Student Resources: About the Pacific Islander Student Center

Signs on the wall at the Pacific Islander Student Center

If you’ve ever wandered by Campus Center room 307, then you’ve probably seen the Pacific Islander Student Center. It’s a space to welcome and support Pacific Islander students, but it is open to anyone.

The center provides printing services, computers, and it even has a kitchen. It’s also a great place to learn about the Pacific Islands, and to get to know your peers from around the world.

Map of flags and countries of Oceania, labeled 'Navigating through the Pacific' According to Jim Mellon , director of International Student Services, the Pacific Islander Student Center was created in 2008 when students raised the idea of having a Samoan “fale,” or an outdoor pavilion for students to gather on campus. When a grant opportunity became available to renovate a facility on campus, the large Campus Center room 306 was transformed into rooms 306 and 307. The Pacific Islander Student Center found its home in room 307, and became a part of “UH’s long tradition of providing education for Pacific Islanders,” Mellon explained. The center is still in use today by both students and clubs. Many events are usually held by the center, such as speaker series’, film showings, and United Nations Day. Due to COVID-19 outbreak, these events have not been held this past year. However, in 2022, the center is hoping to bring back their largest event: International Night. This huge, two day event presents students with an opportunity to learn about different cultures through live performances and speakers.

Because of the current health risks of large group gatherings, International Student Services, which oversees the Pacific Islander Student Center, has been holding virtual events. ISS has been collaborating with the United Nations Association to provide a virtual monthly speaker series for students. On Oct. 21, Professor Angela Faʻanunu will be speaking about agritourism. For more information about this event, email rcmuller27@hotmail.com.

“Students can get involved with the Pacific Islander Student Center by stopping by and chatting with other students there,” Mellon said. “The center welcomes collaborations, and even faculty and staff can use the center to connect with Pacific Islander students.”

To learn more about the Pacific Islander Student Center, visit room 307 in Campus Center or check out their website at https://hilo.hawaii.edu/pisc/.