The cover of the 1997-98
UH Student Handbook.

Error-plagued
UH handbook to be
held back

UH-Manoa students will lack
the guide to services and
programs a second year

By Pat Omandam
Star-Bulletin

Errors and hundreds of spelling and grammatical mistakes have prompted the University of Hawaii Board of Publications to suspend distribution of 7,000 copies of the 1997-98 UH-Manoa Student Handbook.

Among the errors: The Hawaii state motto is "Above All Nations is Humanity" (that is really the university motto; the state motto is "The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness"); the Center for Hawaiian Studies will open next year (it opened last year); and Momi Cazimero is still a regent for the University of Hawaii (she retired early this summer).

The suspension negates a year's work by students and throws $14,000 in printing costs and student stipends out the window. The money comes from student fees.

Boxes of handbooks now sit on pallets in the Rainbow Press building on campus.

It is the second consecutive year the handbook - which provides students with essential information on student programs, services and conduct - hasn't been distributed, said Jan Javinar, director of co-curricular activities, programs and services.

"It's not the best quality possible," Javinar said. "Just the errors in spelling, in grammar and in translation - it's not something the board or the university would be proud of in terms of putting out as a source of information."

Javinar, who oversees the UH Board of Publications, said it appears the handbook editor, graduate student Joshua Cooper, didn't spell-check and proofread text before submitting it for publication.

The handbook contains misspelled words such as "stuident" (student), "Waikiuki" (Waikiki), "Hamiliton" (Hamilton), "hightest" (highest), "Wahiwa" (Wahiawa) and "desireable" (desirable), along with other errors and omissions.

"There has to be some sort of pride in the work," said James Reis, coordinator of the board.

Cooper, however, said he and his staff worked hard and were proud of the handbook when they submitted it. Cooper explained staff ran the spell-check program twice, and he recalled certain words he corrected that still appeared misspelled after the book was printed.

Cooper believes the errors occurred while transferring the document to the UH computer system, which was plagued by a virus. He said the virus caused the computer system to accept the original unproofed text, not the spell-checked version.

Still, Cooper accepts responsibility for the mistakes and is upset and irritated that a year's work was wasted.

"It's disappointing because there's so much energy that went into it," Cooper said. "I'm embarrassed. No matter what the reasons were, it didn't come out as perfect as we made it."

Reis, publications board coordinator, said redoing the handbook this year is not feasible. Instead, the board will publish a tabloid within the next few weeks that will contain essential information for students.

Last year's handbook was not printed because the editor failed to submit material for publication.

To ensure next year's book reaches students, the board has drawn up a memorandum of agreement for handbook editors.

The agreement, among other things, calls for the editor to attend all board meetings and meet deadlines or be subject to dismissal.

Cooper, already hired as a writer by the 1998-99 handbook editor, believes the board must also fund a copy editor position and allow text to be submitted in stages so that any errors - due to technology or otherwise - can be caught ahead of printing.

"If there's a mistake, you learn from the mistake and fix it," Cooper said.




Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Community]
[Info] [Letter to Editor] [Stylebook] [Feedback]



© 1997 Honolulu Star-Bulletin
http://starbulletin.com