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Answer Me This

Q: What is Microsoft 365 and how is it relevant to Seattle University's students and alumni?

September 24, 2013

Microsoft 365 at SU

Q:  What is Microsoft 365 and how is it relevant to Seattle University's students and alumni? 

A:  Microsoft Office 365 is a secure, cloud-based service portal that hosts web versions of popular Microsoft applications, such as Exchange e-mail, Word and Excel. Seattle University has built a new custom Office 365 environment to host all SU student e-mail accounts, says Matt Byers, systems administrator in the Office of Information Technology. "Students and alumni will benefit from 50 GB e-mail quotas and lifetime access to their SU e-mail account," he says. "Active students (students enrolled in classes) will also have access to web-based versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and online data storage--all for free!" 

Alumni accounts are already migrating to Office 365, and active students will begin migrating later this quarter.

Q: Why is the School of Law on a semester system when SU's other schools and colleges are on quarters? 

September 10, 2013

Law school's academic calendar

 Q:  Why is the School of Law on a semester system when SU's other schools and colleges are on quarters?

 A:  While many of us on campus are clinging to the last few shreds of summer, our colleagues in the law school have been back at it for a few weeks having begun their fall semester in on Aug. 26. The School of Law, which was on a semester system when they were part of the University of Puget Sound, opted to maintain that academic calendar when Seattle University assumed sponsorship of the school in the mid-1990s. In fact, the majority of law schools in the country are on a semester system; only a handful are on quarters. One reason is that law students and professors benefit from having 14 weeks to cover the course work. The semester system also allows graduates of the law school two months to study for the state bar exams, which are held in late July.

Thanks to Matt Byers in the Office of Information Technology for posing this question, and to Leann Wagele in the law school for the answer. If you have a question for Answer Me This, please send it to

Q: How many air filters on SU's campus are changed out yearly?

August 13, 2013

Air filters

  Q:  How many air filters on SU's campus are changed out yearly?

 A:  Approximately 4,500 air filters are changed out every year by Yang Kim, HVAC technician in Facilities Services, and his crew in the mechanical shop.

To illustrate just how many filters we're talking about, the list of needed replacements is held up alongside the 6'9" former SU basketball player Louis Green, center, who appears here with fellow 2013 graduates Duffy Stein (left) and Charlie Douglas.

Most of the filters are replaced over the summer, spring and winter breaks. The 4,500 on this list don't include other filters (fuel, etc.) that are also replaced on a regular basis by Facilities staff.

Now that's the unfiltered truth!

 (Photo courtesy of Mike Mullen, Facilities Services)

Q: How much material was removed from the Engineering Building's rooftops to make way for the new roofing system?

July 15, 2013

Engineering Building

Q:  How much material was removed from the Engineering Building's rooftops to make way for the new roofing system?

A:  A little more than 70,000 pounds of rock/material were removed from the building's rooftops, which took about two days. "The building stands up taller now," said Kavik Frol, assistant project engineer of energy projects in Facilities Services. Frol said that the gravel roof system was very difficult to repair. The new roof, which is referred to as a Modified Bitumen system, will be much easier to maintain.

Q: What is SU's branding initiative about?

June 20, 2013

Branding initiative

AerialCampus_MainQ: What is SU's branding initiative about?

A: Seattle University has undertaken a university-wide initiative to bring greater clarity and impact to the telling of our story, who we are, what we stand for and how we position ourselves as an institution.

The effort is being led by the Brand Leadership Group, which has selected 160over90, a branding agency with significant experience in all sectors, including higher education. Based in Philadelphia with a west coast office in Newport Beach, Calif., the agency has worked with such institutions as the University of Notre Dame, UCLA and the University of Dayton.

Representatives from 160over90 visited campus in May for a two-day immersion in which they met with faculty, staff, students, administrators and trustees to gather information on the university. The agency will next conduct external research. Those findings, the feedback from their visit and other research and studies on the university that have already been completed will lay the groundwork for the new branding initiative, which is expected to roll out in late fall.

The initiative will focus particularly on prospective students, and its timing is well-suited to the university's upcoming capital campaign, said Scott McClellan, vice president for communications. "We are grateful for all the time that members of the campus community have invested in this initiative, especially when 160over90 visited last month. We have a great story to tell; we just need more people to hear it. This is the first step."

McClellan added that the Brand Leadership Group is planning to offer opportunities for faculty and staff to be involved in the roll-out of the initiative when it is introduced this fall.

In addition to McClellan, the Brand Leadership Group includes Marilyn Crone (Vice President for Enrollment Management), Mary Kay McFadden (Vice President for University Advancement), Melore Nielsen (Dean of Admissions), Bill Ehmann (Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Education), Barry Mitzman (Professor of Strategic Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences), Matt Isaac (Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Albers School of Business and Economics) and Marketing Communications staff, Francesca Lukjanowicz (Director of University Marketing), Mary Olson (Brand Design Director), Eli Christopher (Web Marketing Manager) and Mike Thee (Online Editor).

Q: What does it mean to be an "honored retiree?"

June 3, 2013

"Honored Retiree"

Q:  What does it mean to be an "honored retiree?"

A:  Honored retirees are "employees with 15 or more years of full-time service at age 55 or older who, in the sole judgment of the (u)niversity, performed his/her duties in an exemplary or outstanding manner and who exemplified the (u)niversity's mission, vision and values during his or her service," according to the official university policy. To be recognized as an honorary retiree, the staff member also must voluntarily resign for the purpose of retirement and not go on to work at another institution of higher learning. 

In addition to recognizing outstanding service, the policy is intended to encourage an ongoing connection to the university and includes the following: 

  • Library access and borrowing privileges
  • Connolly and Fitness Center access (no charge for retiree)
  • Staff bookstore discount
  • Faculty/staff rates for athletic events and fine arts performances
  • University e-mail account
  • Standing invitation to participate in university events such as Mission Day, Christmas reception and the appreciation event, as well as educational events such as speakers, forums and workshops.
  • Campus card to facilitate these privileges

Honored retiree status is based on nomination of the retiree's dean or vice president and concurrence of the provost or executive vice president. Nominations will be submitted to the president for his consideration.

This year's honored retirees are Jim Adolphson (Finance and Business Affairs); Carol Brown (Campus Housing Custodial); Mary Carpenter (Albers School of Business and Economics); Jane Grossman (School of Law); and Sue Hogan (School of Theology and Ministry).

Q: What happens to the leftovers from the Faculty and Staff Appreciation Celebration?

May 20, 2013


Q:  What happens to the leftovers from the Faculty and Staff Appreciation Celebration? 

A:  The food not eaten at the celebration is donated to St James for the free meals they serve to the homeless and hungry. Among other factoids related to the event--this is the first year the university is offering items from the Campus Store to service awardees who are celebrating milestone anniversaries of 10 years and up. Favors for the event are being provided by a local company, B-Bam, and made in Washington. This year's celebration features 180 service awardees, 11 faculty emeriti and seven staff retirees/honored retirees. The event was planned by Isa Chong and Tish Tolentino of Human Resources, Kaelen Burton of the College of Education and Kelly Alvarado of Student Development.

Q: How do I know which plants on campus are edible?

May 3, 2013

Edibles on campus

Q:  How do I know which plants on campus are edible? 

A:  Did you know there are fruits, vegetables and herbs planted all over campus that you are welcome to pick and eat? Everything is grown using organic methods. Our Grounds Department stopped using pesticides and herbicides 15 years ago.

This spring, a group of students have been locating and mapping the edibles on campus. Thanks to environmental studies senior Madelyn Hamilton, we now have a beautiful hand-drawn map of the location of the edibles on campus. CLICK HERE or on the image to the left to download a PDF of the map.

Q: How can I get a free health screening?

April 24, 2013

Health screenings

Q:  How can I get a free health screening?

A:  SU faculty and staff are invited to sign up for a free screening on Wednesday, May 8. Screenings will take place between 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in the LeRoux Conference Center (STCN 160). Walk-ins are welcome, but it's recommended that you schedule an appointment if you would like to come at a specific time by CLICKING HERE.*

Key health indicators like cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and weight will be privately collected and analyzed by a licensed health professional. All results are provided to you immediately. The screening only takes 15  minutes. All results are confidential, and your individual results will not be shared with your employer. 

Wellness points will be awarded if you participate in a health screening and update your online health risk assessment.  When you achieve the Core Level (1,000 points) by December 20, 2013, you will be eligible for the best possible medical premium pricing in 2014.  You can quickly get to 1,000 points by updating your Limeade well-being assessment, going for your annual doctor exam and having your basic health numbers rechecked - blood pressure, diabetes, etc. 

Complete or update your Live Seattle U Health Risk Assessment on the LiVE Seattle U wellness website available at: Limeade

*You must be enrolled in one of the University's medical benefits to make an appointment.

Q: How many people took advantage of Public Safety's amnesty program for unpaid tickets?

April 8, 2013

Parking Amnesty

Q:  How many people took advantage of Public Safety's amnesty program for unpaid tickets?

A:  A grand total of 161 faculty, staff and students paid off their outstanding parking tickets during the 12-day amnesty period Public Safety offered in early March. People with tickets were able to fulfill their obligations by paying just half of what they owed. 

The most tickets resolved for one person was 40, and the oldest fine was from 2002. About half of the people who took advantage of the program were students and the half were faculty/staff. 

"Most people were happy to resolve their obligation and relieved to have an opportunity to participate in amnesty," says Randy Carroll, interim executive director of public safety. "It was a really good deal for those individuals who had multiple obligations--especially those who owed a few thousand dollars." 

Carroll estimates that about one-third of all outstanding fines were paid off through the amnesty program. "For those folks who did not take advantage of amnesty, all obligations are now due in full." 

As Caroll adds, "University parking rates are some of the least expensive in this area. We always encourage our community to use alternative modes of transportation to reduce single occupant vehicle use, and our ORCA program is becoming more and more desirable." 

To learn more about SU's parking regulations, visit Transportation.

Q: What is the best-selling apparel item in the SU Campus Store?

March 27, 2013

Campus Store factoids

Q:  What is the best-selling apparel item in the SU Campus Store?

A:  That would be the black hoodie with SU seal.

While we're at it, here are some other interesting Campus Store stats...

  • Number of book titles the store has in stock annually:  8,000+
  • Total number of books sold annually:  100,000+
  • Best-selling snack category:  chips
  • Best-selling electronics category:  head phones
  • Best-selling beverage:  Diet Coke

Q: How can I receive text messages about emergency situations affecting the SU campus?

March 13, 2013

Emergency text messaging

Q:  How can I receive text messages about emergency situations affecting the SU campus?

A:  Seattle University utilizes E2Campus to send time-sensitive emergency communication to students, faculty and staff who opt-in. Register now at Public Safety--it only takes a few minutes. All information you provide to the site is private and will not be shared. Seattle University will only use the system in the event of a critical emergency. Registration is free, however your cell phone carrier may charge standard text messaging fees.