Living out aloha spirit


Ulises Koyoc

Landon Navarro, 21, does a lunge in a shirt from his own clothing line called RUSH. Navarro said his clothing line is inspired by his Hawaiian heritage.

Ulises Koyoc, Reporter

It’s been almost three years since senior Landon Navarro won the annual Mr. Kingsmen competition as a first-year student. His victory was unprecedented, as no first-year student had ever won the competition, now known as Competing for the Crown. Since winning, Navarro has involved himself in a variety of activities that have not only impacted Navarro’s life, but the lives of others at California Lutheran University.

Besides dealing with classes during the semester, Navarro is a presidential host, peer advisor, entrepreneur and soccer player. Navarro said he is a presidential host and peer advisor because he wants to inspire students to attend Cal Lutheran.

“People ask me all the time, ‘why do you do it? Why do you waste your time?’ Well, it’s because I enjoy seeing people from previous tours that come back and say ‘your tour was so awesome, that’s why I came to Cal Lu’,” Navarro said. “I could be doing something else with my time where I get paid here on campus, but I love doing [tours] so it’s not really work.”

Originally from Oahu, Navarro said his personality derives tremendously from his Hawaiian heritage. Navarro is the vice president of the Kupa’a Hawai’i Club at Cal Lutheran.

Navarro said the club hosts an annual luau, which is the biggest event any club on campus hosts.

In Hawaii, there is a state law called “Aloha Spirit.” According to the Hawaii State Legislature website, the “Aloha Spirit” is “the coordination of mind and heart within each person.  It brings each person to the self.  Each person must think and emote good feelings to others.”

Jaz Palafox, a presidential host and president of Kupa’a Hawaii club said Navarro is an individual who encompasses this expression.

“When I think of Landon, I think of the Aloha Spirit,” Palafox said. “He treats people with respect and makes them matter.”

Back in 2016, Navarro co-founded a clothing line named “RUSH Lyfe.” According to RUSH’s website, the intention behind RUSH was to capture the culture and soul of Hawaii. The idea  of creating RUSH was spontaneous and occurred at a casual gathering, Navarro said. Sharing with the world something  he wanted to wear was one of the main propellers to form RUSH Navarro said.

However, Navarro finds operating RUSH can be difficult since products are expensive to produce. His co-founder Travis Moriki lives in Australia, making it harder to operate RUSH.

Navarro said one of the best outcomes of RUSH is the positive feedback he has received.

“At this age it’s very rare to find someone try to start their own company or organization… so everyone telling me how stoked they are is probably the most memorable,” Navarro said.

Senior Austin Trapnell is one of Navarro’s roommates. Trapnell is on the junior varsity soccer team with Navarro and said soccer helped build a good relationship between the two.

Trapnell said one of the first memories he shares with Navarro is having to sing “Party in the U.S.A” in front of the women’s soccer team as part of a tradition men’s soccer has for new players. Trapnell said Navarro has helped him overcome his shyness, and recognizes Navarro as an important figure in his university experience.

“I thank a lot to Landon for making me get out there, both with my personality and trying new things,” Trapnell said. “I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

Navarro is on track to graduate in May 2020. As his time at Cal Lutheran comes to an end, Navarro wants to be remembered for his caring personality.

“I will always try to do my best to put someone else before myself and hopefully inspire others to do the same,” Navarro said. “I want to share the Aloha Spirit.”