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Answer Me This

Q: What does it take to put on SU's commencement?

June 6, 2012


CommencementKeyArenaQ:  What does it take to put on SU's commencement? 

A:  In a nutshell, quite a lot of work. Almost as soon as one year's graduation ceremonies end, the Commencement Planning Committee begins working on the next year's proceedings. The committee is comprised of 14 faculty and staff and co-chaired by Andrew Anderson of the Registrar's Office and Kate Kelly of Conference and Event Services. It is estimated that the co-chairs alone devote more than 200 hours to planning for commencement. About 50 staff and 20 students work behind the scenes to ensure the undergraduate and graduate ceremonies are a success. Some of the crew starts setting up the night before (6 p.m. to midnight). And let's not forget about all the faculty and staff who participate in both ceremonies, which is a time commitment of nine-plus hours.

Q: Can I work through SU to get a discount on computer hardware or software?

May 23, 2012

Hardware and software discounts

Q:  Can I work through SU to get a discount on computer hardware or software? 

A:  Absolutely. As a service to the SU community, the Office of Information Technology facilitates a number of opportunities for students, faculty and staff to purchase hardware and software at highly discounted rates. Visit OIT to learn more about the participating vendors and how you can take advantage of this service.

Q: How can I find out more about changes to staff pay that are coming for fiscal year 2013?

May 7, 2012

Staff pay

Q:  How can I find out more about changes to staff pay that are coming for fiscal year 2013?

A:  Changes to staff pay are going into effect on July 1. If you haven't had a chance to attend one of the open forum sessions on the changes, there's still time to attend one of the following this week:

Tuesday May 8, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Wyckoff Auditorium (ENGR 200)
Wednesday May 9, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., LeRoux Conference Center (STCN 160)
Wednesday May 9, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Bannan 102
Thursday May 10, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Student Center 210

Can't make any of the sessions? Don't worry-Human Resources will be providing an online presentation on their website by May 14.

Q: What is the  Hui O Nani Hawaii Club all about?

April 23, 2012

Hui O Nani Hawaii Club

Q:  What is the  Hui O Nani Hawaii Club all about?

A:  The Hui O Nani Hawaii Club, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary on May 5, is one of the oldest and largest organizations on campus. The club promotes and preserves the culture of Hawaii. Its focus on unity and family makes it one of our most engaging multicultural organizations. As of fall 2011, 236 students from Hawaii were enrolled at SU. 

The club also has a very active alumni group. Paul Chinen, the first president of the club and a retired brigadier general, will be among 11 of the original 33 charter members along with many others attending the anniversary celebration. Here's a list of the activities:

Thursday, May 3
5:30 p.m., The Chieftain: Relax and relive memories of your college days.

Friday, May 4
10 a.m.: Tour the campus (meet in the Admissions & Alumni Community Room)
Noon: Lunch, Admissions & Alumni Community Room
5:30 p.m.: Reception, Admissions & Alumni Community Room

Saturday, May 5
4:30 p.m., North Court Connolly Center: Luau (e-mail for tickets)

Q: How can I lead a more healthy life?

April 10, 2012

New wellness program for employees

Q:  How can I lead a more healthy life?

A:  SU faculty and staff now have access to a new wellness program called LiVE Seattle U. The first step is to attend a Healthy Living Fair on Tuesday, May 1, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the LeRoux Conference Room (STCN). There, you'll have the opportunity to get a free biometric screening and learn more about SU's new wellness program. Once you've had your health screening you can move from awareness and education to taking charge of your health. 

Here's more on what's available to you at the May 1 fair: 

  • Learn more about  the new LiVE Seattle U web challenges and incentives, communities and other resources
  • Tour the Health Risk Assessment web tool that can help you set goals, track progress and earn rewards
  • Free health screenings from Summit Health from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.  Learn More   Make Summit Appointment
  • Mammography screenings offered by the Swedish "Hope" mobile unit  Learn More   Make Swedish Appointment  
  • "Managing Diabetes"  noon workshop (SCTN 130) and information through PacMed
  • Tobacco cessation education from Group Health Cooperative
  • Free one-on-one wellness coaching program offered through Vera Fitness
  • Prevention and your PPO medical plan with Premera Blue Cross

Q: When will I be able to take my first ride on the First Hill Streetcar?

March 27, 2012

First Hill Streetcar

Q:  When will I be able to take my first ride on the First Hill Streetcar? 

A:  Construction begins this April on the First Hill Streetcar, which will travel on Broadway along the west side of our campus and provide a vital transportation link between Sound Transit's Link light rail transit centers in Pioneer Square, Chinatown International District and Capitol Hill. In just two years, the new line, depicted in this rendering at Broadway and Marion, will be ready for us to ride. Here are some key mileposts along the way: 

April 2012               Start utility construction
Summer 2012          Start track construction
Early 2013               Complete utility construction
Early 2014               Complete track and roadway construction
Spring 2014             Streetcar opens for service

The SU campus will be updated on the project as it moves forward-stay tuned for periodic construction bulletins. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about the streetcar and how it will add new transportation options for faculty, staff and students, visit The First Hill Streetcar is a partnership between the City of Seattle Department of Transportation and Sound Transit.

Q: What's going on with the P-Patch between Logan Field and Chardin Hall?

March 27, 2012

Chardin gardens pick up and move

March 27, 2012

Q:  What's going on with the P-Patch between Logan Field and Chardin Hall?

A:  The vegetable beds near Logan Field and Chardin Hall that students, staff and faculty have been tending since 2008 will be on the move this year. With construction at Logan Field beginning this spring, the very popular P-Patch plots are being relocated to the lot south of the Broadway Parking Garage. Construction on the new beds will start this week, with an opening celebration planned for SU Earth Day, April 20. For more information contact Janice Murphy at

Q: I noticed different paper towels and toilet paper in the campus bathrooms-why the change?

March 12, 2012

New paper towel and toilet paper dispensers 

Q:   I noticed different paper towels and toilet paper in the campus bathrooms-why the change? 

A:   During winter quarter, Facilities switched from Georgia Pacific (GP) to Kimberly-Clark (KC) paper towels, toilet paper, soap and hand sanitizer in every academic building. (The old stock of paper was moved to the resident halls, so those buildings will be converted as soon as it is used up.) Facilities changed vendors for the following reasons: 

$25,000 annual cost reduction.  SU was buying 3,600 batteries every year to power the GP towel dispensers at a cost of $2,700 plus the labor to change batteries. The new KC towel dispensers use mechanical touch-less technology. Along with a reduction in product cost, tube-less toilet paper and paper towel rolls result in more paper per roll, less rolls to buy and fewer roll changes by custodians.   The soap dispenser squirts out less soap, resulting in less usage. KC's foaming sanitizer costs less and uses less product to get the same job done.  

50 percent less packaging. No paper tube, no individually paper-wrapped toilet paper and towel rolls, no cardboard boxes and 100 percent of the towel and toilet paper roll is used. The custodians used to remove and throw away almost empty toilet paper rolls. 

Kimberly-Clark's environmentally sustainable initiatives. KC has cooperated with Greenpeace since 2008 to switch to sustainable practices after Greenpeace's aggressive four-year campaign against KC for using trees from Canada's Boreal Forest. KC's virgin wood fiber is certified by third party groups like the Forest Stewardship Council. Paper contains high levels of recycled fiber. Their soap is Green Seal Certified. Technology and packaging design is used to reduce the amount of natural resources used in products.

Thank you to Karen Price, campus sustainability manager, for providing this information.

Q: How can my office get a compost bin?

February 28, 2012

Composting in the office

Q:  How can my office get a compost bin?

A:  It's easy. All you have to do is visit Facilities Services and click on "Work Request" to log into the Archibus system. Or call the Facilities Resource Center at 296-6996. By the way, Seattle University currently has more than 200 compost bins located inside and outside its campus buildings.



Q: I hear there's an orchard outside the 1313 Columbia Building that will yield edible foods-is that true?

February 14, 2012

Fruit orchard at 1313

Q:  I hear there's an orchard outside the 1313 Columbia Building that will yield edible foods-is that true?

A:  Yes! Writes Janice Murphy of Grounds:

"Located on the east side of the Columbia Building along 14th Ave., the orchard includes apple trees, pear trees, hazelnut trees, as well as blueberry and currant plants. Our intention is to establish many of these trees and shrubs now in order to ensure that the plants will produce food well into the future. Our hope is to engage the neighborhood in the harvest and eventually distribute food to those in need in our community.

Our program is modeled on the community organizations of City Fruit, based in Seattle, and Portland Fruit Tree Project in Portland, Ore. Further inspiration is from City of Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn's 2010: Year of Urban Agriculture initiative.

If you spot a blueberry or apple as you walk across campus our gardeners want you to eat it-that's why they planted it! You'll find blueberries along the chapel's east wall and apple trees in front of the Fine Arts building. The new orchard was planted at the edge of campus so that our neighbors could also grab a snack."

To learn more about how the orchard came to be and for more background, visit Grounds.

Q: It’s performance appraisal time—how can I learn more about the process?

January 31, 2012

Performance evaluations

PerformanceEvaluation_AMTQ: It’s performance appraisal time—how can I learn more about the process? 

A:  As we know, the university is phasing in performance-based compensation for staff. Whether you’re doing a performance evaluation for an employee or undergoing one, there are many opportunities for you to learn more about the process. For a full schedule of information sessions, both for supervisors and for all staff, visit HR's website, You can also learn more about the process by visiting Performance Evaluation.


Q: I’m thinking of buying a home. Are there any resources for me on campus?

January 10, 2012

Home-buying assistance

Q:  I’m thinking of buying a home. Are there any resources for me on campus?

A:  Yes! On Wednesday, Jan. 18, there is an on campus seminar provided by Home Street Bank where you can learn about a home purchase. Visit Human Resources for more information.