Learning at Chaminade University, more often than not, takes place beyond the four walls of a classroom.
Take our RE 431: Environmental Ethics course, for example. Designed to introduce students to effective methods for dealing with ethical issues within environmental studies and sustainable practices, the course has taken a variety of forms, the most recent of which has allowed students to take to the sea aboard the Golden Rule Peace Boat.
It started with professor Sr. Malia Wong, who’d been working closely with a few Buddhist monks with connections to crewmembers aboard the Golden Rule Peace Boat. A project spearheaded by Veterans for Peace, the Golden Rule first set sail in 1958 to promote opposition to nuclear weapons and war. Following a restoration, the Golden Rule once again set sail on an expedition to the Marshall Islands and Japan to commemorate the lives of those affected by nuclear warfare.
Docked at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor in Honolulu, the Golden Rule is a majestic and historic sight to behold. The restored vessel—and the vision of world peace it symbolizes—has inspired books, poems, lyrics and songs over the course of its 62-year existence. And in its 62nd year, a group of Chaminade students and Sr. Malia had the privilege of boarding and later sailing on the boat by invitation from the crewmembers, who are also peace movement activists.
For the students, climbing aboard the Golden Rule was an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
According to Dean of Humanities Cheryl Edelson, the mission of the Golden Rule Peace Boat is intricately linked to the efforts to protect the environment that she’s currently teaching her students. It also embodies Chaminade’s own commitment to the Marianist values of service, justice, and peace.
“It was an amazing experience,” said student Cara Gutierrez ’23, a communication major who’s passionate about climate change. “While on the boat, our class had the chance to talk with Helen, the project manager. She shared that the boat actually inspired Green Peace, which really hooked me and drew me in.”
Gutierrez is now working closely with Helen as a youth ambassador for the Golden Rule in Hawaii.
“During our sail, I had a great conversation with Helen about how much I admired her passion and her lifelong devotion to this project,” Gutierrez said. Chaminade is proud to equip our students with opportunities to explore the world beyond the classroom. During field trips such as the Golden Rule sail, students are embracing experiential learning while making memories that will last a lifetime.