On behalf of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, I want to sincerely apologize to the many who were turned away at this year’s fall commencement due to overcapacity of the Vulcan Gymnasium.
For the first time, university security had to limit entrance to the gym, which has been the venue for fall commencement through the years, due to the unexpected crowd.
Commencement is the university’s most revered event and UH-Hilo is committed to make improvements moving forward to ensure our graduates, their families and friends experience a special day of recognition and celebration.
Jerry L. Chang
Director, University Relations
Growing up in the small town of Hilo, I’ve seen and heard many issues that seem to be widespread among the Hawaiian Islands. An issue that needs to be acknowledged is the discrimination against Micronesians. I think residents of Hawaii need to be aware of the numerous problems that arise because of this discrimination.
Hawaii is a very unique place to live. Everywhere you go, you see diversity: Asians, Polynesians, Caucasians, African-Americans, Mexicans, etc., all reside here. Many times, the acceptance of being different does not reach the newest set of immigrants, the Micronesians.
Under the Compact of Free Association, Micronesians were granted free entrance into the United States without a green card. If you asked a Micronesian elder his or her purpose for coming here, they would all reply the same — health care. It is very heartbreaking that a majority of the people of Hawaii think Micronesians are taking everything they have.
The biggest place where Micronesians are targets would be at school. Huge fights break out because students of other ethnicities call the Micronesians “stupid” or other names. Not knowing how to deal with this discrimination, the Micronesian youths usually resort to fighting.
We need to teach our upcoming kids to love one another before these acts of violence get out of control. Nothing great comes out of hating one another, whether it’s because of one’s skin color, accent, religious background or ethnicity.
If we want a better future, the many different races of Hawaii will need to step up and put a stop to discrimination to any human being.