Kaua‘i Community College celebrated the first day of the spring 2023 semester with a customary ceremony at its Puhi campus ahu (also known as Ke Ahu a Hōkūlei) on Monday, Jan. 9.
The Hawaiian Studies ahu is an indigenous space on campus where students, faculty, and community gathered to set their intentions for the semester by offering oli (chant), mele (song), pule (prayer) and hoʻokupu (lei).
Newly appointed Interim Chancellor Margaret Sanchez said she is excited to start the year strong by engaging with community members, students, faculty and staff.
“We want to engage and collaborate with our community, ” Sanchez said in a KCC announcement released Friday, Jan. 13. “My priority is to ultimately increase enrollment, and enhance the courses and programs we currently have. KCC is the hub for post-secondary learning on Kaua‘i, and is crucial to an enriched local workforce.”
Kau Hale, a newly renovated study space for all students, has opened next to the Hawaiian Studies ahu.
KCC is also advertising its Hale Mālama, which provides wrap-around services to students, as a space dedicated to the health, safety, overall well-being, and quality of life for all students at the college located in Puhi.
“Hale Mālama’s mission is to help address food insecurity; houselessness; childcare support; college affordability; emergency aid; and other basic needs such as transportation, technology, medical, and mental health,” the KCC statement released Friday reads. “The KCC food and goods pantry, emergency aid and mental health counseling is available to all KCC students.”
The campus also hosted Club Day during the first week of school. Over ten student clubs were represented along with services for students.
University of Hawai‘i Vice President for Community Colleges Erika Lacro appointed Margaret Sanchez to serve as Interim Chancellor for KCC on Jan. 3, 2023. Sanchez previously served as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, or VCSA.
Lacro selected Thomas No’eau Keopuhiwa to serve as Interim VCSA. KCC also welcomed other new faculty and staff in 2023.