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A 2021 study of University of Hawaiʻi student basic needs security found that 58% of respondents experienced at least one form of basic needs insecurity during the prior 12 months. Basic needs include food and housing, childcare, mental health, financial resources and transportation, among others. In addition, 58% of students who experienced basic needs insecurity did not apply for campus support because they did not know how.

To help support UH students statewide, the UH Student Basic Needs Committee has completed the first-ever Student Basic Needs Outreach Video to highlight resources that are available. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to circulate this video and related information widely. Student basic needs security is critical for ensuring strong academic performance, persistence, graduation and overall student well-being.

Food drive volunteers in masks flashing shaka

“Anyone experiencing basic needs insecurity or who knows of someone with these needs is encouraged to visit the UH Student Basic Needs website, which makes it simple for students to access basic needs resources at the campus level,” said Rainbow Uliʻi, UH student basic needs coordinator.

In addition, using the search engine on the site allows anyone with a UH username and password to access resources at the community, state and federal levels. Previously recorded webinars that assist with navigation of these resources can also be found on the website.

Recent studies show that many U.S. college students experience some form of food or other basic needs insecurity, and that these conditions have been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The UH Student Basic Needs Committee is committed to ensuring that the basic needs of all UH students are met. The launch of the UH Basic Needs website in 2021 was followed by the publication of the first ever UH System Student Basic Needs Master Plan in 2022.

A key recommendation of the UH System Student Basic Needs Master Plan was to produce public-facing education and outreach materials and events to help raise awareness of the issue of basic needs insecurity and to destigmatize students accessing basic needs support. The UH Student Basic Needs Committee plans to continue these outreach efforts by creating another video that will help guide students through the Find Help and UH Student Basic Needs website in the near future.

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