Mehling Hall seniors share Lū'au dances with fellow students | University of Portland

Mehling Hall seniors share Lū'au dances with fellow students

"We are a 'ohana [family], and even when we are all apart, Hawai'i Club will continue to be a home away from home." — Hawai'i Club Secretary, Julia Kimoto '20

students from Hawaii Club performing a Lū'au dance

When the UP community received the difficult news that students would need to leave dorms due to COVID-19 concerns, the University’s robust Hawai’i Club sprang to action.

Senior members of the Hawai’i Club pulled together to help younger members move out of the dorms quickly, offered supplies for packing, gave rides to the airport and provided storage for belongings in off-campus houses. Seniors in Mehling Hall and at off-campus, locations performed Lū'au dances for other residents and club members before returning home. They also pulled together canned good donations for the Oregon Food Bank. 

Like other spring events, the 44th annual Lū'au set to take place on March 28 has been postponed. The Hawai'i Club leadership has decided to re-create this year's Lūʻau next year while maintaining their overarching theme of sustainability. The club agrees that the messaging around ecological balance and health is more important now than ever, and they look forward to sharing this message with the UP community during the 2021 Lū'au.

The Hawai'i Club was founded in 1975, and the first Lū'au was celebrated in the spring of 1976. The Lū'au has become the longest-running student-run event on campus. Every year the University's Hawai’i Club community offers authentic aloha hospitality with kalua pig, shoyu chicken, poi, and other Hawaiian delicacies plus traditional dancers and décor. This event takes a year's worth of planning, countless hours of dance rehearsal, and the support of family to ship food, flowers, and supplies from the islands.

Looking forward, Hawai'i Club leadership urges students to check emails and their Instagram for updates, especially regarding Executive Board (E-Board) elections for the 2020-2021 school year.

Thank you to UP’s Hawai'i Club for their example of grace and solidarity during this challenging time.