UH Mānoa Undergrads Oppose TMT Construction
The Associated Students of the University of Hawai’i (ASUH), the undergraduate student government at UH Mānoa, issued a press release on July 19, 2019, reiterating its opposition to the current construction of the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) atop Mauna a Wākea on Hawai‘i Island.
Although the ASUH recognizes the value and importance of astronomy research, the ASUH believes that the cultural and environmental impacts of the TMT outweigh any such benefits.
Because Mauna Kea is classified as part of the crown and government lands, known today as the “ceded lands trust,” it must be used and managed for the benefit of Native Hawaiians and the people of Hawaiʻi, the release said.
“The construction of the TMT, and the State of Hawai‘i’s actions against TMT opponents, go directly against this mandate,” the students wrote.
Regarding the construction of the TMT atop Mauna Kea, ASUH President Landon Li said, “We are very disappointed by the recent steps taken by the State of Hawai‘i and the University of Hawai‘i System in an effort to move forward with the construction of the TMT. For a university that distinguishes itself as a ‘Hawaiian place of learning,’ the University of Hawai‘i has done little to ensure that Native Hawaiian voices have been properly heard throughout the decision-making process. We commend those members of our undergraduate student body who continue to exercise their First Amendment rights in opposition to the TMT, and we hope that UH leadership will take these concerns to heart over the coming days.”
In 2014, the ASUH originally voiced its opposition to the construction of the TMT through Senate Resolution 13-14: IN OPPOSITION TO THE RENEWAL OF LEASES ON MAUNA A WĀKEA WITHOUT FURTHER INPUT FROM STAKEHOLDERS. Since then, the ASUH has sought to ensure greater dialogue among all of those who will be impacted by this project.
Last year, the ASUH hosted a public town hall regarding TMT construction atop Mauna Kea featuring both Hawaiian cultural practitioners and UH field astronomers.
The Associated Students of the University of Hawai’i was established by the UH Board of Regents in 1912. This governing body represents approximately 10,000 full-time, classified undergraduate students on the UH Mānoa campus.