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by Jontue Martin, staff writer

The HPU Spirit Club is composed of 200-plus members consisting of students from across the state of Hawai‘i, who have graduated from a Hawai‘i high school, maintain a 2.0 GPA, and attend assigned HPU games to show support for our team and University.

Members receive 50 percent tuition scholarship award for their participation. It is renewable each year, but the students must maintain their GPA and attend all required games, as well as monthly meetings held the first Saturday of every month on the Hawai‘i Loa campus. Members are also expected to volunteer for activities such as the Special Olympics held in May and to participate in other assigned University events such as Career Fairs and Club Carnival, where they are expected to put themselves to good use helping with setups and cleanups.

The Spirit Club program is run by Sharon Manibog, whose title is the Leadership Development Coordinator and whose office is located in the Student Life Office area, on the ground floor of the MP building. Manibog defined the Spirit Club as “comprised of energetic, motivated students who are responsible for promoting HPU athletic teams and assisting the University in promoting other campus events, such as pep rallies, health fairs, and Club Carnivals.” She added that “members not only supply volunteers for the many activities, but also provide support in the form of banners and posters.”

Manibog was a student just last year, and a Spirit Club member, so her perspective on the club is holistic. “I see the whole spectrum of Spirit Club, not just the service portion as a member,” she said. But being a member, she added, “actually helped me to be a better coordinator of events.

“ It was a challenge to transition from a student,” she added, ”because as a member I was a friend to most of the members.”

As Leadership Development Coordinator, Manibog is the glue that keeps the program running, but she doesn’t do it alone. Five student coordinators are elected each year, at an end-of-the-school-year banquet in May, by the entire Spirit Club membership to serve as group captains under Manibog. This year’s coordinators are Chanelle Elisa Alohilani Opulento, Christina-Marie Carmen Lopez, Ephraim David Ulep Botulan, Kelli Kame Serikaku, and Alice Young Hie Ra.
Each coordinator is assigned a group, games, and activities for the year and the members are required to participate in these in order to retain their scholarships.

The HPU Spirit Club may seem like it is just fun and games with your friends, but in reality it is fun, games, and hard work with your friends for a good purpose! According to Manibog, applications for the Spirit Club can be obtained from  Hawai‘i high school counselors or the HPU Admissions Office.
For more information regarding the Spirit Club, call Manibog at 544-1116, or e-mail: smanibog@hpu.edu.


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