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Answer Me This

Q: What language should I use to acknowledge the history of SU's land and to respect indigenous peoples?

October 9, 2018

Last year, Associate Professor Christina Roberts and Diane Tomhave of the Indigenous Peoples Institute and Fr. Patrick Twohy, S.J., collaborated with Campus Ministry to create language that can be used at the beginning of campus events to recognize the history and people, lands and waters of this Duwamish dxʷdəwʔabš aboriginal territory. 

The following statement is offered as a way for our community to recognize this land and our history; to honor the people past and present who belong to this place; to create common and consistent language for our events and ceremonies; and to have language that was crafted with care and wisdom. 

As we begin our gathering, I (we) respectfully acknowledge that our event today is taking place on Duwamish aboriginal territory. 

I (We) pay respect to Duwamish Elders past and present and extend that respect to their descendants and to all Indigenous people. 

To acknowledge this land is to recognize its longer history and our place in that history; it is to recognize these lands and waters and their significance for the peoples who lived and continue to live in this region, whose practices and spiritualties were and are tied to the land and the water, and whose lives continue to enrich and develop in relationship to the land, waters and other inhabitants today.

Q: How much was raised at this year's Costco Scholarship Breakfast?

September 27, 2018

The Costco Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to highly qualified underrepresented minority students at Seattle U and the University of Washington, raised $4.4 million in its 19th year. More information about the scholarship fund can be found here. For a recap of this year's event, visit Costco Breakfast.

(Photo source: Costco)

Q: How is SU's onboarding program for new staff changing?

September 18, 2018

Earlier this month Human Resources announced the launch of a new staff cohort-based onboarding program, Rising Redhawks, which will take effect Sept. 24. Following is the announcement.

Based on feedback from recent campus culture discussions, diversity & inclusion seminars, focus groups, and new hire survey data, the HR team has redesigned the experience into three distinct phases. 

Below are some of the highlights and changes:

Phase One – First Day

  • Newly hired staff will start with Human Resources on Mondays only to assure the immediate establishment of cohorts.
  • These sessions will focus on staff benefits, IT resources, UREC services, library, transportation, etc.
  • New features include sponsored first-day parking/transportation, a campus tour, and lunch with new hires and their supervisors.   

Phase Two – New Hire Orientation

  • New Hire Orientation will now occur once a month.
  • The focus of New Hire Orientation will place focus on Seattle University’s mission, culture, structure, and an added emphasis on diversity & inclusive excellence.
  • New faculty members are also welcome to attend these sessions throughout the year, which will create more opportunities for connections between faculty and staff.

Cabinet members will continue to kick-off these sessions providing an overview of SUs academic experience, commitment to student success. This will be followed by leaders on campus who will cover key topics to provide a comprehensive overview of SU. 

Phase Three – Quarterly Welcome Social

  • Each quarter, all staff new hires will gather to share their onboarding experiences at an event hosted by Human Resources in an effort to continuously improve the new hire experience as well as strengthen and reinforce the cohort connections and to further build relationships.
  • Following the social event, the cohort will be invited to attend an optional after-work event (such as an athletic game or evening lecture).

For more information, contact

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.