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Students, groups raise funds for tsunami aid

by Desiree Ramirez ,staff writer


The effects of the December 2004 Tsunami were tragic for people in Southeast Asia and left a devastating aftermath. Here at Hawai‘i Pacific University, students from Southeast Asia and other parts of the world were affected as well and wanted to do something to help. Several clubs at HPU held events and fundraisers to contribute donations to the disaster relief efforts.


Every Club at HPU is required to do community service; this year, because of the tsunami, fundraising and community service were combined. Fundraising is done to raise money for a club conference or new equipment that is needed. “This is the first time all profits went to one cause, which was the tsunami relief,” said Heather Hubbard, director of Student Life.

In January, the Associated Students of Hawai‘i Pacific University and Student Life kicked off events that took place on Fort Street Mall to bring awareness of the tsunami disaster to the HPU community. At one of the first Thank Goodness its Friday events, various club booths on Fort Street Mall informed students and held relief donation drives. A five-gallon water jug was placed on Fort Street Mall everyday for donations. Students participated in activities that took place outside of the Student Life Office, and donations of any denomination were required to participate. The HPU Cheer Team performed on Fort Street Mall and collected donations with their megaphones. Any money collected throughout the fundraising went directly into the water jug.

Clubs at HPU that represent Southeast Asian countries were also out on Fort Street Mall informing students of the tragedies and bringing awareness about the areas that had been hit by the tsunami. Students responded with overwhelming support.

The Swedish Students Association, along with ASHPU, held a White Relief Party, where everyone wore some article of white clothing, and took place at the Maharajah Lounge located in the Waikiki Marriot.

“ We raised around $3,000 that night and got great feedback from the guests,” said Viktor Venson, event coordinator for SSA. “The night offered several genres of music and go-go dancers,” he added. Guests were also offered raffle tickets at the door to participate for a chance to win prizes, which included a television and DVD player.

Members of PRSSA and GLOC, as well as unaffiliated HPU students, attended the party “The whole idea was to bring awareness to the HPU community,” said Erik Hansen, president of ASHPU, “It was important for the University to respond and help our HPU family in a time of need,” he added. Everyone at HPU—students, faculty, staff, and clubs contributed, and all donations went to UNICEF for tsunami relief in support of SSA.

Clubs besides ASHPU that actively fundraised:
· Computing Club
· Environmental Club
· Global Leadership Organization
· International Studies Student Organization
· Spirit Club
· United Nations Club at HPU


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