Colleges buck the trend after storm warning - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Colleges buck the trend after storm warning

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Despite the weather warning, it was business as usual for both Chaminade and Hawaii Pacific Universities Friday.

Both had different reasons for staying open. Both colleges felt the need to protect its students, but at Chaminade it came down to money and location. At HPU, its spring session hasn't even started yet and the majority of its staff and students are located in the downtown area, instead of on the Windward side, where the brunt of the storm was expected to hit.

"My assistant called me at nine last night and said, one last chance," Chaminade acting president Bernard Ploeger said.

He did what few schools decided to do Thursday night, keep its doors open Friday.

"We really felt that if the forecast would have been as predicted, this was not the type of day that we would need to close," he said.

That's because they felt the college sits in a spot protected from most heavy windstorms. It also came down to money.

"Every day, they might have three classes, might be 500 dollars that they paid us, so to close lightly is a very significant thing for all of those we're serving," he said.

"Because every other school like they thought about children's safety and I would think as a private school, they would also think about the children and students, making sure no one gets hurt."

but other students didn't think much of it," Chaminade junior Chris Villalba said.

"I don't really mind because I grew up in New Jersey, so when we had snow days, my high school never canceled, so I'm kind of used to having school when others have off," Chaminade sophomore Anna Tarnawski said.

In the end, Chaminade's decision proved to be the right one.

"So we thought, let's just stop and pause, let's check out our own facilities, check out the process and make a decision on hour by hour, seemed like the winds were decreasing instead of increasing," Chaminade public information officer Kapono Ryan said.

Chaminade officials say unlike underage children, college students would be able to protect themselves better in case of a disaster like a storm. But they say as expected, they did notice a drop in students in their classrooms Friday.

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