Student Organization

University Students of Urban and Regional Planning Student Council (USURP) is a departmental student council comprised of DURP students. 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.

Our organization helps DURP students with:

  • Graduate Student Organization (GSO) Funding Requests
  • Orientation to UHM
  • Student Events
  • Housing
  • Student Physical/Mental Well-Being

For more information, please email

USURP Position Descriptions

The President shall serve as the chief executive officer of the organization, shall preside at all meetings of the organization and shall prepare the agenda for meetings. The President must be at least a second year student, and must be able to maintain the position for the entire academic year. The President shall be the official spokesperson of the organization, representing the policies, views, and opinions of the organization in its relations at the monthly faculty meetings, College of Social Sciences president meetings, and other campus wide events as needed. The president oversees 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.; and delegating responsibilities to council members and other members of USURP. Also coordinates monthly meetings, oversees the usurp gmail account, develops meeting agendas, and assists with overseeing financials (along with Treasurer).

The Vice President shall preside at organization meetings and department events in the absence of the President. The Vice President shall perform all necessary duties assigned by the President. The Vice President shall assume the office of President if the office becomes vacant.

The Secretary maintains monthly council meeting minutes (sent to Council & students after monthly meeting). This position is responsible for ensuring USURP organization is RIO (Registered Independent Organization) certified annually and the “” email is current.This position ensures the eligibility of the email address with the University IT department. This position works closely with the president and vice president in ensuring tasks are followed up and through with all council members. Duties also include checking the USURP gmail account on a regular basis, maintaining the USURP bulletin board, updating the calendar and physical bulletin board, 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; maintaining the USURP venmo account; maintaining snack bar snacks; working closely with the president and vice president to ensure funding is appropriately managed in all activities and events; and managing USURP bank account. The Treasurer is expected to provide a detailed report of financials at the monthly meeting.

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

The APA Student Representative shall generate interest & registration in APA membership; coordinate with APA-HI for emerging planner + student events; attend quarterly APA-HI Executive Committee meetings (which the position is a member of); provide info on monthly APA meetings/lunches; encourage students to use APA membership resources; vote on APA-HI initiatives (within the organization); encourage attendance & provide information for annual APA conference; and update/manage 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 Recruitment Coordinator works on marketing DURP programs at campus events; coordinates class visits and faculty meetings with interested students; helps to promote USURP and department events via the department website, posters/signage, the lounge computer screen savers, and social media. They may also help set up online forms and surveys such as for t-shirt orders, voting, evaluations, etc. This role could expand to help the department document events via photos and video, and look into expanding USURP social media via Instagram, other mediums, and help to answer questions for interested students.

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 DURP Ohana activities 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.