APEC Sparks Interest From Both Sides On University Campus

 UPDATED 4:41 AM HST Nov 04, 2011

Not every protester outside an APEC event at the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus center on Thursday was a student.

However those who are said their objective was not to ruin their classmate?s event but instead it was to start a discussion.

?They just hear about APEC, they hear that is about economic trade, they hear about free trade and they hear that it sounds like a good idea but they really don?t delve into what those things mean," said protestor Randall Perez.

Students in the Travel Industry Management School presented their research on countries represented by APEC at the campus center event.

Several students are volunteering during the week; others are still unsure how the international summit impacts their lives.

?I am learning a lot more from other people, like students. They even know a little bit more than the teachers. I was surprised,? said Senior Audrey Davis.

Demonstrators admit not everyone shouting against APEC is clear on the issues.

?I think that?s a possibility. I also think there is a bunch of different people with a bunch of different reasons to be protesting and that is a major criticism of these movements,? said demonstrator Daniel Cooper.

No matter what side of the coin they are on, the students agreed they are getting an invaluable lesson outside the classroom.

?We really think that this is a learning experience for everyone to see how other people think about APEC,? said student Kelly Park.

The event was only open to college students.

The protestors who did go inside, did so quietly.

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