2020 has been a crazy year so far. It keeps bringing numerous bumps in the road that test students, and even faculty, to see if they can push through the hard times and thrive. Many students from Hawaii were faced with a tough decision to either return to Pacific or stay home for the Fall Semester.
Those that returned have had an interesting transition back to campus in terms of trying to maneuver and set up the Nā Haumāna O Hawai‘i (NHOH) club. Before they even came back to campus, many had to plan numerous events, from orientation, to pairing mentors with mentees, and just planning numerous activities for the club to interact with one another, while still following the safety protocols, at home, logging on to zoom and discussing their plans for the year on their own times. But with everything going on this year, numerous changes and cancellations have happened and adjustments will be a recurring event.
Senior President, Liberty Garcia, says that COVID-19 and other outside factors have made a significant impact on the club. As Senior President, Garcia brings in ideas about where they should go or what they should do for events. She explained how using zoom has been an essential part in helping the club plan, but it has still been hard to make any idea concrete with the constant weekly changes that they have been facing.
“It has been very difficult to function at a club as we did before,” Senior Peer Mentor, Brianne Agcaoili explained. She then went on to add, “Though we have zoom meetings, it’s weird to not actually meet everyone. That in-person connection is important for the club in order to bond with everyone. Over zoom is okay for the meantime, but being with the person physically makes the interaction that much more meaningful.”
Junior Jordan Hara went remote for the semester and shared his experience doing school from home. “Remote learning this semester has been challenging, but not overwhelming. It’s only challenging when you make it challenging. Holding yourself accountable for getting your assignments done and logging on to your class lectures.” Hara has to keep in mind the time difference as well as the many deadlines. He knows given the whole situation, he’s not the only one deciding to go remote and he can talk to people if he has any questions or concerns.
Both Brianne Agcaoli and Liberty Garcia understand how difficult it must be for those students from Hawaii who went remote for the semester. They both couldn’t imagine how they would accommodate the time difference for their school work. However, they both realize that many teachers accommodate the student’s needs and that they are open to helping them in any way. The professors understand the difficulties of remote learning. Brianne explained that, “The peer mentors have decided to plan activities, but always have an alternative in case everyone has to switch to online. It has been very difficult to plan anything for the remote learners. We don’t know what we can do because everyone is spread out.”
It has been hard for the club to plan out anything for the university. With the club’s motto being, “Ohana Over Everything,” students on campus accommodate remote students to make sure they’re still connecting with the club from wherever they may be. They still have to make sure that they follow all of the safety protocols so that they don’t jeopardize anyone’s well-being. NHOH is truly one big family. They do things for one another because they care about each other. NHOH will thrive through these hard times, and that family aspect will allow them to keep pushing through these hard times and keep putting out new ideas and activities to help the everyone at Pacific truly understand what it means to be part of their family. — Todd Takeuchi