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Seattle University

Answer Me This

Q: What is this year’s common text?

August 14, 2018

Each year, SU’s incoming first-year students are asked to read a book before they arrive on campus for Welcome Week. This year’s text is Tulalip from My Heart: An Autobiographical Account of a Reservation Community by Harriette Shelton Dover. Told through the narrative of the author’s voice, Tulalip invites readers to consider issues of class- and race-based assimilation, educational experiences of students of color, impacts of colonialist behaviors, and justice and injustice in our community. 

A committee of 15 faculty, staff, and students selected the text from a lengthy list of finalists. They also selected a text for next year, So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. 

Among other purposes, the common text “introduces students to an Ignatian-inspired process of inquiry that emphasizes meaning-making, risk-taking and asking deep questions,” as outlined on the program’s website. The text is part of a yearlong series of programs that integrate themes from the book. 

Students will have the opportunity to discuss this year’s text with faculty and staff at the end of the First-Year Student Convocation, which takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 25 (9 a.m.-noon, Redhawk Center North Court). 

The Common Text program is led by Susan Meyers, associate professor of English, and Michelle Etchart, senior director of Student Outreach and Success.

Q: What percentage of SU’s students are first-generation?

July 16, 2018

About 14 percent of Seattle University’s students are the first generation of their families to attend college. This includes undergraduate, graduate and law students. For the class of 2022, about 22 percent of incoming first time in college (FTIC) and transfer students identify as first-generation. 

Thanks to Gretchenrae Campera, assistant director of student success and outreach, for providing this information. To learn more about SU’s outreach to first-generation students, click here.

Q: What benefits are extended to SU faculty and staff during the summer months?

June 22, 2018

Most agree that summer in the Puget Sound region is about as good as it gets. And if you work at Seattle U, it’s that much better.

On Fridays, starting June 22 through Aug. 31, faculty and staff can leave an hour and a half early. That’s 3 p.m. for most employees. (Of course, there’s some fine print, so re-read the June 8 e-mail from Official HR Information for more details.)

And while the start of a work week can be rough, Free Coffee/Tea Monday during the summer makes the reentry a bit easier. Simply present your campus card and a reusable mug at one of the designated Bon Appétit—or, effective July 1, Chartwells locations—below on Mondays from June 18 through Aug. 27 to receive a complimentary drip coffee or tea.

  • Cherry Street: Monday, June 18 through Monday, Aug. 27
  • Bottom Line: Monday, June 25 through Monday, July 30
  • Side Bar: Monday, Aug. 20 and 27

Please contact the Office of Human Resources with any questions on Early Release Friday or Free Coffee/Tea Mondays at 296-5870 or

Q: Where can I get more information on decisions made by university leadership?

May 18, 2018

A new web page was launched this month to provide details on decisions made by the university's board of trustees. Click here to view a summary of the board's most recent meeting, which took place May 2-3.

Q: How is SU enhancing its staff family/medical leave benefits?

April 10, 2018

Following extensive community input and work by an advisory group, Seattle University is enhancing its staff family/medical leave benefits. Benefits-eligible staff may now be paid 100 percent of regular pay during a family or medical leave of absence, Vice President for Human Resources Michelle Clements, announced on April 10. 

Effective immediately, this means up to 12 weeks of pay regardless of how many days of sick leave or vacation a staff member may have accrued to cover a longer-term absence. 

The comprehensive enhancement was unanimously approved by the Cabinet and Board of Trustees. It provides broad coverage for those in need, including: 

  • Moms who need to take paid time off to care for themselves and their newborn; 
  • Non-birth moms and dads to allow them to take paid time off to bond with a new child who joins the family through natural birth, adoption or foster care,
  • Your own serious health condition or to be on hand to care for a recuperating spouse, partner, child or parent. 

In short, up to 12 weeks of paid leave will be available in a rolling 12-month period for any absence that qualifies as a family medical leave.

Q: Where can I go for a map of SU's notable trees?

April 9, 2018

Just in time for Arbor Day (April 27) and, even before that, Earth Day (April 22), Grounds and Landscaping have teamed up with the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability to create a wonderful new resource, “The Trees of Seattle University.” The brochure features a handy map of notable campus trees—a perfect companion for all you tree-huggers out there to embark on a self-guided tour.

Q: How can I celebrate Earth Day at SU?

April 4, 2018

April 22 is Earth Day! SU staff, faculty and students are invited to reflect on how we care for the earth and our communities, and to participate in one or more of the many events that are organized at Seattle University this month. Please find a list of events below. For more detailed event information, visit the 2018 Earth Month at SU page. 

Today until April 9: Interfaith Earth Day Video Contest 

Today until April 29: Sustainability Signage Competition at Res Halls

April 3-30: Earth Month at the Library

April 6: Work Party at the Vi Hilbert Ethnobotanical Garden (more information below)

April 9-29: SU’s 5th Annual EcoChallenge

April 11 and 13: Tour the “Trees of Seattle University

April 16-20: Bon Appétit loves it all: Leave no Leaf, Stem, Bone or Rind behind!

April 19: Interfaith Earth Day: Morning Fair and Speakers

April 19: Interfaith Earth Day: Evening Video Contest Showcase

April 27: Plant and Veggie Sale AND Compost Give-Away 

April 27: Evening Guest Lecture by Gary Machlis: “A Conversation on Conservation in America”

April (dates TBD): Work Parties with Food With Spirit!

Q: How can I learn more about SU’s new dining services provider?

March 2, 2018

As announced last month by CFO and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs Connie Kanter, Seattle University is transitioning to Chartwells for its food service. Chartwells, a sister company of Bon Appétit, SU’s current food service provider, takes over July 1. Click here for the particulars on this transition and what it means for the future of food service at Seattle U.

Q: How much blood did the SU community donate in 2017?

January 17, 2018

“In 2017, 350 Seattle U students, staff and faculty registered to donate blood at the blood drives on campus,” writes Kim Gitt, area manager for Puget Sound West, Bloodworks Northwest. “Of those (who registered), Bloodworks Northwest was able to collect 300 units of blood. Since each donation can help three patients in need, the Seattle U blood drives helped save the lives of up to 900 patients in our local community.” 

Each year, more than 55,000 patients need life-saving blood transfusions in hospitals in western Washington, says Gitt. “We are able to help these patients thanks to the caring and dedication of Seattle U donors!”

Visit Bloodworks Northwest for more information.

Q: How can I comment on SU's self-evaluation report for accreditation?

December 11, 2017

All students, staff, and faculty can access the Year Seven Self-Evaluation Report here on the Office of University Planning’s accreditation website. Please direct your comments and corrections to Sophia Sansone, accreditation and assessment manager, at no later than Jan. 11, 2018. 

Seattle University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). As an accredited institution of higher education, Seattle University must continually demonstrate that it is meeting the standards set by NWCCU

During this past year the Office of University Planning sought and received substantial input from various offices, individuals and groups across campus. The Academic Assembly, the Student Government of Seattle University, the Graduate Student Council, the Student Bar Association, program directors, deans and cabinet members all reviewed drafts and/or provided input.  More than 200 faculty, staff, and students have contributed to the drafting of the self-evaluation report. 

In April 2018, the university will host a team of nine academic professionals from our region trained by NWCCU to review the university’s policies and practices as part of the process of reaffirming the university’s accreditation for the next seven years. In early February 2018 the Office of University Planning will send NWCCU the final version of the Year Seven Self-Evaluation Report for the team to study prior to their visit. The evaluation team’s visit to campus will be on April 25, 26 and 27, 2018. During the visit students, staff and faculty will have the opportunity to meet with the evaluators. More information about these meetings will be announced prior to the visit. University Planning will present to various groups and host several information sessions in Winter term to familiarize members of the Seattle University community with the accreditation process and what to expect during the visit. 

For more information, contact Sansone at or 206-296-2809.

Q: What can I expect from SU's 2018 Search for Meaning Festival?

December 7, 2017

Search for Meaning is Seattle University’s annual community festival dedicated to topics surrounding the human quest for meaning, and the characteristics of an ethical and well-lived life. Hosted on the university’s campus, Search for Meaning draws more than 60 nationally and internationally acclaimed authors and artists for an interactive, introspective experience.  

The 2018 festival, which takes place Feb. 24, features: 

  • Author presentations on topics including social justice, cross-cultural, racial and interreligious dialogue, history, poetry and spirituality

  • Keynote presentations by: Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor | Redeeming Darkness: A Spirituality for the Night Times; Ruth Ozeki | A Tale for the Time Being; and Rev. William J. Barber, II and Taylor Branch | Dismantling American Racism: Past & Present 
  • Pop-up book shop featuring author book signings

  • Art exhibit highlighting works of artists who participate in the ACRS Behavioral Health Art Therapy program

  • Theatre performance, The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux directed by Jane Nichols. Search for Meaning ticket holders receive a discounted rate

  • Mobile Mavens food trucks and Bon Appétit campus cafes  

Visit Search for Meaning for more information, including a full list of authors/presenters.

Q: How many international students are at Seattle University this year?

November 23, 2017

Thanks to a slick infographic prepared by the International Student Center, we know there are 764 international students representing 54 countries currently at SU. Click here to see the top 10 countries represented and other interesting demographic information.