Marisol Castillo sharing information at the Campus Activities Board table at Club Carnival. A real full-circle moment, as Castillo first heard about CAB at Club Carnival when she first decided to join the group.
Marisol Castillo and CAB Membership Director Kanon Morimoto celebrate their success at CAB's Pride Month Drag Brunch event.
Marisol Castillo, a marketing major at HPU, is the Chairperson for HPU’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) this academic year. Students may recognize the colorful and creative Sharky’s Swells sent to their email inbox every Friday, which Castillo just so happens to create. Or you might have seen her on campus at Club Carnival or any other CAB event.
Castillo reflected on what sparked her eagerness to join CAB, which stemmed from being a part of her high school's student council. “I was very active in student activities and stuff like that. Student activities and planning was just a real passion for me,” explained Castillo. In her first year with CAB, Castillo was an event coordinator. Her duties mostly consisted of planning events, focusing on the technical side of things, such as ordering supplies and helping set up the day of. This year, Castillo has the role of Chairperson, which allows her to look over the organization. For this, she keeps the shared computer drive organized, checks in on board members, carries out the meeting agenda, and acts as the middleman between CAB and SGA (Student Government Association), as she also works within the Student Activities office.
Marisol Castillo and other Campus Activities Board and Student Government Association members on their CAB and SGA Fall Retreat. Pictured with CAB Administration Director An Vo, CAB Membership Director Kanon Morimoto, CAB Event Coordinator Rebecca Raynoschek, CAB Event Coordinator Kamalani Hanuna-Siqueira, and CAB Event Coordinator Tanistha Laxmi-Pant.
Throughout her time with CAB, there's no doubt that Castillo loves to plan memorable events for the student body.
“One of my favorite parts about being in student activities is seeing other students make core memories with their friends. That's what Student Activities is all about, giving students a chance to make memories, experience something cool, and just have a life outside of their dorm and their classes,” said Castillo.
While moving to Hawai’i can be a big change for some, Castillo has stayed true to her roots, even bringing some of her favorite traditions into CAB. Originally from El Paso, Texas, Hispanic culture is something she grew up very immersed in and very proud of.
“I’m from a small city on the border of New Mexico and Mexico, so it's a very Hispanic center of town,” she said. “Even the culture is super Hispanic-centered. It's very different here, and of course, I live in the middle of a desert back home, and this is an island. But I love the change and I think it's amazing how I get to see both ends.”
Castillo had the idea to bring a Dia De Los Muertos celebration to HPU. Dia De Los Muertos was her first passion project, and she’s also helped to plan Hispanic Heritage Month. “It's a way I can bring people together to meet other Hispanics like me and even educate the rest of the student body who aren't Hispanic.”
Castillo emphasizes the key skills she’s learned from being a part of CAB: organizational skills, communication skills, and overall work skills. “Networking with people [through CAB] is something that Castillo appreciates and says is somewhat unique to HPU as a smaller university with student meeting spaces centrally located at Waterfront Plaza and Aloha Tower Marketplace. Castillo also found an internship opportunity through CAB, realizing it is something she might not have been introduced to without the experience. “Networking through CAB has been something I'm going to cherish forever as well as the opportunity to gain communication skills. Having the confidence to go up to an employer, or anyone really, and say my opinion and have a voice just gives me confidence to be able to express what I'm feeling and what I think,” she explained.
On top of everything, Castillo encourages students to get involved and make their voices heard. “I think we try to make an environment here in CAB where we just value everyone's opinions. Even just the smallest ideas are so helpful and may even become a big part of our event if you offer your ideas." Whether it’s completing an after-event survey, posting about the fun activities, or talking to someone within the organization, even the smallest feedback can be impactful. “Especially here at HPU, people are so nice, the staff are so nice, students are nice. If you just go up and start a conversation, there are so many student leaders who would love to hear everyone's opinions."
To stay up to date on the latest campus and student activities, follow @CABHPU on Instagram, check out the many campus clubs, and don’t forget to check your email box on Fridays for Sharky’s Swells.