The interim executive director of strategy, Michaelyn Nākoa Hall, serves pancakes to the KCC ʻohana with a smile on her face. (Photo by Cameron Enomoto)

By Cameron Enomoto | Staff Writer

[Editor’s note: In an earlier version of this story, Michaelyn Nākoa Hall was referred to as the interim vice chancellor of student affairs. She is the interim executive director of strategy. We apologize for the error.]

On Tuesday, August 15 from 8-10 a.m., KCC hosted its first-ever pancake breakfast in ʻŌhiʻa Cafeteria. Students, faculty, and staff were invited to enjoy the free food and meet new people.

The ma uka side of the cafeteria, which has been closed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, will now be open on Tuesday mornings to serve free pancakes to the KCC community. (Photo by Cameron Enomoto)

The idea for the free pancake breakfast was a joint effort between Chancellor Misaki Takabayashi, Student Congress, and other administrators. One of the previous on-campus events, Coffee and Talk, was part of the inspiration for the newly introduced Pōʻalua (Tuesday) Pancakes.

“The chancellor recognized that one of the biggest issues on campus was food insecurity,” said Maria Schmitz, who holds the public relations position for Student Congress. “She also wanted to bring students back to campus and make things lively again.”

Pōʻalua Pancakes will continue to be hosted in ʻŌhiʻa Cafeteria every Tuesday from 8-10 a.m. throughout the fall semester, and students are encouraged to bring their fellow classmates to take part in the fun as well. Additionally, volunteers are needed to flip pancakes and anyone who is interested can pick up a flyer from ʻŌhiʻa Cafeteria during the event.

In the past three years, there has been an absence of eateries on campus due to Covid-19. During the pandemic, many of the vendors on campus were forced to close. Some of these included the cafeteria, which served food daily, and Subway, located in the ʻIliahi building.

With students returning to campus for the fall semester, Takabayashi and the Student Congress are working together to find ways to bring back the bustling community that was once at KCC.

“We’re a new team but some of the old initiatives from the past have carried over,” said Zachary Gibson, the Student Congress vice president. “Every month will have a theme for the pancake breakfast.”

The theme for August was the clubs on campus, though the theme for September has not been announced yet. According to Gibson, the purpose of the event is to give students, faculty, and staff the chance to connect and establish new relationships while also rekindling friendships.

“I had no idea that all of this was back here in the cafeteria,” said Jama Walter, a 19-year-old Psychology student. “The pancakes are super yummy, and I’m glad that they’re serving some kind of food again since we haven’t had anything after Covid. I think a lot of people can make friends here too because there are local and international students.”