It’s back-to-school season, and as keiki statewide brush the sand off their slippahs and head to class, college students in the University of Hawai‘i system are registering for courses and preparing for a new semester. But with the timeframe for the start of construction of the contentious Thirty Meter Telescope project extended into September of 2021, it would seem that the many UH students who’ve joined the kia‘i at Maunakea to stop the Thirty Meter Telescope are faced with a tough decision: Stay on the mauna for the long haul or get a college degree.
That is, until University of Hawai‘i instructors and professors began organizing a list of classes that could be taken by students staying on Maunakea.
“Pretty much like everything that has developed on the Mauna, it just sort of happened. There’s a need so somebody plants the seed, and it grows really quickly,” said Kahele Dukelow, an assistant professor of Hawaiian studies at UH Maui College who helped organize the class listings. “Somebody put a post out there, somebody answered, and we put out a Google Form. The next time I looked at it there were 60 offerings, then 80, then 100, and now there’s 180 different classes on there from different campuses and disciplines.”
Courses include online offerings, directed studies and reading, and classes that will be taught in person by teachers also on the mauna, Dukelow said, adding that a new satellite dish had just been hooked up to accommodate internet usage. UH faculty will even be at Maunakea on Monday to help students register. In a statement to HNN, the University of Hawai‘i acknowledged that it has seen the course list. “University of Hawaii campuses have published class availability for the upcoming semester. We anticipate that scheduled courses will be taught as officially described,” it said. “Students are preparing to start the academic year and have made plans based on those schedules.”
Subjects offered by Maui College instructors include English, business, sustainable science, math, geography, music, pharmacy, economics, and Hawaiian studies. To learn more about these class offerings, email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.