Q: In keeping with SU's commitment to sustainability, how can I shop, decorate and otherwise celebrate in an ecologically friendly way this holiday season?
A: The Commons turned to Karen Price, campus sustainability manager, for ideas on greening up the holidays. If you’re looking for a distinctly SU option, here’s what she suggests:
“Give the gift of clean water to Haitians by giving your family and friends a Seattle U water bottle. Proceeds from each bottle goes to Seattle U’s Engineers Without Borders to buy a water treatment system for 8,000 Haitians. The steel bottle weighs only eight ounces and holds 27 ounces of water. Buy the bottle for only $9.99 at the Bookstore. Do the people on your list already have a reusable plastic water bottle? Reusable plastic bottles with scratches or a cloudy, crackled appearance more readily leach chemicals into your water and then your body; scratches can also harbor bacteria. Upgrade to a stylish and sustainable steel water bottle and give Haitians the gift of clean water.”
Price also recommends King County’s Green Holidays website. Included on the site are such tips as using energy-efficient LED lighting (and recycling your old lights); getting your tree from farms that use minimal pesticides and sustainable practices or considering a living tree; giving “experience” gifts; and using reused materials for wrapping paper and gift tags; and many, many more ideas for the green-minded.
Q: How many staff positions does SU fill with internal candidates?
A: In 2010, more than one out of every four staff vacancies have been filled by internal applicants.
The following staff have recently been promoted: Sara Campbell (HR); Kerry Keller Ash (Finance); Lorena Toledo-Easty (ESOP); Rhonda Woods (A&S); Marc Parrish (Bookstore; and Sommar Harrison (Albers).
Q: Where can I find nutrition information for food and drink items sold on campus by Chartwells?
A: Chartwells provides nutritional information on their website. All items produced on campus by Chartwells are prepared from scratch using fresh ingredients of the highest quality. Chartwells sources food produced in a sustainable fashion. For nutritional information on specific food items, contact Buzz Hofford directly at email@example.com.
Q: How many chapels or sacred spaces do we have at Seattle University, and how are they used?
Chris Joseph Taylor
A: Nick Coffman, university chapels coordinator in Campus Ministry, writes that we have five chapels/sacred spaces on campus, including the Chapel of St. Ignatius, Immaculate Conception Chapel in the Administration Building, the Chardin Hall Chapel, and the Ecumenical Chapel and Multifaith prayer room, which are both in Campion Hall.
“Last year we recorded almost 30 weddings and 30 tours in the Chapel of St. Ignatius, more than 500 regularly scheduled Masses in our chapels and almost 200 other prayer/worship events,” Coffman writes. “Events in the chapels vary from Masses, School and Theology and Ministry Morning and Evening Prayer, St. Egidio Prayer Community gatherings, Ecumenical and Multi-faith prayer services, Reconciliation services, lectures, tours, weddings, fellowship gatherings…We have a very vibrant prayer life on campus!”
Q: An observant Commons reader asked why Meeghan Black of KING 5 TV’s “Evening Magazine” was on SU’s campus Tuesday, Oct. 12.
A: “Evening Magazine” used Seattle University’s campus as the location for a program that aired on Wednesday, Oct. 13.
Q: I’m organizing an event on campus and wondered if it would be possible to serve a roasted pig?
A: Why, yes, as it turns out, SU’s food service provider, Bon Appétit, has recently invested in a special box for roasting pigs. Executive Chef Jim Cooley says the box is capable of cooking up to a 70-pound pig in about 4-5 hours. He has used it a few times already and reports that it works great.
As for the cost of having a pig roasted for your event, Cooley estimates it would run about $450 for a 50-pound suckling pig, which feeds 25-35 people. “A pig will lose almost 50% in shrinkage when cooked,” he says.
In terms of presentation, Cooley says he is partial to the classic apple-in-the mouth. "A hat and a cigar is also sort of an interesting look. It all depends on your crowd."
Q: You may have noticed that there were some young people working at SU over the summer, who seemed even younger than our work study students. What was that all about?
A: Ten youths worked at Seattle University this summer through the City of Seattle’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Human Resources partnered with the Center for Service and Community and Engagement to bring the program to campus.
“We decided to get involved with this program as a way for staff to engage in our Youth Initiative and to invite youth from our community to campus to learn valuable job skills and experience a university setting,” says Ruth Donohue, manager of human resources.
The young people worked in Human Resources, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the College of Nursing, Mailing Services and Facilities Operations. They provided office support, delivered mail, assisted with and learned skilled trades.
By all accounts, the experience was a success for both SU staff and participating youth. Donohue says the hope is to expand the program in future years.
Stay tuned for more information on how your office might participate next year.
Q: I recently completed my annual performance appraisal and one of my goals was to complete a customer service skills workshop. Where can I find a program that meets my needs?
A: The Office of Human Resources is offering several learning opportunities this fall:
Communication Skills for Service Excellence
This 3-hour workshop focuses on honing communication skills to provide excellent service, avoid and manage problems, and constructively handle emotionally charged situations. Open to all faculty and staff, the session is designed as an interactive learning experience, providing a wonderful opportunity to engage with colleagues across campus.
Session dates: Aug. 20 and 24, and Oct. 6.
Effective Coaching Skills for Supervisors
A half-day workshop focused on the use of constructive feedback and coaching skills to guide individuals in reaching desired outcomes. This interactive experience provides the opportunity to connect with colleagues, and to learn from and with each other. Open to all faculty and staff in supervisory/leadership positions.
Session dates: Sept. 21, Oct. 14 and Nov. 16.
Q: What happened to the water in the Connolly Center's East Pool?
A: Cal Ihler, assistant director of facilities operations and maintenance, wrote on Aug. 5:
"The East Pool has been drained so scaffolding can be installed for a renovation. New energy efficient lighting will be installed and walls and ceilings are being cleaned, repaired and painted. Some signage improvements are also included. The pool is expected to be back in operation by September 6. The West Pool was reopened August 2. The timing was such that we were able to reuse most of the water from the East Pool for filling the West Pool. As part of the renovation both pools will be in conformance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act; its purpose is to enhance the safety of the pool users."