The Student Advisory Council provides a way for students to voice their ideas and concerns about the campus while striving to provide solutions, said Collin Farar, the student assistant over SAC.
SAC’s goal is to be more approachable and available to students, Farar said. “We want to make them feel they can connect and talk to us about anything. We don’t do everything, but we’re making it possible to implement changes.”
Tali’Ofa Pahulu, student supervisor over SAC and a senior majoring in hospitality tourism management from Tonga, said the council aims to build self-reliance amongst students. “Students should feel free to ask us questions, and we’ll do our best to answer all of them. We’re here for the students.”
Farar, a junior studying political science from North Carolina, explained SAC’s role is to represent students’ interests and solve problems. “The council needs student suggestions and ideas to implement changes on campus and make it better. We can’t do it by ourselves.”
Pahulu said a lot of students were complaining on being almost run over by cars on the back entrance road between PCC and BYUH, so they decided to help by putting up a stop sign.
There were complaints from female students about the lack of a female doctor at the Health Center, said Pahulu, which led to the eventual hiring of a female physician.
“Another success we helped implement is the change in academic calendar. We were in a trimester schedule every year, students didn’t like that, and so we changed to two which what we have now.”
Farar said the most recent project SAC is working on is finding a way for students to bring groceries from Foodland to campus without using Foodland’s carts.
Abigail Stuart, student supervisor of the SAC and an international cultural studies senior from Utah, said another goal is to create the best overall experience for the BYUH community by “upholding the vision for the school and helping our university come as close to that vision as possible.”
About her position, Stuart said it offers her an “opportunity to listen to students, take their ideas to the council, and try to bring about many good things of our own free will and choice.
“This service isn’t just about the students of today but the students who have gone before and the students of the future. We use the knowledge of the past to provide a better future for BYU-Hawaii. That is my motivation and inspiration to keep this position in motion.”
Stuart said, “I want students to know that we exist and that something is actually done. We do research, make recommendations, and changes are made.”
When asked what students can expect from SAC, Farar explained, “We are open to their ideas and very timely in giving feedback to them. We give our best effort and do whatever we can to solve issues; even if they give suggestions we can’t do, we give them advice on why we can’t do it right now.”
Stuart said, “Students should expect to be able to come and talk to the Student Advisory Council, to get involved in finding solutions, and to feel like they have a place where their ideas are considered.” Not every idea will be implemented, she added, “But that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to try.”
SAC also offers volunteer positions as project managers, said Farar. “Everyone is welcome to apply. The volunteers will offer two to five hours a week, and they can also lead a project they’re concerned about and focus on that.”
Farar encourages students to like their Facebook page, BYU-Hawaii Student Advisory Council, and follow their Instagram “byuhsac” to see what they’re working on and offer suggestions. “We also have a suggestion box around campus particularly in the Aloha Center and GCB that we check weekly.”