STAR-BULLETIN / 2004
The Guerrero family from Maui helped moved their daughter Robin into her room at the Mokihana Dormitory on the University of Hawaii campus last year. Pictured are Sarah, left, Kaeo Kepani, Sixto and Robin. The Parents and Friends of UH-Manoa will set up a booth at the upcoming dormitory check-in to kick off its membership drive, to welcome incoming students and their families, and to answer questions.
UH welcomes first
collegiate PTA in U.S.
The new group will
drinking and security
The first parent-teacher association at the college level in the nation has been formed at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, according to the Hawaii State Parent Teacher Student Association.
The Parents and Friends of UH-Manoa, a group of parents formed a little more than a year ago to provide input into dorm life, has been accepted into the state and national PTA organizations, said Don Hayman, president of the Hawaii State PTSA.
Among the issues the UH-Manoa PTA hopes to address are underage and binge drinking, health and security, campus housing shortages and parking.
"Many of the students still feel the PTA is the stuff for younger kids, those in elementary schools," Hayman said. "But if you look at the good high schools, with many of the problems college campuses face, a strong PTA makes a big difference."
Dr. Theresa Wee, a UH graduate, was elected as the first president of the UH-Manoa PTA.
"With parents of over 3,000 students living in the dorms, we feel a PTA unit can be beneficial in working with the university on issues of concern and creating a network of support for the students, parents, faculty and administration," Wee said.
Interim UH-Manoa Chancellor Denise Konan said the university welcomes the new parents group.
"We're very pleased to see the active involvement of parents in efforts to improve the learning and living environment on campus," Konan said.
The PTA unit will set up a booth at the upcoming dormitory check-in to kick off its membership drive, to welcome incoming students and their families, and to answer questions. Until the PTA establishes a solid foundation, there is not a plan to include students as paying members at this time.
Said Wee: "Our primary goals are: 1) to keep parents informed about issues that affect our students and to allow for parental input with respect to their concerns; 2) to provide a network for parents and establish a link for mainland, neighbor-island and other absentee parents; and 3) to help enhance the college experience for students at Manoa."
Chartered in 1927, the Hawaii Congress of Parents, Teachers and Students, also known as the Hawaii State PTSA, is the state's largest child advocacy organization. With more than 22,000 members, the Hawaii State PTSA is open to anyone who is concerned about the education, health, safety and well-being of children and youths.