Campus Center Events

A look into how Campus Center events will be conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic

A photo of an empty hallway.

Copy Editor Clara Scheidle
Photo courtesy of Editor-in-Chief Rosannah Gosser

“We are still doing programs. We just have to alter them.” Lai Sha Bugado

The campus is closed to the community, classes have been moved online for the rest of the semester, and yet students remain in the dorms and continue to visit the library or patron the dining halls. These activities can be done with minimal people, however, and all fit the six-feet social distancing rule. But what about the events that campus center used to be home to? The organizations who were provided money to entertain students? Many remain on island and on campus - what of them?

The latest guidelines restrict any events with over 10 people, and any with less must be in an area that accommodates the six-feet apart guideline. Chartered Student Organizations (CSOs) received an email on March 20 with the new restrictions clearly outlined, sent from Fiscal Clerk Matthew “Matt” Kalahiki and Campus Center Director Lai Sha Bugado . This email states that all events/ activities with 10 or more people are to be cancelled, “at least through the end of April.” That being said, Kalahiki and Bugado encouraged CSOs to postpone or modify events and activities. They also suggested that the organizations meet virtually rather than in person, another measure to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

While they don’t know the future of face-to-face events, Bugado says that events will remain - “though not in the traditional sense.” She says that through Zoom and social media, CSOs can modify or change their events into an activity that will allow social distancing. “We are still doing programs,” she says. “We just have to alter them.”

There are many ways for programs to adapt. Ke Kalahea, for example, will continue to host News and Brews, though now it will be in the form of grab-and-go goody bags. In addition to posting the latest issue online, Ke Kalahea will also be using funds to mail issues to students who are working remotely and cannot come to campus to get a printed copy.

The grab-and-go format is a way of delivering not only food, but also do-it-yourself kits. Bugado outlines a possible event where an organization asks students to sign up for the event, makes kits based on whatever project they choose, and allows students to come pick them up. Along with the kit could be a QR code which would lead students to a video on how to complete the kit.

The Student Activities Council (SAC) is currently in planning mode for new event ideas as well. “We are aware that this is a new situation for all of us and we want to ensure the student body that we, as SAC, are doing the best we can to support our students,” says Rheanne Gadot, SAC’s executive vice chair. SAC has been holding their council meetings via Zoom to come up with a master plan of events for the remainder of the semester. These events will “promote social distancing” and be mostly hosted through an online platform. They also are planning a “drive up,” or delivery and pick up system, for students who are on campus for the remainder of the semester. Soon, SAC will distribute a Google form for students to provide their input on the above plans.

With so many news sources and social media pushing information on the virus, Campus Center is also consolidating information pertaining to COVID-19. “The Division of Student Affairs has asked us to have coordinated efforts in handling the students’ needs and spread of information during the pandemic,” says Bugado.

She says they plan to do this by putting pertinent information relevant to students, faculty, and the community on their website. In addition, they are looking at ways to reach out to the community via University Radio Hilo.

At the time of this writing, Vulcan Video Productions is the only CSO with an event listed thus far. They will be hosting the VVP Pre-Production Workshop, which will occur on April 11 and begin at 11 a.m. More details on this workshop can be found on UH Hilo’s News and Events calendar.

Bugado says she hopes that there will be more to come. Students should keep their eyes on both the News and Events page and the Campus Center’s website. Exact dates are not currently known due to the time needed for fiscal processing, but more events are expected to pop up soon and throughout the month of April. In fact, Bugado says she hopes there will be more listed by the time this publication goes to print. She also mentioned that she has encouraged the organizations to continue their online presence and continue putting up promotional and recruiting materials to prepare the coming academic year.

Even with the campus closed, Campus Center’s hours have been modified such that they are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Campus Center’s Instagram, @uhhilocampuscenter, will be reposting information on events as soon as it is made available on the CSO accounts. These events as well as their detailed descriptions will also be listed on the News and Events calendar.

Gadot and SAC are also encouraging students to reach out to them via their Snapchat, UHHSAC, their Instagram @uhhsac, or via their email uhhsac@hawaii.edu. “As we all move forward, the best way for the students and the UH community to be informed and up to date, will be through our social media platforms, as it will be our main and direct contact,” Gadot says.

Aloha, my name is Clara Scheidle and I am copy editor and a writer for Ke Kalahea. My article on Campus Center Events is about how student events are being adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find this online at ke kalahea dot com, or pick up a physical copy of our latest issue from campus. Follow at ke kalahea on instagram for more updates from UH Hilos student run newspaper.