Friday, October 22, 2010

Chamorro Language Forum and Mini-Hatch Act

Professor: students' freedom of speech violated
Posted: Oct 22, 2010 4:22 PM
by Lannie Walker

Guam - A professor at the University of Guam is saying students' rights to free speech may have been violated. Professor of Chamorro Studies Peter Onedera says he has held Chamorro language senatorial and gubernatorial forums since 1998, inviting candidates from all parties to participate.

As part of the exercise students are asked to acquire political signs and posters of the participants to be displayed in the hall way of the lecture hall where the forums are held. "For the first time ever during this forum our acting associate dean on Wednesday - mind you, this is Wednesday after the forum had taken place on Tuesday - told me that the posters had to come down because it is in violation of the Mini-Hatch Act," he said.

The Mini-Hatch Act prohibits the solicitation of political candidates by government employees. Onedera says no candidates were being endorsed and says he feels he is being singled out.

KUAM News spoke with dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Dr. James Sellman, who ordered the signs be taken down. He says he was erring on the side of caution and that the signs were left up when the forums were not in process. Sellman adds he does encourage the political debates.

Onedera tells us he has written to UOG president Dr. Robert Underwood about the matter but has not yet received a reply.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Interpreters Will Be Provided at Chamorro Language Forum

Chamorro language forums next week
Pacific Daily News
October 12, 2010

The University of Guam Chamorro Language program, We Are Guåhan and the Guåhan Coalition for Peace and Justice are co-sponsoring a series of a Chamorro language senatorial forums Oct. 19-21 and a gubernatorial Chamorro language forum Oct. 25.

The forums, which begin at 7 p.m., will be held in the University of Guam's College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Lecture Hall.
All 15 Democratic senatorial candidates and seven Republican senatorial candidates have confirmed participation, according to the organizers, and the Democratic gubernatorial team of former Gov. Carl Gutierrez and Frank B. Aguon Jr. has confirmed for Oct. 25.
Roland Blas, Dr. Olivia Cruz, Arlene Santos, Debbie Quinata, Joseph Camacho, Maria Pangelinan, Gregorio Calvo, Dan Ho, Tony Susuico and Anthony Malia Ramirez have agreed to assist as interpreters and translators.

At the end of each forum, the audience will vote for their favorite candidates.

All questions will be presented to the candidates in Chamorro. Candidates are encouraged to speak in Chamorro, but will be allowed an interpreter/translator for the evening.

"Chamorro is one of the two official languages of the territory and this event encourages the use of our language and underscores the importance of the Chamorro language to our people," said Peter R. Onedera, a professor of Chamorro at the University of Guam.

The forum is free and open to the general public. Refreshments will be served, according to organizers.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sample Questions

Questions for the 2010 Fino' Chamoru na Inadaggao were provided by University of Guam Students. Here are a list of some sample questions which they provided, which might be translated into Chamorro and used during the Forum.

42) So many of Guam’s current and possible leaders have claimed that there is nothing that we can do about the US military buildup and that it is a done deal or not in our power to change. If the power was in your hands, if you were in charge of the buildup, would you stop it? Would you change it?

43) What makes you different from the other candidates on stage right now?

44) What is your favorite movie and why?

45) If you had to pick a movie to show to the youth of Guam to try and get them motivated and wanting to help change their island, what movie would it be?

46) If elected, would you support the bringing to Guam of more off-island insurance companies that can offer lower rates and better plans than the ones we have now?

47) Do you think that we should make it required that all of our leaders in the Executive and Legislative Branches should be able to understand or speak Chamorro since it is an official language of Guam and they are the representatives of the island?

48) Flights to and from Guam are very expensive, how can we bring more competition to Guam to help make sure that we can affordably travel to other places?

49) Who is your most inspirational figure from Guam’s history and why?

50) Who is your favorite candidate in this year’s election other than yourself?

51) Do you believe that the Chamorro language is dying? And if so, what suggestions do you have for people of the young generations today on how they can learn to speak and understand the language?

52) Trash is a very important issue for any island, since your space is very limited. But Guam has very little recycling. We are living in a fantasy world and not facing the fact that if we don’t truly start to recycle and stop importing more trash into this island. We might just end up capsizing! How would you propose to help wake up Guam and start making recycling a big part of our lives?