UHMC Students Host Election Forum
By Nikki Caccamo
July 11 marked the beginning of the 2012 televised election coverage presented by the University of Hawai`i Maui College students in coordination with Pacific Radio Group.
The forum featured questions from UHMC scholars to the candidates running for contested primary Maui County Council races, and State House District 9 and 11.
“Students brought their academic research into a living classroom on live television for all to experience and to ponder as they prepare to go to the polls. Each candidate was exposed to UH Maui students and the quality education that these students received right here,” explained Program Director of Liko A’e and student coordinator of the event, Malia Davidson. “This was a great opportunity for all of us, students, candidates and our Maui County community.”
Hot topics for the contenders included everything from GMO labeling, affordable housing on Maui, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the reclassification of land use from agricultural to residential and of course the efficient uses of Maui’s budget and resources.
One of the participating students, Emilie Howlett said, “This is a great event for students to get involved with. I knew that if I joined the panel, it would give me the push I needed to learn more about local politics.”
Pacific Radio Group’s Fred Guzman from ESPN AM 550 served as the moderator while News Director Wendy Osher provided guidance to students in formulating candidate questions.
“This pre-election forum and our ongoing partnership with UHMC provide an invaluable opportunity for us to mentor the next generation of media professionals. Such programming also provides the public with information to make informed decisions relating to our future and the future of Maui County. We look forward to providing live election results broadcast coverage during the Primary Election August 11 and General Election on November 6, 2012 to be carried on MCTV Cable Channel 55, KMVI AM 550, and online at MauiNow.com,” Osher said.
The forum will continue to be shown on MCTV Cable Channel 55 periodically over the next several weeks. Pacific Radio Group and UHMC will team up for live coverage again on August 11 for the Primary Election, from 5:30 p.m. until all results are in. Joining the students will be the candidates discussing their final thoughts, along with media industry professionals KPOA’s Alaka`i Paleka , Wendy Osher and Fred Guzman, who will serve as hosts.