Q: What is the purpose of the trellis-like structure on the second floor of the Student Center outside of Cherry Street Market?
A: First of all, a big thank you to Elia Grenier, senior administrative assistant in the Office of University Planning for the question. For the answer, we turned to Sari Graven, director of design and planning in Facilities Services. Graven writes:
"One of the issues that consistently comes up about the student center is its non-human scale. The rooms are large, hard surfaced boxes that don't feel very inviting. It does not feel comfortable, it is not very hospitable and feels cold. There are many ways to increase the perceived comfort of a space, mostly related to renovations of ceilings, lighting, and (these) can be costly.
"The 'trellis' presents a way to bring the scale of this enormous barn-like space into a more human scale. The canopy in conjunction with the stool-height table becomes its own little room, providing a sense of protection, a cloister if you will from the larger space.
"We placed this unit in the Student Center as an experiment to observe if people using the second floor would gravitate to this type of space or would they prefer to be out in the open at standard tables and chairs. I make a point of observing how the space is used whenever I am in the Student Center. I have noticed it is always occupied during the lunch service. Not a scientific study, but interesting."
Graven is interested in feedback from students, faculty and staff who use the space. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How much money did SU's students raise at the 2014 Dance Marathon?
A: About 200 SU students participated in the 2014 Dance Marathon. The event began at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, and came to a close at 2 a.m. on Sunday. The dancers had set out to raise $50,000, $8,000 more than last year's record-setting total. When the music stopped, nearly $60,000 was raised, making it not only the most successful in SU history but the largest dance marathon in the west, according to Children's Miracle Network.
One hundred percent of the proceeds go to Seattle Children's Hospital to be used for families who otherwise could not afford the critical care their kids need. "We believe that no family should feel alone in their fight against a pediatric illness, and no child should be kept from the medical care they need to live a fulfilled life because of money," the group's mission statement reads, in part.
The dancers were entertained by DJ and the Ramblin' Years band. They heard touching stories from Seattle Children's Hospital families and were visited by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.
In just seven years, the SU Dance Marathon has brought in more than $200,000 for Children's Hospital. For more information, visit Dance Marathon.
Q: What's new with SU's Help Desk?
A: Lots. The SU Help Desk is undergoing many significant improvements this quarter. It began with the launch of on-site phone and e-mail services on Jan. 2. A further enhancement will literally arrive on the scene Feb. 24 with a new walk-up service available in Engineering 302.
“Whether you call, e-mail, or visit us in the Engineering Building, you will work with a knowledgeable Help Desk technician trained to provide helpful assistance and relevant tech advice,” says Lori Potter, Help Desk manager.
Pictured here, the Help Desk team can assist with issues such as unlocking or resetting your SU account; configuring your mobile device for SU_secure; reprinting your campus card; and providing 10-15 minutes of tech consulting services.
A few helpful notes to remember when using the Help Desk:
Q: One reader asked this a few weeks back--Why is the entrance on the south side of the Admin Building now locked during business hours?
A: The door was locked over the summer because it is a "blind entrance," says Tim Marron, executive director of public safety and transportation. "Blind entrances," he explains, are those at which no one is stationed on the inside of the building to view who enters.
The decision to lock the door was made in response to numerous safety concerns expressed by building staff over unaffiliated people entering the building and loitering in the hallway. (The north entrance has long been locked for this reason.)
"We are an open campus in an area of Seattle that has significant crime rate," says Marron. "The safety of faculty, staff and students outweighed convenience, in this particular case."
For more information on Campus Public Safety, including tools you can use to stay safe on campus, visit https://www.seattleu.edu/safety/.
Q: What's the latest on SU's branding initiative?
A: A large crowd of faculty, staff and students gathered in Campion Ballroom on Dec. 4 for a community briefing on Seattle University's new brand strategy and concept.
President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., and Vice President for Communications Scott McClellan kicked off the briefing by providing context. Father Sundborg said the initiative was important for enrolling new students, supporting the upcoming capital campaign, galvanizing the university's alumni and truly being perceived as Seattle's university. "This is the right time for us to be doing this," he said.
McClellan said the initiative was intended to "awaken the sleeping giant that is Seattle University. We have a great story to tell. We all want more people to hear it." He added that the development of the brand was "a very data-driven process," involving numerous focus groups with students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters, as well as phone surveys with more than 700 prospective undergraduate and graduate students.
From there, 160over90, the agency with which SU is partnering on the initiative, took over and shared the findings from what they call the "discovery" phase. While their research yielded a storehouse of valuable information, the agency used their limited time at the briefing to focus on the most important takeaways. For instance, the findings affirmed that many of SU's core attributes-such as its commitment to social justice, diversity, inclusiveness, creativity, and forward-thinking education-are the same qualities being sought by a significant population of prospective students.
Also identified in the research were some significant gaps between how SU is perceived internally by those of us who know the university well and externally by those outside the university. The gaps are particularly pronounced when it comes to familiarity with the high quality of SU's academic programs.
Other findings showed that while SU's students are receiving the kind of academic experience that is expected from the Jesuit educational experience, externally speaking, there is a lack of awareness on the meaning and impact of Jesuit education.
In the agency's view, these and other findings suggest that the university has a chance to make a really strong first impression with many new populations, including prospective students as well as potential community partners and donors. They presented the following as key opportunities for SU: capitalize on our strength as a forward-looking university and our location in an urban hub; bring more awareness to our rigorous academic program; differentiate ourselves as a Jesuit university; and own Seattle.
After presenting the research, 160over90 walked the attendees through the brand strategy and concept, making it clear that "proofs of concept" they shared were sample ideas of how the new approach could look in practice, and that specific executions had yet to be developed. The real executions will be prioritized and developed over time as the initiative now moves into the "build" phase.
The conceptual ideas presented included samples of print collateral such as view books for prospective undergraduates; marketing materials for graduate students; digital content targeted to students, alumni and potential donors; outdoor signs; and even some apparel. They provided a number of intriguing options for highlighting the university's commitment to social justice, as well as the Youth Initiative, and for better engaging the university's graduates.
During the Q&A segment, campus community members responded positively to the brand concept with some faculty, staff and students sharing ideas to consider as it is implemented.
McClellan said the feedback will help inform the executions, and that the Brand Leadership Group looked forward to the continued participation of students, faculty and staff as the initiative moves forward. He also underscored that the strategy and concept are just the beginning of what will be a multi-year effort expected to include, among other facets, an ongoing visibility campaign.
The next steps in the immediate future include establishing brand guidelines in addition to beginning to develop priority executions. Brand camps are being planned for winter quarter so that the faculty, staff and students who will be most directly involved with SU's brand can immerse themselves in the guidelines and strategies in order to help carry the effort forward.
One way that all community members can participate in the process is to help in prioritizing what sorts of materials and initiatives are implemented. You are encouraged to weigh in on what potential brand executions you feel are most important to the university by completing the short survey at Marketing Communications.
Q: What's the story on the new greenhouse at 1313 E. Columbia?
A: The structure replaces the old greenhouse, which was located on top of the Bannan Building, explains Grounds Manager Shannon Britton. Most intriguing about the new 450-square-foot structure is that it will serve both academic and operations needs for the university, with the space being shared by Grounds and Biology. The greenhouse, which was dedicated on Nov. 18, is particularly valuable for Michael Zanis, a newly arrived plant pathologist in biology, as he and his students will be able to conduct experiments as part of their plant physiology and taxonomy courses. Some of the research will concern the environmental impacts on plants. As for Grounds, they will use the space for starting and maintaining campus plant collections as well as testing out new species for growing in our climate. "Grounds and Biology look forward to sharing the space and learning from each other through interaction and possible combined projects," said Britton.
Q: What do I need to do for Open Enrollment?
A: Open Enrollment for your 2014 benefits program is underway and will continue through Friday, Nov. 15. With significant adjustments made to healthcare benefits in recent years, it's important to carefully study all of your options and select the best insurance coverage for yourself and your family.
Here are some recommendations from Human Resources:
Q: What is the new name of the community room in the Admissions & Alumni Building?
A: The community room in the A&A Building is now named the Stuart T. Rolfe Community Room. Pictured here with SU President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., Rolfe is a 1978 graduate of Seattle University School of Law and a member of the board of trustees. The Rolfe Room was recently dedicated in gratitude for his generosity and service to the university.
Photo by Nicole Baum, ZipZip Studio
Q: What's new, shiny and now in every academic building and residence hall?
A: The new metal food waste + compostables, recycling and trash bins. This means each building has at least one food waste + compostables bin inside in a public area. The bins replace the ugly, old, gray bins. Also new and improved are SU's compost and recycling web pages. You can watch a video of what goes in the three bins or see a video of what happens to your food waste, recycling and trash. Learn how to recycle batteries, styrene foam and toner cartridges on campus. Or print a food waste/recycling/ trash flyer to post above the bins in a break room.
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. For more information, visit Office 365 at Seattle University.
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 email@example.com.