by Tiffany Garrett, News editor
|The events were organized under the auspices of
Fall 2006 Passport Week, and each student and his or her family
were issued an HPU passport. Other innovations included separate
orientation sessions for students and their families, and the
hiring of 14 experienced students as orientation leaders to guide
the newcomers through the week.
With the support and assistance of upperclass students, faculty,
and staff,” said Marites Fiesta, director of The Office
of First-Year Programs, “we were able to facilitate an
extensive and engaging week-long orientation program.”
On Aug. 28, about 300 students gathered on Fort Street Mall for
a full day of information sessions, climaxing at the end of the
day with, for the first time, separate orientation sessions for
students and families. At 3 p.m., new students gathered at the
Hawai‘i Theatre for a First-Year Welcome. A computer linked
to a Myspace.com orientation page projected pictures of each
of the speakers on a giant screen.
To end the segment, the 14 orientation leaders put on a skit
to showcase a typical day at HPU. “It was funny, since
it seemed improvised,” said freshmen Joant Ubeda from California.
At 4 p.m. parents and faculty joined the session and speakers
presented more detail about the University and its programs.
To end the night there was a New Student Orientation Kickoff
and Parents Reception at the windward Hawai‘i Loa campus,
where local group Kapena entertained participants while they
ate and mingled.
Passport Week was an exciting and busy week for everyone,” said
Fiesta. “We were able to incorporate a variety of information
sessions and activities that assisted students and their family
Each day of orientation week had specific theme as well as information
sessions and planned evening activities for the students and
family members. Tuesday, all the students and family members
were invited to attend the Deans’ Welcome and Reception
on the windward campus. Deans, advisors, and faculty were available
to meet with students interested in their fields, but some faculty
indicated that only a few students actually came.
That night, students gathered at the Fort Shafter bowling ally
for a night of Cosmic Bowling.
Wednesday was busy with information sessions on the downtown
campus to help students make the transition to college and Hawai‘i.
At 8 p.m. HPU’s Office of Student Life sponsored a Movie
on the Mall, but only a handful of students were present.
Thursday morning offered a sunrise hike at Diamond Head, one
of the optional activities offered to students and their families.
The day continued on Fort Street Mall with a focus on student
activities. Later that night about 70 students and faculty enjoyed
a Catamaran Sunset Cruise on the Ali‘i Kai which sailed
from the pier near Aloha Tower.
On Friday, after breakfast at the windward campus, students were
bused to the Ulupo Heiau, at the Kailua YMCA, where they helped
clean up trash. That night students returned to the windward
campus for the Aloha Bash Dance, from 10 p.m. until midnight.
Saturday was another day filled with optional activities for
the students and their parents, including a full day at the Polynesian
Cultural Center, located in La‘ie.
Sunday everyone was invited for a full fun day at Kailua Beach.
The week-long event ended Sept. 4th with another optional event,
as about 80 students traveled to the Hawaiian Waters Adventure
Park in Kapolei.
Orientation Leader Daniella Ramirez, a senior from Santiago,
Chile summed up the week: “What makes HPU’s orientation
week different from any other school is that it includes fun
activities that only Hawai‘i can offer.”