By Lexus Yamashiro | Staff Writer

Since launching as in September 2016, the students that have been a part of the Kapiʻo New staff writing team published approximately 620 pieces. In 2018 alone, Kapiʻo has published 215 pieces. 

Looking back on the many stories we have produced to highlight the news and people who make up the KCC campus and community, here are some of the stories that stand out from this past year. 

Students Express Concerns Regarding Accessibility by Lexus Yamashiro (January 29)
For KCC students such as Maria McClellan who need the assistance of getting into buildings via automatic door openers (ADOs) or by asking a passing student for help, she shared the struggle she faces when it comes to finding accessible points around campus. In 2014, McClellan and classmate David Oneha had brought this issue to the attention of administration and action was taken to have an ADO installed upon the door of the Disabilities Support Services Office (DSSO). 

But after an ADO that was once on the doors of the KCC bookstore got removed during renovations in 2017 and seeing that heavy foot traffic areas such as ʻIliahi lack an ADO, questions arose again as to why they are missing. Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Brian Furuto said that KCC has plans to renovate the bookstore in Spring 2019 and consideration to have the button reinstalled will be discussed. An ADO was installed for the ʻIliahi building during the summer.

Women Share Emotional #MeToo Experiences in Honolulu by Katlin Cilliers (February 15)
When news spread that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein had been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing employees and actresses for the past 30 years, the #metoo movement sparked to support and give those who have been victims of sexual abuse and harassment a chance to speak up. On Feb. 12, women gathered at the Honolulu YMCA to share their #metoo experiences. Nadine Ortega, the founder of AD3IRM Hawaiʻi, spoke up of her family’s experiences as survivors of sexual abuse, sharing that she learned that her grandmother had been raped and became pregnant with Ortega’s mother.

“I experienced a lot of trauma in my life, and I was always silent,” Ortega said. “But the thing about stories is that, if we are silent, or we are not allowed to speak them, it is violent and destructive to our being. So, it is important to tell these stories, especially those who have been forced into silence or those who have been historically denied the chance to speak. While one story told one way can injure, a story told another way can cure.”

Honolulu March for Our Lives Inspires Crowd to ‘Get Involved’ by Jana Julian (March 26)
After the mass shooting that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland, Fla., it sparked more than 800 global marches, one of them being the March for Our Lives event that took place at the State Capitol on Saturday, March 24. About 5,000 people gathered there to protest against gun violence, hoping that it would spark action to be taken on gun reform laws in America.

“This movement was started by students, by children, by teenagers,” said Monica Kenny, a junior at Sacred Hearts Academy said during her speech to the thousands of protesters that showed up. “Those same children will be voting in the next election. So, to those politicians, senators, and congressmen and to [NRA spokeswoman] Dana Loesch, I hope you’re scared.”

KCC Supports Deaf Community, Hawaiian Sign Language by Mark Ladao (May 3)
KCC’s American Sign Language (ASL) program is one that has been relatively overlooked but is working to continue and build the support for the deaf community and for Hawaiian Sign Language. Four levels of ASL are offered at KCC and a Deaf Center is present on campus to assist those who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, need interpreting, counseling services, and outreach to the community. With KCC’s strong support for deaf culture, it provided a launching pad for the revitalization of Hawaiian Sign Language.

KCC Student Finds ‘Community’ in Volunteer Opportunities in Africa by Katlin Cilliers (October 2)
Matthew Lum, a 20-year-old KCC sophomore, has been traveling to eSwatini, Africa since the age of nine through his mother’s nonprofit Advocates for African Children. Volunteering and aiding his mother in her project has been formative in the way he perceives the world around him, especially to recognize the epidemics that have been breaking out in the country.

“It’s a country with about the same land mass and population as Hawaiʻi,” Lum said. “But it’s gotten the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world, and also a very large amount of orphan children. … HIV/AIDS is essentially a death sentence.”

In addition to these articles, there have been many other stories that Kapiʻo has produced throughout 2018 that are just as outstanding. In January, Katlin Cillier started a regular feature called “Ask a Professor” highlight the careers and areas of study of KCC professors, a few of them being Linguistics professor Susan Inouye, Massage Therapy professor Martin Chong, and Forensic Psychology professor Keith Pedro.

Opinion pieces such as Expectations vs. Reality: Preparing for College and Taking Fun Classes Worth Time, Money help to navigate new and already familiar students through college for a fun and memorable experience, while other stories such as The Good, The Bad, The Beauty of School After 30 gives students a glimpse of how attending college at an older age can feel.

To lighten up from news stories, new staff writers Nicole Fernandez and Ayoung Lee came on board halfway through the year to write up movie reviews and eye-opening pieces such as “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” and Reusable Straws Provide Good Alternatives

For the past 12 months, Kapiʻo News is proud to look back on all of the work it has produced to continue providing news and highlights of the people who make up KCC and the community. Thriving from the support and encouragement of our audience, we look forward to publishing more pieces for the new year to come.