Student group saysBy Harold Morse
UH violated pact in early
release of security report
The Graduate Student Organization objects to the way the University of Hawaii administration released findings of an investigative report on security matters related to a March 15-17 sleep-in and demonstration.
The group claims the administration violated earlier understandings by sending out a Friday news release without consulting GSO. The release attempted to downplay the report, its findings and the administration's role in what happened at a March Board of Regents meeting that had a possible tuition hike on its agenda, GSO said. Regents voted not to raise tuition.
"Before we have a chance to get out of the gate they're already submarining any kind of talks or negotiations that we're having with them," said Kalawaia Moore, active in GSO and its former secretary, and also a member of the executive council of Kalai Po, a Hawaiian student group.
GSO was in discussion with the administration about a number of related matters, including a joint news conference to release the report, Moore said.
Campus problems, such as institutional racism and sexism, are substantial, he added.
GSO also had been in talks about holding public town meetings, and the administration undercut this, he said.
"We feel there's been a lot of problems with communication," Moore said.
The report was prepared by a committee that included students, responded Cheryl Ernst, UH communication director.
"It was a report to Dean Smith, senior vice president and executive vice chancellor of the Manoa campus, so it was appropriate for the dean to release that report.
"Far from trying to downplay it, we have made that report available to anyone who requests, and we have copies here if need be," she said. "The university administration is continuing the dialogue with the Graduate Student Organization on these and other issues, and we expect those talks to continue."
GSO said the Western Association of Schools and Colleges cited the UH administration a year ago for inability to properly communicate with both faculty and students.
GSO plans to hold a news conference at 9 a.m. tomorrow at Hemenway Theater to air their concerns.
The report released Friday said university officials overdid preparation for possible civil disobedience related to the tuition hike controversy. It said a siege mentality was adopted, rather than a spirit of cooperation.
Ka Leo O Hawaii
University of Hawaii