The voice of the student body: The UHHSA

Writer: Maria Christine C. Castro

A small graphic about the bridge of UHHSA between students and administration

When we were in elementary, middle, and high school, we all knew about the organization known as the Student Council. Some schools even shorten it to STUCO. The elections for STUCO were always based on how popular a person was. As kids, we may have assumed that the “popular kids”, should run the school. It was just the way things were. As our generation matured, the idea of popularity was no longer the sole dominant force of a person’s opinion on other people, rather, it is what they would do for the school. At our university, we have the evolved form of STUCO, the UHHSA.

The University of Hawai`i at Hilo Student Association (UHHSA) is known for being the school’s student government. It acts as the bridge between the student body and the university’s administration. The elected individuals who make up the organization keep an active relationship with the other student organizations on campus, the school’s faculty, the University Board of Regents, and the State Legislature. This ensures the concerned voices of the student population are heard.

The UHHSA is comprised of the Senate, Committee, and the Hilo Ambassador. The Senate consists of the elected officials who oversee the organization. The Committee is divided into two groups that tackle UH Hilo’s particular issues of interest. Ad-Hoc Committees are temporarily created to cater to specific situations. Standing Committees are permanently made to solve problematic student areas that the Senate identify as concerning. Lastly, the UH Hilo Ambassador Program was made to give students the opportunity to receive financial support from the student government. In return, selected Ambassadors represent the campus at events, conferences, or even contests.

UHHSA encourages students to reach out to them with any concerns they might have throughout the semester, or even the school year. For the current Spring 2018 semester, their meetings are held on Thursdays at 7:00 PM in CC 306. The office doors located at the Campus Center room 203-A welcome every and anyone with a concern, comment, question, or even the urge to say ‘hello’. The office schedule is currently undergoing some updates to accommodate all of the senators’ availabilities. A finalized schedule should be available soon. It will be posted on the UHHSA’s office door. If you miss any of them and would like to get in touch with them they can be contacted through emails with their general email address: uhhsa@hawaii.edu. Each senate member is also accessible with their emails posted on the senate link on their main page of the UH Hilo website.

If you believe that you have what it takes to be the link between your fellow peers and the school system apply for a position at the UHHSA. Whether you are a senator or committee member of the association, you will be able to help make a difference in the lives of other students enrolled at the university. Currently, the vacant positions are Senators for the College of Arts and Sciences (CoAS), Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, and two vacancies for the Senator-At-Large position.

Applications can be picked up at the UHHSA office, or by downloading the proper forms on the UHHSA page of the UH Hilo website.

Vester “Boomer” Robester, the President of UHHSA, would also like to send his explanation about what the UHHSA does in his own words as well as a short, personal message to his fellow Vulcans. “A little about UHHSA, we are UH Hilo's student government. [Our] purpose is to be the liaison among students, faculty, administration and legislation. We are also comprised of multiple committees with different senators overseeing each committees. Elections are coming up and we are encouraging students to apply! Most of our senate are graduating seniors, so we are looking forward to have a fresh group next year.”