Student gets stuck in 38-year-old Sakamaki elevator

A UH Mānoa student was stuck in a Sakamaki Hall elevator for nearly an hour Friday afternoon.

ASUH senator Brenden Burk said he was the sixth person to get stuck in an elevator this semester.

According to Tom Katsuyoshi from the Office of Facilities and Grounds, there have been several incidents where people have been trapped in the elevators.

“I can’t say for sure that it was the sixth time – it could be more, or it could be less,” he said.

Katsuyoshi said the elevators are roughly 38 years old, as Sakamaki Hall was built in 1976, and the present elevators are the original ones.

He said the elevators have been problematic for a number of years.

“The elevator company tells us that the elevators are safe for use but will exhibit erratic behavior from time to time due to their age,” Katsuyoshi said.

He said the recent spat of unexpected stoppages are due mainly to the inability of the elevators to handle power irregularities, such as brown-outs and surges.

“Our Facilities Office is working closely with the elevator company to come up with a means to prevent power irregularities from causing these stoppages, but it is a complex process,” Katusyoshi said. “We are investigating the possibility of shutting down the more problematic of the two elevators, but because they are so old and run on outdated systems, there is no way we can assure anyone that problems will cease.”

He said if there is no reliable “fix” to the situation, the elevator will be taken out of service.

But, there is an ongoing elevator modernization program that is currently underway.

“The first three phases are already underway, and when the three phases are completed, the elevators in 24 of our buildings will have been totally changed out,” Katsuyoshi said. “Two or three more phases are also planned for the change out of the elevators in the remaining 18 buildings with elevators on our campus.”

He said the Sakamaki Hall elevators are scheduled for complete change out by the end of this year and early next year.

If a person gets stuck in an elevator, he or she should remain calm, according to Katsuyoshi. The person can call Campus Security and announce to the dispatcher that he or she is stuck in an elevator, or if the person does not have CS’s number, the person can call 911 and indicate that it is a non-emergency and ask to be connected to CS. Katsuyoshi said there is also a phone in the elevator cab that may be used to call CS.–year-old-sakamaki-elevator/article_d0a1346c-b4b7-11e3-a383-0017a43b2370.html


Alert: UH alerts fail to report all crimes

Last semester, the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa alert system did not report 12 incidents, which the Clery Act says requires reporting of crimes that fit its seven major categories.

Those categories include criminal homicide; sex offenses; robbery; aggravated assault; burglary, where there is evidence of unlawful entry; motor vehicle theft and arson.

According to Campus Security personnel, in reporting crimes via the UH Alert system, Campus Security is guided by the requirements of the federal law known as the Clery Act, which requires that the university promptly notify its community of a significant or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on campus.

Three alerts that were reported by UH Mānoa Alerts last semester included asking the public for information regarding the whereabouts two sexual offenders and a break-in at the HELP building.

Of the 12 incidents not reported last semester, Campus Security personnel said not all Clery-related crimes and incidents require an alert or announcement.

“Each case is handled on its own merits,” Campus Security personnel said. “For example, we consider on-going safety concerns and other factors, like if a situation is recurring, before determining if the incident merits an announcement.”

Charles Noffsinger, chief of Campus Security, quoted the “Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting,” February 2011 (Chapter 6. Emergency Notification and Timely Warnings: Alerting Your Campus Community, page 98): “Under Clery, your institution is required to immediately notify the campus community upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees occurring on the campus. An ‘immediate’ threat as used here encompasses an imminent or impending threat, such as an approaching forest fire, as well as a fire currently raging in one of your buildings.”

Abigail Boyer, assistant executive director of programs, outreach and communications at the Clery Center for Security On Campus, echoed this saying the determinations are made on a case-by-case basis given the facts of the crime, such as the nature of the crime and the continuing danger to the campus community.

“For example, if a burglary happens on campus and the perpetrator is apprehended, the institution may determine that there is not a serious or ongoing threat to the campus community and may choose not to issue a warning,” Boyer said.

She said the Department of Education enforces the act, so only it can determine whether an institution is in compliance.

According to Noffsinger, the decision on whether to issue an Emergency Alert or a Timely Warning as required by Clery is typically a collaborative process involving various individuals or offices, depending upon the circumstances.

“In ‘clear-cut’ situations, I as the Chief or my designees have the authority to issue these notices,” he said.

At UH Hilo, the decision to issue a security alert is made in coordination and consultation between the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Affairs and the Director of Campus Security, except in extreme emergencies when the process is implemented at the sole direction of the Director of Campus Security or alternate.

The Hilo campus issues these alerts when it is determined that “there is a series of criminal activity, usually property crime related or other criminal activity that is not subject to the timely warning standard required by the Clery Act,” according to a criteria for issuing a Clery timely warning notice document.

Here is a list of incidents that are classified under the Clery-defined seven major categories that weren’t reported via UH Alerts last semester.

Sept. 3

Burglary at Bilger

At 3 p.m., an educational specialist from the Chemistry Department reported a burglary that took place between Aug. 30 at 5:30 p.m. and Sept. 3 at 8:10 a.m. According to the educational specialist, an Apple iPad belonging to the Chemistry Department was stolen. Campus Security reported negative signs of forced entry and added that the doors were locked and the windows were not tampered with.

Sept. 15

Burglary at Hale Noelani

Between 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. a $1,200 laptop was stolen from a student’s room in Hale Noelani. The owner of the laptop suspects that one or more of her three guests stole it when she left the room to escort a friend to a taxi. When she returned to her room, the door was locked, and her three guests and her laptop were gone.

Sept. 18

Burglary at Les Murakami Stadium

Between Sept. 17 at 3 p.m. and Sept. 18 at 7:50 a.m., burglars smashed a lanai sliding glass door on the third floor of Les Murakami Stadium. A UH staff member reported that nothing was stolen.

Sept. 19

Burglary at Johnson Hall-A

UH staff reported a burglary between 9:30 and 9:45 a.m. The UH staff member said the suspect, who appeared to be a middle- or high-school aged male, ate eggs from a coffee filter. When questioned about his identity, the suspect said he was waiting for his friends. The suspect later disappeared. Campus Security reported that the suspect entered in an opening between the ceiling and the top of an entrance door.

Sept. 22


A student reported a burglary to Campus Security. Perpetrators stole the student’s laptop, valued at $800, as well as her roommate’s laptop between Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 22 at 10 a.m. Campus Security reported no signs of forced entry. The victim suspects that perpetrators entered her room through her window, located on the first floor.

Sept. 29

Burglary at Hale Noelani

Campus Security reported that perpetrators snuck in through an unlocked window on the third floor between midnight and 10 a.m. and stole a GoPro valued at $250. The victim reported that she closed her window, but did not secure it. The victim’s roommate noticed the window was open at 2 a.m.

Oct. 14

Burglary II at Energy House

Burglars broke into the Energy House between Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. and Oct. 14 at 9:10 a.m. According to reports, a stopper was wedged under the door, giving burglars the opportunity to enter. Staff said nothing was stolen, but the space inside had evidence of occupancy.

Oct. 20

Burglary I at Hale Noelani

At 12:23 a.m., three non-resident males entered a room uninvited. According to staff, “the males possibly attempted to abduct one of the residents.” After the incident, two of the suspects entered into a vehicle and tried to flee. Campus Security blocked the suspects’ vehicle at Wilder Ave. and Momi Way, preventing their escape. HPD arrived at the scene and detained the suspects.

Oct. 23

Sex Assault IV at Sinclair Library

On the second floor of Sinclair Library, a student caught a male masturbating. The incident occurred between 2:15 and 2:20 p.m. Staff reported the incident.

Nov. 10

Auto Theft at Hale Aloha Cafeteria parking lot

At 5:14 p.m., a student reported that her 1998 Mazda Protégé, valued at $2,000, had been stolen. The incident occurred between 3:30 to 5:14 p.m.

Dec. 2

Burglary II at Henke Hall

Burglars climbed up a wall, removed jalousies and entered into a staff member’s office between 3 to 5:50 p.m. Burglars stole a UH purchasing credit card.

Dec. 11

Burglary at Wa’ahila faculty housing

Staff reported that burglars broke into a first floor apartment, entering through a jalousie. According to a report, burglars stole $1,200 worth of electronics and jewelry. The incident occurred between Dec. 10 at 10:30 p.m. and Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

UH Board of Regents to publicize top three presidential candidates

The Board of Regents voted today to clarify the presidential selection process.

According to a UH press release, the Presidential Selection Committee will forward to the full board either five or six names of the top candidates it recommends for consideration. The full board will then select three topic candidates from that list and the names of those candidates will be made public.

The top three candidates will also be invited to visit campuses and have conversations with various groups and the general public as extensively as is feasible.

The committee did not set a deadline for the list to be sent to the full board. Review of applications and nominations began on March 12 and will continue until the position is filled. For best consideration, applications should be submitted by March 26, 2014.

Make your spring break meaningful

Published on March 19, 2014.
Published on March 19, 2014.

Spring break can be more than partying all day and night. Imagine going on a hike to a waterfall or traveling to another island. There are many things that one can do with a week free of school; here are some ideas to help give your break a purpose.


There are hundreds of trails in the Hawaiian Islands, and spring break is a perfect time to explore. If you’re sticking around O‘ahu for the week, set a goal to find a hike you’ve never done before. If you’re new to hiking, start easy with Mānoa Falls or the Lanikai Pillboxes. Both hikes can take up to a couple of hours, depending on how fast you go and how long you want to stay, but there is a rewarding view once you reach your destination. If you’re more experienced, try the Pali Puka hike for a view of East O‘ahu.


Looking for an adventure? Island-hop to Maui, Kaua‘i or the Big Island to broaden your options. Make it your mission to travel around the island and try something new every day. Go to Hanalei Bay on Kaua‘i to snorkel and relax in the sun or take a helicopter tour of the waterfalls of West Maui. Going to another island can be refreshing, especially where there’s no big city or frustrating traffic. Switching up islands can be the type of peaceful break you need after a long semester.


If hiking isn’t high on your interests list and travel is out of your price range, try giving back to the community. Take this week of free time as an opportunity to volunteer for various organizations and events. The Hawaiian Humane Society is always looking for extra help. Volunteers are required to work a three-hour shift every week for a minimum of three months, but what better time to start than during break? You can also volunteer for the Honolulu Habitat for Humanity, which builds houses every Saturday for low-income families. Other opportunities to help the less fortunate include Lanakila Meals on Wheels, a provider of more than 250,000 meals a year to people with disabilities, or the Hawai‘i Food Bank, where your help can be accompanied by a donation of canned foods.

Setting goals for yourself is a great way to give your break a purpose. Take some quality time to yourself and explore nature. Lend a helping hand to your community to give yourself a feeling of accomplishment at the end of your break. Don’t laze around your room all week. Go out and get going.

Warrior Recreation Center to open April 11

The Warrior Recreation Center is in the final stages of construction and will have a grand opening April 11, according to Campus Center Board President Matthew Nagata.

According to Kelli Abe Trifonovitch, Director of Communications and Outreach for the University of Hawaiʻi, the center is scheduled to be substantially complete this month.

Inspections of the building are currently being made prior to turnover.

After the building is turned over to the University, staff will be preparing fitness equipment, stocking supplies and undergoing training to operate the facility,” Trifonovitch said.

On-site construction for the center started in January  2011 with an original contract completion date of December 2012. According to Nagata, the center is 16 months behind schedule.

“Of course, no one likes the delays, but unfortunately, they happen and we just want to work through them to finally get our building open and give the students access that they’ve waited so long for,” Nagata said.

According to Trifonovitch, the time extensions were required due to numerous factors, including unforeseen site conditions, such as unexpected underground utilities and soils conditions; the need to add additional technology to enhance usability for students; subcontractor bankruptcy issues; and design and contractor-performance related issues.

A recreation center for warriors

The 66,877 square feet building with two floors will have a fitness center for cardio vascular and weight training, a multi-purpose fitness studio, and men’s and women’s locker rooms and showers.  The facility also includes a multi-purpose gymnasium sized to run two basketball courts simultaneously, and an indoor track over the perimeter of the court area, according to Trifonovitch.

The court can also be reconfigured to fit three volleyball courts or six badminton courts.

The center will also feature some sustainable aspects.

“The facility is designed for sustainability at the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Silver certification level, including features such as energy efficient mechanical equipment, photovoltaic panels, a solar hot water system, solar shading to minimize heat gain, green roofs to reduce storm water runoff, and underground storage tanks to reuse storm water for landscape irrigation,” Trifonovitch said.

According to Nagata, the university is looking at having operating hours from about 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“If students want to workout between classes, they can come in, have a morning class, work out, shower in the locker rooms, change clothes, and head back to class as opposed to closing from 8-12 for the KRS classes,” he said.

A multi-million dollar facility

“The cost of the Warrior Recreation Center including equipment is approximately $35 million,” Trifonovitch said.

Nagata said the idea for a second recreation facility came about from the Campus Center Board in 2002 or 2003. He said the board and campus constituents recognized that the facility in lower campus was at capacity, like it is now.

He notes that the campus shares the facility with KRS classes, causing closures during the daytime.

Campus Center Board also helped get student funding for the center. In 2002 or 2003, according to Nagata, the board received approximately 2,000 student signatures for a petition to raise the campus center operation and recreation fee to fund the project.

The fee rose from $45 a semester to its current price of $175.

“So it’s a student-funded project, using student dollars,” Nagata said. ”Initiated by the students, for the students.”

He said in the process of raising the fee, the campus was able to increase some of its services like those of Student Recreation Services.

When the new Warrior Recreation Center is open, Campus Center Board hopes that the campus is able to utilize the current university fitness center at lower campus and Stan Sheriff Center for classes. Nagata said the Athletics department manages the facilities at lower campus.

A long-awaited center

Nagata said he’s excited to have a recreation facility on upper campus.

“It’s a great improvement over the current facility we have in lower campus,” he said.

Junior Topher Brogh, an electrical engineering major, also said he’s looking forward to the new center.

Senior Angela Nam, a psychology major, thinks the recreation center has taken a long time to be built. She said it won’t be useful to her since she’ll be graduating.

Sophomore psychology major Nicole Santos thinks the new center will be good for people since it’s on campus, rather than in lower campus.

“I think it’s cool that they’re finally opening because I know they’ve been working on it for quite a while,” she said.

She said there should have been no reason for the center’s delays as there were always people working on the project.

“I think UH kind of has a problem with like keeping things on time with building, but overall since they’re opening it up, it’s ok,” Santos said.

Hawaiʻi students gather for sustainable campuses

In a room filled with approximately 40 students representing nine campuses, all of them have one thing in common: they are concerned about sustainability.

Today, these students met to strategize on sustainability initiatives and determine student liaisons for each campus.

A student liaison, according to Doorae Shin, organizer of the Student Sustainability Coalition of Hawaiʻi, would serve as the ambassador between his or her campus and the SSCH.

The students also discussed the Student Sustainability Fund, which is a proposal led by the SSCH to implement a $5 fee to fund student sustainability initiatives, projects and research. The fee would function like the athletic and health fees that every student in the system pays every semester.

The fee would be student-controlled and each campus would manage its own fee.

“This is a system-wide sustainability fund,” Antonia Agbannawag, member of the SSCH, said. “And it’s a self-imposed tax; it’s student-funded, but it’s a tax that we control. So we have our own pool of funds and our own separate investment on the initiatives that we would like to move forward in sustainability.”

The student coalition is still working on the details of the process and structure of the fee, but those in attendance at the summit voiced their concerns and thoughts.

One concern was on the fee being entirely student controlled.

According to Agbannawag and Shin, the SSCH is still determining whether or not to include a faculty or staff member in the decision-making process of deciding what would be funded and how much funding would be given.

The SSCH plans to send out a survey to UH students to see what they think about sustainability and what initiatives they would like to see funded.

The organization is aiming to have the fee implemented in fall 2015, meaning it needs to have the Board of Regent’s approval by fall 2014.

“The timeline on having any student fee implemented, is it happens to be the fall prior to implementation for the Board of Regents to pass it,” Agbannawag said.

It plans to approach the board before this school year is over to discuss the fee and get on the board’s agenda.

“Anything that the BOR is going to approve is going to have to be something that students full-heartedly desire and that is the point of the student forum—it’s to show how much this means to us and share with the rest of our families, communities, our peers what the impact is, what the benefits are, raising their concerns and really gathering more input.” Agbannawag said. “But then again, it’s to educate and show them the need for this.”

The SSCH had students from each campus meet to develop a plan on holding student forums on each campus to gather student input and support for the fund.

“The Board of Regents have told us that you pretty much cannot pass anything that’s putting a fee on students, unless you have clearly shown that you have support from them,” Shin said.

The SSCH, an organization made up of students from universities in the state, hosted the student forum as part of the Second Annual Hawaiʻi Sustainability in Higher Education Summit.

According to Shin, about 40 students came together at last year’s sustainability summit for its student forum.

“They decided together that there should be some kind of coalition of students from all campuses on all islands,” she said.

Now, there are about 150 students on its listserv.

The organization’s mission is to “cultivate a system of sustainable learning environments throughout Hawaiʻi,” according to its website. It envisions fully sustainable, green and thriving campuses for a perpetual living connection between the islands and their people.

Most of Mānoa capital improvement projects not finished on time

Most of the projects on the Mānoa campus’ list of capital improvement projects were not or will not be completed on time.

“Practically every project is delayed; some by a few months, some by a few years,” Regent Jeffrey Portnoy said at the Board of Regents Committee on Planning and Facilities meeting today. “Why is it? I know there’s an explanation for each one. If there were one or two that fit in this category, then that’s understandable. When you go down this list, you find almost none that came in at or about the time they were supposed to be completed.”

Portnoy said he understands there may be a reason for each individual project, but for him, when one looks at them collectively, it either means that the original project completion date was not well thought out or there’s something else going on.

“Where are the projected completion dates coming from?” he asked.

Board of Regents Chairman John Holzman agrees there’s a problem when he looks at the list of projects that were not completed on time. He noted that the board’s Independent Audit Committee met earlier this week and said there’s a process on how to handle changes to a project contract. The Business Process Council handles this process.

“If (the university) didn’t have enough money, they took a key part of that project out with the intent of sticking it back in later as a change order,” he said.

Holzman said the issue of the Clarence TC Ching Complex was brought up at the audit committee’s meeting.

“It doesn’t help when we decide not to follow our own process and that has happened too,” Holzman said. “And that’s a risk management approach that people have taken. TC Ching was an example where it was a clear decision not to follow process because they just wanted to get it done”

Brian Minaai, vice president for capital improvements, said most of the university’s projects have numerous change orders. There are four types: unforeseen, owner initiatives, clarification omissions and errors.

Portnoy said there are some who believe that the state has developed a culture of encouraging or not looking closely at change orders. He thinks the university ought to be taking the lead on discouraging change orders.

“You guys know better than me that if I went back and looked at every university project I would find, I’m guessing, hundreds of change orders for all different reasons,” Portnoy said to the committee. “So I just think that’s a culture that maybe can begin to change and maybe it starts here.”