Your Views for December 9

Embrace change

This is in reply to your Dec. 6 coverage of the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s reorganization plans and the petition challenging it.


Academic politics are complicated and institutional change is rare. The voices quoted do not capture the diversity of faculty and their positions.

For many of us, reorganization presents an opportunity to jettison some of the outmoded practices and structures at UH-Hilo that no longer serve faculty or students and replace them with ones that are conducive to a range of academic trajectories, student learners and create greater parity overall.

Further, the exciting goals of UH-Hilo — to become a model indigenous-serving institution — and the development of interdisciplinary programs, both undergraduate and graduate, could direct faculty attention toward a more positive direction.

Last spring, the reorganization plan was modified twice by administration after faculty submitted complaints about earlier proposals.

In this one, departments have a better chance to guide their future, be motivated by trends in their own disciplines and respond to their majors — potentially facilitating the retention of students. UH-Hilo is facing dwindling student enrollment, much like campuses throughout the United States.

But institutional change, despite the discomfort it might cause, is a chance to rethink and refigure what UH-Hilo can offer to attract, first and foremost, the majority of high school students on Hawaii Island who have not considered a college degree, as well as draw students from the mainland and abroad.

Marina Karides

Chairwoman and associate professor,

UH-Hilo Sociology Department

Don’t take guns

Confiscating guns from medical cannabis users is dumb for two reasons.

First, it’s not going to protect the innocent. I challenge you to name one medical “weed” user who has killed someone (other than in self-defense).

Bet you can’t even name a weed user who has (with only weed in the blood) done that. Who are the police protecting innocent people from?

Second, it’s another example of governmental overreach. Colorado has legalized use of weed by the general public. Bet there are a lot of weed users who own guns over there!

Evidently, Colorado’s police have chosen to look the other way, unless the situation dictates otherwise, of course.

Hawaii’s police could, too, but the Legislature opened the door to enforcement. Why have the police jumped on the bandwagon?

The Second Amendment has nothing to do with it — only common sense — which, unfortunately, our government (local and federal) seems to lack.


Fred Fogel