, Health Behavior Change Research Student Chapter, Phi Alpha Theta, La Raza Unida and Psi Chi are some of the organizations that will be involved.

“We are gathering other RIOs, not just honor societies, just regular RIOs to attend and have a table there, advertise themselves, maybe pick up a few members or network with other RIOs so they could potentially do events together as well,” Kobs said. “And again, this is all coming back to just facilitating conversations between people of different groups. And that’s going to help build a campus community.”


Any student can present at the conference, including those who are not in any honor society, according to Kobs.

“We want to put a huge emphasis on student presenters because why would you want to have another professor lecture at you why you should get involved when you’re already being lectured at in your classes,” Kobs said. “So we think it’s going to be much better for students to hear other students’ stories and maybe that’ll be a source of inspiration for them.”

There will also be faculty speaking at the conference as keynote speakers.

Students had until Dec. 6 to submit abstracts of what their topics were going to be for the conference. Kobs said the conference planning committee looked for presentations that relate to the theme of the conference.

“We want to see variety because not everyone is in to the same things,” Kobs said. “And since this conference is open to everyone, we want to cater to as many people as possible, but also provide different viewpoints that people might already have.”

The conference will take place on Feb. 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Campus Center.

The keynote speakers

James Caron, former director of the Honors program and an English professor, will be a keynote speaker at the event, along with Maenette Benham, Dean of the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge.

Caron will talk about how to approach assembling the credits necessary for a bachelor’s to ensure some adventure during the college journey.

“I think that the essence of what I would say about ‘adventure’ in earning the 120 credits for a bachelor’s degree is to remember that beyond the major and general education requirements, a student has elective credits that allow for trying new things that will take a person out of his or her comfort zone,” Caron said.

According to Caron, earning general education credits can also be approached as an opportunity to find out about a subject that sounds intriguingly new.

“Who knows … that exploration could awaken an interest a student didn’t know she had and lead to a second major,” Caron said. “This open-minded approach doesn’t mean random choices, but one can build in variety, and the undergraduate level is the best chance to explore widely, to be extravagant, as Thoreau would say.”

Benham will be speaking about the “Hawaiian Place of Learning” on campus, drawing on ‘Ōlelo Noʻeau, or Hawaiian wise sayings.

“I intend to draw on ʻŌlelo Noʻeau to illuminate a set of principles that guide what we do in higher education from learning and teaching, to the discovery and value-added of our research and inquiry, to the covenant we all have – students, staff and faculty – to engage our many areas of knowledge and best practices to improve the quality of our lives and our communities,” Benham said.

Presidential Selection Committee adopts criteria for selecting president

The Presidential Selection Committee moved today to amend and adopt the draft President’s Agenda, which is the criteria that will be used for selecting the next president.

The agenda now incorporates many of the suggestions made by members of the public in the committee’s outreach appearances, according to a UH press release.

According to the agenda, the next president will have “superb leadership skills and a track record of having successfully managed large, complex and diverse organizations in settings that value individual achievement, innovation and accountability.”

Other criteria include having a passion to serve Hawaiʻi in higher education, an understanding and respect for the indigenous culture and people, Hawaiian traditions, values, and language. The next president should also be a collaborative team leader, have business experience, and understands the University of Hawaii system.

The committee also deferred making a decision on the selection of a search firm in its presidential search.

The President’s Agenda can be found at:

University starts work on Daniel K. Inouye Center

DKI Center Jan. 15-1

Published on Jan. 15, 2014.
Published on Jan. 15, 2014.


Construction on the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Democratic Leadership is expected to start in the fall as the university begins work on the pre-design phase.

Clifford Planning & Architecture LLC and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners LLP are the design team for the project. The university hired the firms in late November to help align the new center’s programs with concepts for the new building.

“And once we have that in better in alignment, once we are better in understanding our opportunities for the building, then we can move to a new phase to get into more of the technicalities of the building itself,” said Denise Konan, Dean of College of Social Sciences and academic lead for the center. “So this is still a very early phase of the process.”

Konan said they hope to have reports that will help guide the university in understanding what the options are in March or April.

“So then I think we will use that to develop our approach,” Konan said. “And so our hope is that we will have that together next academic year. So construction could start next academic year.”

The Board of Regents approved $5 million for the Inouye Center in October. The center will serve as a living tribute, honoring the legacy of Sen. Daniel Inouye who was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962 and earned the Medal of Honor for his heroism during World War II. Inouye passed away on Dec. 17, 2012.


Stephen Meder, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Physical, Environmental and Long Range Planning, said the purpose of the Inouye Center is for the benefit of the state, region and country.

“It’s broader than Mānoa in that it’s really to serve future generations in the state of Hawai‘i,” Meder said. “And provide an inspiring record of this man’s legacy. So we’re really looking at it to serve the people of Hawai‘i, the region and the country.”

The center will house seven academic programs that look at civic engagement, civic responsibility and serving in the public sphere sector.

“It’s not just a library or a repository for his work, but that it should have a living legacy associated with it,” Konan said. “So we’re working with faculty right now to design academic programs that would be affiliated with the center.”

Konan said the center will also archive Inouye’s congressional papers.

“It’s most appropriate for those to be at the flagship research campus because we will have the faculty who would be pursuing research based on the papers,” she said.

There will also be an oral history project that faculty are working on proposing.

According to Konan, the College of Social Sciences is also looking at putting together a degree in Public Policy or Public Affairs.

“This is an area where the College of Social Sciences has history, and we think with the Inouye Center it will position us really well to have a world-class program in this area,” Konan said.

The center will develop academic programs on policy and leadership programs, an Inouye Fellows program, Hawai‘i Democratic Leadership partnerships, a lecture series and museum partnerships.

“His legacy is an important one because I think in many ways he represented (the) best of Hawai‘i and some of the issues Hawai‘i faces,” Konan said.

Konan said the university also sees opportunities to bring students in and have programs oriented to students understanding that with public service comes great responsibility. The center expects to serve the community, drawing in residents with activities and programs.

“In our public policy initiative we will be getting together faculty from really multiple disciplines to look at consequential public policy issues and to provide research and insights that will inform the community in a way that we hope will elevate the dialogue,” Konan said.


The center is slated to replace Henke Hall.

According to Konan, Henke Hall is ideal because of its proximity to Hamilton Library, Jefferson Hall and the East-West Center.

“It’s near the East-West Center, and we see that there are going to be synergies with the East-West Center,” Konan said. “So it seemed like a very ideal location for what we want, which is to have this be a new gateway to the university and a public space.”

Meder said the Henke Hall location has not been finalized as the location for the center.

The Planning Office currently uses it as a storage location. It houses the School of Social Work, the Center for Biographical Research, a snail lab, a shark lab, the student center for the Pacific Island Studies program and offices for some of the theater faculty.

Occupants will be moved to Gartley Hall or Kuykendall Annex.

Noreen Mokuau, Dean for the School of Social Work, thinks the hall is a great spot for the center.

“I think it’s a great spot for the Inouye Center,” Mokuau said. “I mean this piece of property off East-West Road. It’s a beautiful spot for the Inouye Center, so I think it’s a great idea.”

Her center will be moving to Gartley Hall, once construction is completed. She said she is looking forward to the move.

“We have waited for quite some time to be some tenants of a building that can accommodate us in classrooms because currently in Henke there are no classrooms, so our students are spread out around campus,” Mokuau said. “So in Gartley what it will mean is, we’ll have faculty offices in one building as well as classrooms for our students. So we are actually looking forward to the move.”


Konan said there will be many opportunities for students to get involved with the center.

“Some are around the kind of research that the faculty will want to do around the papers and the archives and the oral history,” Konan said. “Students could get involved in that. Students could also get involved in some of these programs that we hope to design for the high school students and the community.”

UH Mānoa alumna Kelly Park is the project assistant for the center.

“The main reason for getting involved in this project is because I see the great value and unique opportunity that this project can bring to students,” Park said. “This project will entail activities and programs for students to creatively explore civic engagement, grow personal and professional leadership, find mentors in our community and discover their important role and responsibility in the community.”

Students who have any ideas or concerns about the center can email Konan at

Bookstore ‘dares to compare’ textbook prices

Published on Jan. 13, 2014.
Published on Jan. 13, 2014.

A new price comparison tool will allow the university bookstore to offer lower-priced textbooks and allow students to compare textbook prices at other retailers.

“So if we see that a book is cheaper in the market then we’re able to kind of bring our prices down to be more competitive,” Tricia Ejima, Assistant Director for Campus Services at Mānoa, said. “It’ll also give us tools where we can try to get cheaper books as well as try and offer it less for students. So it’s just added tools for us to get cheaper books and offer cheaper books.”

Students can use the price comparison tool in the store and on its website to compare prices of some textbooks to other retailers like Amazon,, and

“Those are the kind of vendors that will show on our site; like what their prices compare to what prices we’re offering,” Ejima said. “’Dare to compare’ is the motto.”

The price comparison service will be provided throughout the UH Bookstores system, which includes nine stores across four islands.


“We know the rising cost of education is just a tremendous burden on our students these days. So the bookstore wants to be able to provide as many value options as possible,” Ejima said.

The bookstore is trying to help students combat the rising cost of education, according to Ejima.

Several years ago, the bookstore launched its textbook rental program, and according to Ejima, it was a success.

“So this price comparison tool will just add to that by providing other options, even if that means going out to competitors,” Ejima said. “We were listening to our students and we know that they want more, and some of them want new books, some of them want used books, some want digital, some really like the rental. And this will just give them more options to choose from. “

According to College Board, college students spend an average of nearly $1,200 a year on textbooks and course materials.

Senior Allie Makk, a Communicology major, said the textbook prices at the bookstore are expensive.

“I actually think they charge a lot for most of the textbooks. And the buyback rates are ridiculous,” Makk said.

Sophomore Ben Rudner, a Kinesiology and Rehabilitative Sciences major, said he buys his textbooks from rather than from the bookstore on campus.

“Their prices are too expensive,” Rudner said.

Marketing Specialist Emily Benton said according to Student Watch 2013, nearly 70 percent of students regularly compare prices online. The NACS Foundation completed the survey and is the philanthropic arm of the National Association of College Stores.

“Whether or not they’re able to check more than one vendor, we don’t know,” Ejima said. “But what this tool will be able to do is it will show a lot of vendors, not just one, but it will stack us up against the competition.”


The bookstore’s price comparison tool is available on its website as well as by scanning QR codes on shelf cards.

A student can select the course they are taking and the tool will show that student the different pricing options for the required textbook.

“You’ll have all of our different prices for new books, used books, rentals, if it’s available in digital,” Ejima said. “And then it’ll also show our competitors and what their price is, and then it’ll compare the prices between the two of them. The students will be able to see both of them on the same page.”

The bookstore has added computer stations for students to go online if there isn’t a QR code on the shelf card.

“So as long as they can see the website they can see all the prices,” Ejima said.

Makk and Rudner think the price comparison tool will be useful.

“I think that’d be a good idea so then students know if the prices are fair,” Makk said.

Rudner said the tool might not get the bookstore as much business as there might be cheaper prices elsewhere.

According to Phyllis Look, Marketing and Communications Manager for Campus Services, manually looking up the prices for textbooks is time-consuming.

“What you would’ve had to do is you would’ve had to go to all of these competitors and make a chart of all the comparative prices, look at whether you want to be really thorough, you’d have to look at all the rental books, digital,” Look said.

Ejima said when students do price comparisons on their own, they may not always purchase the correct textbook. Some mistake the editions of the book that are required for class.

“By using the price competitor tool on our site, they already know it’s the correct book,” Ejima said.

According to Look, all of the bookstore’s proceeds go back to the university.

A change in the bookstore’s textbook refund policy 

According to Marketing Specialist Emily Benton, the University of Hawaiʻi Bookstore System is streamlining its textbook return policies for 2014.

Books may be returned for a refund within the first week of instruction for the current semester, and after the first week, all sales are final. All sales are final for Outreach College courses that are one week long or shorter.

According to the policy, books must be clean and free of markings in order to be returned. The original receipt is also required.

Damaged books will be refunded at the used price. The policy still allows for books to be sold for retail or wholesale value during the annual Buyback periods.

Grocery shopping for dummies

Published on Jan. 13, 2014.
Published on Jan. 13, 2014.

As a college student, you are going to be making many trips to the grocery store for much-needed supplies and food. Now that you’re living on your own, here are some tips on which grocery stores are best for what as you make your way through your college years.


This grocery store, located on Harding Avenue, is one of the closest grocery stores to campus. It’s easy to get to and walking distance if you live in the dorms. It’s a great place to get a ready-to-go sandwich or a cake from the deli or bakery departments. It’s also open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Foodland is known for its poke, available in different varieties such as shoyu and limu. And, if you’re looking for a place that gets its produce locally, this store is for you. This store offers a Maikaʻi Card for its frequent shoppers. As a Maikaʻi member, you would earn one point for every dollar spent at the store. Once you reach 250 points, you’ll receive a My Rewards Certificate good for five percent off a future grocery purchase, special product savings or 200 HawaiianMiles.

Location: 2939 Harding Ave. Honolulu, HI, 96816.


Kokua Market is another store that offers locally grown produce as well as organically grown foods. Its mission is to operate grocery stores in accordance with promoting healthy, sustainable living in the state. This store includes a deli with foods made with mostly-organic ingredients. The menu also includes raw, vegan and macrobiotic (antibiotic- and hormone-free) meat selections.

Owned by its own customers, this store calls itself the only natural foods cooperative in Hawaiʻi. It also sells handcrafted soaps made with all natural ingredients.

Location: 2643 S. King St. Honolulu, HI 96826

Hours: Mon-Sun, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.


Safeway is a 24-hour grocery store located on Kapahulu Avenue. This store has a deli, bakery, Starbucks and floral department, along with many others. Located only a mile away from campus, this store is easily accessible by bus, Route 13, car, bike or moped. Safeway is also most likely to have all the common food products and brands like Breyers ice cream and Ritz crackers. This store has First Hawaiian Bank and United Postal Services branches for a one-stop place to buy groceries, get money if you need it and ship a package. Safeway is also a money-saver for those who have Club Cards.

Location: 888 Kaphulu Ave