UH Manoa to Hold "Spook the Vote" Event on Oct. 29

Community invited to watch candidates face off with Halloween contestants and slam poets

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Sharon Miyashiro, (808) 956-7070
Public Policy Center
Arlene Abiang, (808) 956-5637
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Oct 26, 2004

HONOLULU — Incorporating the Halloween holiday with the upcoming election, the Vote or Lose! committee, composed of students, faculty and staff from various UH Mānoa campus organizations, presents "Spook the Vote," their last event scheduled for noon, Friday, Oct. 29, at the UH Mānoa Campus Center courtyard.

The committee continues their efforts to give the campus community a reason to vote by bringing candidates on campus to discuss national, state and city issues. Candidates and representatives from all parties participating in national and local races, including state candidates in the Manoa/Makiki districts, have been invited.

"Election-themed costume contestants and slam poets hopefully will not scare off election-day candidates, but provide a venue for them to listen and take note of the issues important to our community, particularly our youth," said Sharon Miyashiro, event coordinator. "‘Spook the Vote‘ is a great opportunity before the Nov. 2 election for candidates and the UH community to get to know each other, have fun and boost Hawaiʻi‘s voting record."

The event will feature a Halloween costume contest for students, faculty and staff. The contest categories are: Most Patriotic, Most Insurgent, Most Politically Correct and Most Undecided.

Slam poets from the university are also invited to share their work in a competition based on election themes such as "I believe…," "Why Vote" and "What makes a leader." Award winning slam poets, Travis T and Mel Borja, who have also represented Hawaiʻi in national competitions, will use their work to frame issues for candidates who are running for national and local offices. Candidates will be asked to respond to these issues and present poems of their vision for Hawaiʻi.

The schedule for "Spook the Vote" is as follows:
11:30 - noon: Live music by Kamau
Noon - 12:15 p.m.: Halloween Costume Contest
12:15 - 12:45 p.m.: Presidential Representatives and Congressional Candidates Meet Slam Poets
12:45 - 1:25 p.m.: Mayoral and State House Candidates Meet Slam Poets
1:25-1:45 p.m.: Slam Poetry Contest

Participating candidates include:
Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona, representing the Bush Presidential Campaign
Pohai Ryan, Executive Director, Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi, representing the Kerry Presidential Campaign
Jim Brewer, Nonpartisan candidate for the U.S. Senate
Dalton Tanonaka, Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives—1st District
Mufi Hannemann, candidate for Mayor, City & County of Honolulu
Kirk Caldwell, Democratic candidate, and Nadine Nishioka, Republican candidate, for State House of Representative District 24 (Mānoa)
Brian Schatz, Democratic candidate for the State House of Representatives District 25 (Makiki/Tantalus)

Participating slam poets:
Travis K Thompson (aka TravisT) has performed and competed in various venues in Honolulu and nationally since 2001. He is the 2003 People‘s Choice Award winner at the Red Shark Slam Jam; three-time winner at First Thursday Slam competition; and has two chapbooks: "Serving Life Sentences" and "The Politics of Lips" both published this year. As a member of the Hawaiʻi Slam Team, he represented Hawaiʻi at the national poetry slam in 2003 and 2004 in St. Louis, Mo.

Melvin Won Pat-Borja has been performing slam poetry for two years. He won twice at the Hawaiʻi Slam at First Thursdays and is also a member of the 2003 and 2004 Hawaiʻi Slam Team.

For more information or to participate, contact organizers Lisa Huynh or Sharon Miyashiro at 956-7070.The Vote or Lose! committee is composed of students, faculty and staff from UH Mānoa‘s College of Social Sciences‘ Public Policy Center, Political Science Department, School of Communications, Associated Students of the University of Hawaiʻi, Ka Leo o Hawaii, Board of Publications, KTUH and the Campus Center Board Activities Council. A voter registration drive held by the committee last month resulted in 325 newly registered voters.