The beginning of the fall semester coincided with Utah Pacific Islander Heritage Month, with celebrations originally scheduled at Weber State University from Aug. 18 to Sept. 18. The Ohana Association was hoping to host a number of events including an art exhibit titled “Art of the Pacific” and a film screening featuring “For My Father’s Kingdom.”
However, according to Lulu Faumui-Latu-Peters, multicultural counselor, the events have been canceled due to COVID-19 the events will be rescheduled to a later date in April 2022.
TOA still plans to host their third annual College Prep Night during the fall 2021 semester. The night aims to educate the Pacific Islander community about attending college and encourage them to pursue higher education.
College Prep Night is not only for high school students but also for adults who are looking to go back to school but are not sure where to start.
Another event planned for spring 2022 is the Intercollegiate Showcase, where Pacific Islander clubs and organizations from other institutions come together and highlight different islands’ cultures.
It is set happen at WSU and will include dance performances, cultural food, speakers and games.
While there was no opening ceremony, the art exhibit “Art of the Pacific” in the Shepherd Union Skybridge is available to view until Sept. 18. It displays Pacific Islander culture through different art mediums, such as tattoos, photography and paintings.
Updates on these events will be posted on TOA’s social media channels.
TOA is a club that focuses on connecting Pacific Islander students with their roots while supporting them in obtaining a higher education.
“For myself, I was born and raised here in America, so I don’t really know much about my culture. I think a lot of other students at Weber State can also say the same thing,” Finau Tauteoli, president of TOA, said.
Tauteoli believes that highlighting cultural connection and higher education motivates students to continue reaching their educational goals.
Additionally, it gives students a network of people to fall back on when they are struggling and need help, not only with their studies but also in their personal lives.
Even thought TOA is a Pacific Islander-centered club, Tauteoli stressed that people of any racial or ethnic background are welcome to join if they are interested in getting involved and learning about Pacific Islander culture.