Mia Rollins, Staff writer
While there are many clubs on campus, one club has received the most attention for its encouraged participation, welcoming atmosphere, fun activities, and delicious food. The Hui ‘O Hawaiʻi club is known to all, but many students are unaware of what it entails. The club’s mission statement is “to support students from Hawaii and other Pacific islands in the hopes of creating an environment where these students feel safe and comfortable. As a legacy club, we have historically supported students from Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, and various places in Micronesia. While supporting these students who traveled to Saint Martin’s from faraway places, we also aim to educate our community about the Hawaiian and broader Polynesian cultures, through our food, music, and entertainment.”
The club’s president, Jase Kugiya, gave some reasons as to maybe why that is. “I think the Hawaii club is popular because of its rich history with the school. There have been students from Hawaii since the 60’s and possibly even earlier. Every year the Hawaii Club puts together the annual Lūʻau which is the biggest student run event, and always generates a lot of excitement amongst the staff and faculty, students, and outside community. Because of the publicity, students are attracted to learn more about the Hawaiian culture by joining our club in which we share our culture through the food, music, and various events that we host throughout the year.”
Another common misconception that is widely thought around campus is that you are required to be from Hawaii or Hawaiian to be part of the club. However, Kugiya explains that this is not the case.
“Sometimes I’ll hear, ‘I don’t know if I can be in the Hawaii club, I’m not Hawaiian.’ This is far from the truth. We try our best to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and appreciated. A good portion of our club is comprised of students from areas outside of Hawaii… We take pride in being inclusive and everyone is welcomed. ”
Although there are no requirements to be part of Hawaii club as compared to other clubs on campus, consistent participation is highly encouraged because the club hosts some pretty big events throughout the year that requires a lot of volunteer work.
The Hawaii Club is organizing its annual Lūʻau, which will take place on Apr. 7. The Lūʻau consists of music, tasty food, talented dancers, and much more. The event will start at 5 p.m. and invites not only students at Saint Martin’s, but members of the Lacey community as well.
Kugiya had also told said the Hawaii Club is trying to bring back the Man vs. Food challenge and to keep eyes out for the club’s flyers around campus.
The club president shared that club meetings are held once a month on a Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. in the TUB. He also encouraged new members to get involved with the club.
“If you are interested in becoming a member please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you don’t need to be in the club to participate in the Lūʻau. You can volunteer or sign up as a dancer! Posters are up with the dance schedule.”