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Most read stories

Written by Mike Thee
June 15, 2010

When SU’s faculty and staff newsletter was in print, how much attention the articles were receiving was anyone's guess. With the launch of our online faculty and staff platform, The Commons, in November, we can now very easily see which stories are getting the most traffic. Of the 85 feature articles that were posted to The Commons during the 2009-2010 academic year, here are the stories that got the most hits, as defined by unique page views.

1.  Father Reichmann: This February, SU’s own James Reichmann, S.J., became the third scholar to receive the prestigious Loyola Medal by Matteo Ricci College and the Faith and Great Ideas Academic Program. The 286 views this article received speak to the SU community’s adoration for its favorite pun-loving Jesuit philosopher. 

2.  Wes Lauer: When the earthquake hit Haiti there were some anxious moments about the whereabouts of Wes Lauer, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, who was in the country at the time working on a service project. The Commons quickly confirmed that Lauer was safe, and when he returned to the States, he wrote about what he was doing in Haiti. His column received 254 unique page views.

3.  Collaboration with Neighborhood House: One of the biggest—if not the biggest—developments this year was the crystallization of the Seattle University Youth Initiative. The SU community’s intensified focus on its immediate neighborhood was reflected in the 245 views of an article about an interdisciplinary community research that SU faculty undertook with Neighborhood House Head Start. 

4.  Ash Wednesday: Heading into Lent, The Commons did an interview about Ash Wednesday with G DeCastro of Campus Ministry. G was gracious to shed light on the meaning and symbolism of Ash Wednesday. He also used a word I must confess I had never heard before but now very much enjoy—“bestrew.” The Q&A received 203 views.

5.  Q&A with campaign co-chairs:  Dick Cunningham of the School of Theology and Ministry and Laurie Prince of New Student and Family Programs are this year’s co-chairs of the Faculty and Staff Giving Campaign, and in a Q&A with The Commons, the duo shared why they give to SU, what they value about the university and much more. For instance, we learned that Dick is an avid Xboxer. The interview was viewed 195 times.

6.  Standing up for seniors: We were blessed this year with a number of contributions (as in Wes Lauer’s) that were authored by faculty and staff for The Commons. Thank you! One of these was written by Hannah Hepfer of the Center for Leadership Formation about an initiative by students in the Executive Leadership Program to protect senior citizens from being exploited. The article received 167 hits. 

7.  greenSquat: Steve Galatro of the Fine Arts Department founded greenSquat, a new eco-friendly way of doing theatre in which sets of other productions are reused, and in March, WRITER 1271” opened as greenSquat’s debut. The Commons article about it garnered 157 views.

8.  Youth Initiative: As another sign that the Seattle University Youth Initiative was very much on the brain this year, a Q&A with Kent Koth, who is heading up the effort, was among the most read features. The interview attracted 146 hits.

9.  Dance Marathon: Another great contribution to The Commons this year was the piece Renata Opoczynski of Student Activities wrote on the Dance Marathon. Renata shared a personal story of how she came to create this successful fundraiser at SU. If you missed it, check out her story, which got 145 page views.

10.  Topping off: Perhaps the most visually striking development at SU this year was the construction of the McGoldrick Learning Commons and renovation of the Lemieux Library. Not surprisingly, one of the most read articles of the year was about the milestone of lifting the final beam into place and the “topping off” ceremony that marked it. The article received 138 hits.