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HPU largest group at leadership conference

by Lorne Moreno, Student Life editor

“I don’t know the meaning of leadership. I just know great leaders” said Nainoa Thompson, Chair of Kamehameha Schools Board of Trustees, during the opening address of the State Student Leadership Conference in Hilo, Hawai’i from Jan. 29 to 31. Delegations came from University of Hawai’i system schools, Chaminade, Brigham Young University and Hawai’i Pacific University (HPU). Students gathered to discuss leadership on college campuses.

According to Heather Hubbard, Director of Student Life, the HPU delegation with 27 student leaders from the Associated Students of Hawai’i Pacific University (ASHPU) and Coordinators from the HPU Spirit Club was the largest at the state conference.

Hubbard said, “This was a positive opportunity for our students to meet with other students from colleges in Hawai‘i to share valuable leadership information, experience and skill.”

Students attended two full days of workshops and discussions on topics such as leadership styles, character, ethics, Hawaiian values, campassion, assessment and campaigning for change on campus. Senior Virginia Hocutt, ASHPU Representative at Large, said: “It was great to be able to talk to other schools to see what they are doing. It also helped build stronger relationships within our organization.”

Keynote speakers attended afternoon and evening meals to discuss with students their own personal experiences as leaders. Dr. Manulani Meyer, Professor of Education at UH-Hilo, spoke Friday night about leading by example.

Using Gandhi as a prime example, she urged students to look towards ancient belief systems that taught non-violent conflict management when dealing with complex situations. “When you speak ill of someone you are actually speaking bad about yourself,” Meyer told the crowd. Meyer’s 25-minute speech earned her a standing ovation. Hocutt said, “She had a wide range of knowledge to share, and she was able to open my eyes to opposition view points.”

Last year, HPU’s student government attended a leadership conference in Atlanta, but students opted for something a little closer to home this time around, said Hubbard. “We were able to network with other schools in Hawai‘i, something we weren’t able to do in Atlanta. We were able to share our unique multi-cultural experiences with everyone,” she added.

HPU’s delegation couldn’t leave Hilo without first supporting HPU’s baseball team as they competed against UH-Hilo on Saturday.

“ It seemed only logical for us to cheer on our team since we were already in Hilo,” said Sharon Manibog, HPU Spirit Club Coordinator. “The [baseball] boys seemed really excited to have us there.”




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