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Student Organization
USURP | University Students of Urban and Regional Planning


USURP is comprised of students representing DURP in both the community and on campus. The council meets to discuss the needs of the students in efforts to  discover resources and solutions that would help improve the student experience. Networking opportunities are a key component for USURP discussions because we find it important to link students with APA members and future employers. Students on the council are typically second year students with insight on the program, the best places to study on campus, and the resources available to UH Manoa students.

Elections for the 2019-2020 USURP council will open in August, at the start of the new semester. We always welcome ideas and feedback on how to be a better student organization.

Our registered independent student organization helps DURP students with:

– Graduate Student Organization (GSO) Funding Requests

– Orientation to UHM

– Student Events

– Housing

– Student Physical/Mental Well-Being

USURP Documents Available for Download:

USURP Constitution With Amendment 2008

Spring 2015 New Student Welcome

For more information, please email

USURP Position Descriptions

The Co-Chairs oversee all events and activities of USURP. Duties include but are not limited to corresponding and communicating regularly with the DURP Department Chair and Department Secretary about any needs USURP may fulfill including support of New Student Orientation, World Town Planning Day, guest speaker pau hanas, graduation commencement, etc.; ensuring USURP organization is RIO (Registered Independent Organization) certified annually; maintaining snack bar snacks; ensuring an impartial election commission carries out USURP Council elections each year; delegating responsibilities to council members and other members of USURP. Also coordinates monthly meetings, oversees the usurp gmail account, and assists with overseeing financials (along with Treasurer).


The Secretary maintains monthly council meeting Agenda (sent to Council & Students prior to meeting), & Minutes (sent to Council & students after monthly meeting). This position works closely with the co-chairs in ensuring tasks are followed up and through with all council members. Duties also include checking the USURP gmail account on a regular basis and maintaining organization in the usurp google drive.


The Treasurer is responsible for maintaining USURP funds, funding expenditures, and funding records. Duties also include regularly accounting for USURP snack bar funds; working closely with co-chairs to ensure funding is appropriately managed in all activities and events; managing USURP bank account. The Treasurer is expected to provide a detailed report of financials at the monthly meeting.

The GSO Representative duties include: 1) attending monthly GSO assembly meetings to advocate student research funding and reimbursement — typically held on a Thursday evening from 6p-8p (& dinner is provided), 2) report to USURP council of any updates, and 3) help students with questions and concerns regarding the GSO awards and grants application process, as well as reimbursement applications.


The APA Student Representative is responsible for generating interest & registration in APA membership, coordinating with APA-HI for emerging planner + student events, attendance at quarterly APA-HI Executive Committee meetings (which the position is a member of), providing info on monthly APA meetings/lunches, encouraging students to use APA membership resources, voting on APA-HI initiatives (within the organization), encouraging attendance & providing information for annual APA conference, and updating/managing the USURP email distribution on listserv.  May partner up with Community & Alumni Outreach Coordinator to plan events (i.e. Emerging Planners meet-ups, Office Crawls, Planner On-Call list).

The First Year Representative helps incoming students get situated in the department by providing information, resources, guidance, and organizing the buddy program with second year students. This position could also assist with organizing events that involve other departments or other on-campus activities, especially those helping First Year students become more engaged in the UH & DURP communities.  

The Social Media Coordinator(s) helps to promote USURP and department events via the department website, posters/signage, the lounge computer screen savers, Facebook and Twitter.  They may also help set up online forms and surveys such as for Tshirt orders, voting, evaluations, etc.  This role could expand to help the department document events via photos and video, and look into expanding social media via Instagram, other mediums

This position focuses on events and networking with activities that are mostly off-campus, with special effort to learn of activities going on in Honolulu and throughout Hawaii that may be of interest to DURP students.  They may be involved in the Friends & Alumni of DURP activities (a group currently in development) and will assist in communications to our alumni mailing lists. This person may team up with APA Student Representative to plan events (i.e. Emerging Planners meet-ups, Office Crawls, Planner On-Call list).

Represents PhD interests to the council, coordinates with the council and department in relating news and activities to PhD students and the department and who hold DURP-related interests.  Generally makes efforts and proposals to the council which foster inclusion of PhD students and student interests in USURP activities and events.


Samantha Lara, Chair

Aida Arik, Ph.D. Representative

Scott Cloudwatcher Allen, APA Representative

Lena Phomsouvahn, GSO Representative

Kendrick Leong, Treasurer

Imelda Carlos, Social Media Representative

Sky Uyehara, Community Outreach Representative

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