By Lexus Yamashiro | Staff Writer

The sound of a student center/lounge would be appealing to any college student if he/she knew that it would be the place to go to for studying, eating, and relaxing. With the extensive amount of space that the Subway floor (now referred to as the Kamōkila floor) in the ʻIliahi building provides, the time has come that students will have that place to go to for comfort and fun.

Since the middle of the 2016 Spring semester, the Chartered Student Organizations (CSOs) 一 Student Congress, Board of Student Activities (BOSA), and Board of Student Publications (BOSP) 一 have come together and decided that they would “repurpose” ʻIliahi in hopes to create a student center that would serve as a place for students to relax and study in an up-to-date setting. 

The CSOs explained that the Kamōkila floor will be “repurposed” rather than renovated because instead of  walls being torn down and rebuilt, this specific floor will be given a new purpose as to what it can provide to the students of KCC. Ideally, new furniture such as chairs, desks, tables, and more will be placed about to give the Kamōkila floor a modern look and to provide convenience.

The CSOs do not have a specific day as to when this will take action, however, they hope that the new furniture will give students a comfortable feeling to where they would want to study, eat, relax, socialize, and more. Ideally, the CSOs want the Kamōkila floor to serve as a place where students would want to go to if they have nothing else to do on campus instead of leaving immediately.

“One of our objectives this year was just to provide spaces for students to stay on campus,” said Tasi Yanger, president of Student Congress. “The nature of the college is for students to just come and go, and we kind of wanted to create an environment where students feel like they can just stay here, do homework, relax, [to] do whatever they need to do.” 

Since the financial aid lab and First-Year Experience (FYE) offices moved to the second floor above Subway, the CSOs were left with extra space on the Kamōkila floor, leaving them to wonder how they could use it and what they could change about it to make it more efficient to the students benefits. (Kapiʻo News moved into the first floor area that was previously occupied by FYE.)

The CSOs have traveled to other college campuses both on and off island, including the University of Puget Sound located in Washington, for conferences.

“We noticed one thing that [these colleges] had on each campus was a student center or student lounge, and we noticed that we don’t have one,” said Vanessa Ranon, chairperson of BOSA. “So, we wanted to kind of create something like that for the students, as well as kind of wanting to integrate the students more into the campus.”

With this in mind, the CSOs held meetings since June 2016 to determine what it is that they would need and what should be implemented into the Kamōkila floor. Surveys, snack and chats, Fall Fest, and open forums helped to get the students’ opinions on this matter, benefiting the CSOs into determining the course of action that they would take.

The CSOs hope to complete this repurposing project by the spring or summer of this year. In the meantime, the CSOs will be coming up with ways to reorganize and a plan to bring in new furniture to meet the student body’s needs.

“As far as payment goes, we are splitting the costs between the three CSOs,” said Jordan Umeno, chairperson of BOSP.

Umeno explained that the funding comes from student fees, which students pay for in the beginning of each semester.

“We want them [the students] to come into a place where they can be themselves and meet people,” Umeno said. “[We want to] promote acceptance and diversity.”

For more information contact:
Student Congress at or visit ʻIliahi 129.
Board of Student Activities (BOSA) at or visit ʻIliahi 128.
Board of Student Publications (BOSP) at or visit ʻIliahi 124.