The University of Hawaii Board of Regents is urging UH President David Lassner to pursue nonviolent solutions regarding Mauna Kea.

The directive came as part of a resolution passed by the 11-member board Thursday.

The resolution encourages Lassner to de-escalate tensions across the 10-campus system regarding Mauna Kea, where protesters have blocked construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope for three months.

Supporters of Maunakea stand near a stone altar or 'ahu' along the Maunakea summit access road. 24 june 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Opponents of building the Thirty Meter Telescope stand near a stone altar, or ahu, along the Mauna Kea summit access road. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2015

The resolution offers little in the way of specific recommendations or new solutions on how to move forward.

Regent Jan Sullivan said that the resolution wasn’t intended to support or oppose any law enforcement action on Hawaii Island or elsewhere. Additionally, regent Randy Moore expressed some concerns that nonviolent solutions may mean different things to different people.

Prior to the meeting, several TMT supporters wrote testimony to the board suggesting that law enforcement should clear the road to allow construction to proceed.

The regents are expected to vote on another resolution at a Nov. 6 meeting that will provide a more specific timeline for decommissioning several of the telescopes, which is a condition of TMT’s conservation district use permit.

That resolution will also direct the UH administration to ask the Legislature for more funds for cultural education programs on Mauna Kea, as well as to construct a new learning center on the mountain.

The board will also vote on proposed administrative rules to manage Mauna Kea at their Nov. 6 meeting at UH Hilo.

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