Spring 2020: February Issue 6

Dearest Vulcan,

Living in Hawaiʻi can – at times, and at least for me – feel like existing in a static, perennially temperate microcosm, disconnected and unattached from the rest of the world’s flux. I can perhaps attribute this sensation to the grind of work and school that’s often left out of the picture when people imagine life here, and maybe a pinch of island fever. Hawaiʻi, however, is anything but isolated.

Residing at the Pacific’s epicenter, this strand of land serves as a nexus in the midst of the surrounding world. Our whereabouts present opportunities for both collaboration and innovation; but for these to gain traction, we need to recognize pressing global problems that affect us and can be affected by us. To our west – Uighur Muslims face harsh persecution, the region of Kashmir is host to violent conflict between India and Pakistan, and Australia continues to burn. To our east – corruption plagues plural governments, mass incarceration perpetuates entrenched discrimination, and a wall is being erected by our own nation to deny access to displaced migrants. Surrounding us are scattered yet strong fellow Pacific islands, struggling with the consequences of sea level rise. And these are all just to name a few.

I remind you of these facts, reader, because I urge you to remember your own place as a global citizen of our increasingly interconnected world. Between the demands of school, the obligations of adulthood, and the enticing beckon of everything and anything else, it’s pretty easy to disengage from news that can often seem to be nothing but pessimistic. But it’s also pretty easy to make small adjustments to bring important information into your awareness.

Pick up a copy of the Hawaiʻi Tribune-Herald (there’s a stand located right outside of the Ke Kalahea office, Campus Center room 202-A). Turn on Hawaiʻi Public Radio (FM 89.1) on your commute to campus. Follow a few different news outlets on your social media and see if you can spot the bias between them. Encourage critical thinking, open dialogue, democratic participation, and genuine curiosity towards the world around us.

In this edition of Ke Kalahea, we’ve reported on several issues right here on our own campus, including concerns regarding whether or not the promotion of our university’s award for the most diverse school in the nation really showcases diversity, as well as some misconduct in on-campus housing. We’ve also featured a couple of initiatives in the works, such as updating the library’s system and planning a project to bolster democratic participation around campus. Until next time – study hard,

Aloha kākou,
May there be love between us,
Rosannah
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