Hawaiian Club’s two advisors Greg Garcia and David Stroup doing the shaka sign, which is usually translated from Hawaiian to mean ‘hang loose.’ Photo by Abby Chapman

Coming next year to Franklin is Hawaiian Club, which will have Greg Garcia and David Stroup as advisors. As both of them have personal connections to Hawaii and Hawaiian culture, they are fitting teachers to help establish this club. Stroup grew up and lived in Hawaii for almost 30 years of his life, while Garcia has family history and ties there, and he visits often.

Franklin currently has a similar club, called the Pacific Islander Club. This, while incorporating Hawaii in what they learn about, doesn’t focus on it. The plan for the Hawaiian Club is to create a place where students can learn solely about Hawaii. They hope to work with the Pacific Islander Club to make both groups’ experiences better. “That’s the Hawaiian philosophy—using the differences, using [skills] that everybody has, as different as they may be, to accomplish a goal,” said Garcia.

Garcia, who is the primary advisor, has a lot of ideas for this club and wants to teach students about aspects of Hawaii he finds interesting. He seeks to teach the club the Hawaiian language starting with the alphabet. As a history teacher, Garcia also knows much about the history of Hawaii before and after becoming a state, and plans to teach that as well.

No plans for the club are official yet, as they depend on how many students join the Hawaiian Club and what those students want to learn about next year. Garcia is worried about the club’s place in the following school year, as he has attempted to create several clubs in the past after students have expressed interest, but then seen no one step up and start them. Even so, Garcia believes this time is different, and maintains that, “Portland is a place where its diversity and multiculturalism allows something like this to thrive.”

There’s a possibility of an end-of-year luau that Garcia hopes to introduce to the school. This isn’t only a Hawaiian Club dream for him, as he has encouraged this idea for a long time.
Stroup’s main job as a club advisor is to introduce the students to different forms of Hawaiian music. Since Stroup was raised in Hawaii, he was been immersed in Hawaiian music and is passionate about it. Immersing oneself in the culture, even down to the enjoyable details such as music, help to make the experience valuable. The goal is to learn how to “live aloha,” as Garcia put it.

Franklin is like Hawaii. Says Garcia, “You have all these different cultures coming together, and those different cultures make the experience what it is.”

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