“The Student Life Office
is all about enhancing a student’s college life outside
of the classroom,” said Sharon Manibog, the offices’ Leadership
Nestled in the Model Progress Building, ground floor, on the bustling downtown
campus, the Student Life Office’s four student workers and five full-time
employees work hard to improve the University’s lifestyle.
“ My experience working in the Student Life Office has opened up many opportunities
for me to meet highly respected faculty members and students,” said Chanelle
Opulento, a senior from Hawai‘i who is currently a student worker in the
“ As a student worker, I help out with the minor details in events such
as the spring and fall orientations, the President’s Hosts’ receptions,
and club carnivals or pep rallies,” said Opulento.
In addition to assisting students organize extra-curricular activities to fill
their free time, the office is also an informal center and a referral source
for nearly anything else students need--from finding possible scholarship opportunities
to career guidance.
“ The office’s main responsibility is to encourage student involvement
and help students organize activities, from club events to cheerleading, dance,
band, and now orchestra,” said Jennifer Matheson, the University’s
new director of Student Life.
“ We always want to encourage many students to join Registered Independent
Organizations (RIOs),” said Manibog. “Or we also want them to get
involved in Associated Students of Hawai‘i Pacific University (ASHPU),
our student government.”
“ The Student Life Office plans for the new student orientations, club
carnivals, Halloween Hoopla, and President’s Host interviews and inductions.
It also interviews candidates for and presents the Robert E. Black scholarships
and organizes many other events throughout the year,” said Manibog.
Organizing events for 9,000 students on two campuses is not without occasional
difficulties. The most recent public outcry was about ASHPU’s overbooking
of the 2005 Monsters’ Ball.
“ Every job has a bad part, but I feel the good outweighs the bad,” said
Manibog. “If I really had to pick one thing, I would say that there is
simply not enough time to do everything we’d like to do.”
The Office of Student Life works year-round to make sure that there are a variety
of activities to keep students engaged in what’s going on around campus.
“ During the spring semester, we sponsor a lot of events,” said Manibog. “Look
forward to music on the mall, a spring concert, and a lot of other fun events.”
Students looking for scholarship supported student activities should look into
the Student Life Office. “We have the award-winning dance team, the spirited
Spirit Club, the Sharky mascot, and the national award-winning All Girl, Small
Coed and large Coed Cheer Squads,” said Manibog.
With so many opportunities at HPU, it’s easy to see why there is such a
great campus life.
“ Hawai’i Pacific University gives students the benefits of a diverse
student life so that they can connect with other students and make the most out
of their college experience,” says the HPU Web site.
“ Networking and flexibility are some of the best parts of working here,” Opulento
said of her experience. “I am able to study when things are slow, work
is right on campus, and sometimes I get to meet important people that I wouldn’t
normally meet on Fort Street.”
“ Most people don’t realize the amount of work and activities that
this office is in charge of,” continued Opulento. “The Student Life
Office literally plans almost every event at HPU. It is the heart and backbone
of the University.” she said.
With so many things to do, it’s hard to see how the Student Life Office
workers have enough time to put on such great events as well as have fun.
“ Although it may be stressful at times, our office team is comprised of
great people,” said Manibog. “I’m very fortunate to be part
of a team like ours,” Manibog added.