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Q: How can I manage the increased traffic expected when the Alaskan Way Viaduct closes?

January 2, 2019

Work will soon begin to permanently close the Alaskan Way viaduct in Seattle and open the SR99 tunnel. This project, known as the “Period of Maximum Constraint” or the “Seattle Squeeze,” will last approximately three weeks, beginning Jan.  11, 2019. All deans and division leadership have been fully briefed on this upcoming disruption and are prepared to set up plans that best meet the needs of their work groups based on their role(s) within the university. 

While the main closure of the viaduct is projected to take three weeks, additional ramp closures are anticipated for another three weeks. Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is advising commuters to expect a significant increase of region-wide traffic congestion and disruption for up to six weeks. This will be the longest and biggest highway closure in Seattle area history. 

All faculty and staff are encouraged to begin planning now for what is certain to be an unavoidable traffic disruption for many, as the closure will inevitably impact university business, including staff and class schedules. Start planning with your department and managers in regards to ways in which you may be able to adjust your commute patterns to address the traffic congestion during this time. HR is also available to answer questions and advise workgroups throughout this period. 

However, please be reminded that our commitment to SU’s educational mission and supporting and serving our students and university community will remain the same. Above all, we will maintain our commitment and responsibility of service to our students and the SU community. 

Things to think about: 

Look at Commuting Options 

Plan to discuss commuting/scheduling options during this time period with your supervisor before Jan. 11. 

  • Consider leaving earlier or staying later and adjusting commuting hours to avoid peak commuting times (typically 6 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m.).
  • Consider scheduling (or rescheduling) meetings or campus events to occur outside of the typical commute time.
  • There are many SU events happening around campus after business hours. Stay on campus outside of business hours and enjoy one of the many SU-sponsored events before getting back on the road. 

Try alternative ways to get to campus.

  • Bike
  • Walk 
  • Take the bus (utilize park and rides) 
  • Water taxi/ferry, light rail
  • Carpool, Vanpool or Rideshare 

King County Metro is currently sponsoring carpooling trips for all King County commuters through the apps Scoop and Waze Carpool. Learn moreContact Public Safety if you have any questions. They will be happy to provide you with additional information or discuss some alternative ideas about your commuting options. 

One such option that will be offered during the “Seattle Squeeze” for faculty and staff who may be interested in trying commute alternatives is a one-month ORCA card at a significantly reduced cost of $14. Faculty and staff who have purchased a regular university parking permit can now purchase this discounted ORCA card from Public Safety. 

Increase Flexibility 

The viaduct closure will likely impact university business operations, including staff schedules. During this time, consider flexible options to your current work schedule, in conversation with your supervisor and whenever reasonable, such as: 

  • Shifting to an earlier or later start/end time for your daily schedule
  • Compressed work week
  • Using accrued vacation to take time off (with approval)
  • Telework and work from home arrangements 

Please note the following resources: 

Recommendations for Leaders and Supervisors to plan for the Viaduct Closure 

Guidelines and Considerations for Supervisors Related to Flexible Work Arrangements 

Information for the Telecommuter 

You should also plan to contact ITS as soon as possible for more information about access to technology programs and options for working remotely, such as Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Virtual Desktop: Be mindful however that flexible work arrangements will not be available to each department and/or position. Contact your manager or HR if you have questions or want to discuss and explore available options such as your availability to take time off or to establish a temporary work arrangement during this time. 

Additional Information and Resources 

  • SDOT Website: Check out SDOT’s website,, which is devoted to helping you coordinate and prepare for Seattle’s new era of tough traffic. This new website contains an explanation of the Period of Maximum Constraint, current traffic times to neighborhoods across Seattle, a Partners page full of resources and more. 
  • WSDOT Tips: WSDOT also has provided information, including tips on how to navigate during the closure to avoid gridlock at

Q: How many degrees has SU conferred in each of the past several decades?

November 29, 2018

Thank you to the Office of Alumni Engagement for the following information.


# of Degrees

2010- 24,101
2000-2009 21,461
1990-1999 17,034
1980-1989 12,059
1970-1979 8,248
1960-1969 5,074
Before 1960 1,648

Q: How can I celebrate the holidays and give back, SU- style?

November 27, 2018

(Updated Nov. 30, 2:15 p.m.)

Here are some of the ways you can celebrate the holidays at SU.

Kick off the Holiday Season

Celebrate the beginning of the holiday season, SU-style, with the following activities this Thursday evening:

  • Christmas Tree Lighting | Thursday, November 29, 6-8 p.m., Student Center, Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons Plaza
    Join with others in the Seattle University community to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season. Take pictures with Santa, eat delicious cookies, create wonderful winterland crafts, play games, sing carols and countdown to the lighting of the tree. A reception with cookies, hot cocoa, crafts and games will be held in the Student Center at 6 p.m. Caroling and the tree lighting will take place in the Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons Plaza at 7 p.m. Event information can also be found here. Sponsored by the Center for Student Involvement. For more information, contact Bianca Galam at
  • Holiday Donation Drive | Thursday, Nov. 29, 6-8 p.m.
    The Center for Community Engagement will be accepting donations at the Christmas Tree Lighting to stock up our community food/goods pantries at Washington Middle School, Bailey Gatzert Elementary and the Gender Justice Center on campus. For more information, contact Brianna Cardenas at You are also invited to join the Center for Community Engagement this holiday season by supporting local youth, adults and families in the Spirit of Giving. Select a gift from the online registry. For more information, contact Erin Burrows at
    Annual Hanu-Chaos Party | Thursday, Nov. 29, immediately following the Christmas Tree Lighting (7:30-8 p.m.), Campus Ministry, STCN 120
    Come celebrate Hanukkah with the Jewish Student Union and Campus Ministry! There will be latkes, dreidel games, gelt, prizes and more! Event details can also be found here. For more information, contact Victoria Carr-Ware at

Advent Mass and Reception
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Mass 4 p.m.
Reception 5 p.m.

Celebrate the season with Seattle U and the Alumni Association. Staff, faculty, family and friends are invited to attend a favorite holiday tradition. Following mass celebrated by President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., there will be a candlelight procession from the chapel to the Student Center featuring holiday carols by the Chapel Choir. The reception includes appetizers, wine, beer and tons of family fun to celebrate the season.

This event is filling up fast, don't wait to reserve your spot! RSVP here. Questions? Contact Stephanie Jamieson at

Share Your Favorite Holiday Recipe

The Alumni Association is celebrating everyone’s favorite holiday treats with an SU Voice article highlighting our community’s best holiday recipes. Do you have an appetizer, dessert or other holiday dish that you make each year? Share your favorite recipe and a few brief sentences about what you love about it for a chance to be featured in our holiday treats article. Bonus points if you also submit a picture of your creation. Send your recipes to Caitlin Joyce at by Dec. 3.

An Advent Evening of Prayer: The Waiting Room
Wednesday, Dec. 5, 7 p.m.
Seattle First Baptist, Seattle

Allow yourself to let go of the busyness and "shoulds" of the holiday season! This Advent, we join Zechariah, Mary, Elizabeth and others in "The Waiting Room," remembering that we are not alone as we wait for what is yet to be. Come to this contemplative ecumenical evening to pray with beautiful music, silence, vivid imagery and rich reflections from presenters Carla Orlando (SEEL Puget Sound) and Rev. Tim Phillips (Seattle First Baptist Church).

The Seattle University Choirs | “GLOW: A Christmas Celebration”
Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8, 8 p.m.
St. Joseph Church (18th E. and E. Aloha, Seattle)

The first major concert under newly appointed Director of Choral and Vocal Music Leann Conley-Holcom, this year's program features sacred and seasonal music by John Rutter, Stephen Paulus, Eric Whitacre, Vera Kistler, Pietro Yon, Gerald Cohen and other noted choral composers. The concerts will be presented at historic St. Joseph Church on Capitol Hill. Tickets are $7 (students), $20 (general admission) and $35 (reserved seating), and are available from Brown Paper Tickets and at the door. Like the Seattle University Choirs on Facebook and follow them on Instagram @seattleuchoirs. Sponsored by the Department of Performing Arts and Arts Leadership. For more information, contact

Faculty and Staff Christmas Open House Breakfast | Friday, Dec. 14, 8-10 a.m., LeRoux Conference Center (STCN 160) – Join with colleagues in enjoying good food and spreading holiday cheer. And don’t forget to cut out at noon on Friday, Dec. 21—that’s when the university closes for Christmas Break!

Q: How does the university announce closures related to snow and inclement weather?

November 21, 2018

Snow closure or delayed opening decisions are typically made by 5 a.m. so that an announcement can be disseminated by 5:30 a.m. To ensure information is readily available, announcements will be shared as follows: 

  • Snow delays or closures will be posted on the university home page ( and a message will be recorded on SU’s hotline (206-296-2200).
  • A text message will be sent using the university’s Omnilert (formerly E2campus) messaging account. Sign up here to receive messages or by simply texting SeattleUalert to 79516. Register today to stay informed.
  • An e-mail will be sent to all students, faculty and staff with closure specifics.
  • Postings will also be made on the university Facebook page and Twitter 

Weather conditions can change quickly, so please look for updates from the university on closures, delayed openings or early closures. In all cases, faculty and staff should use their best judgment about how safe it is to travel based on the conditions near their homes. Please inform your supervisor (by e-mail or phone) if weather conditions impact your ability to be in the office. 

Radio and TV outlets typically report on our closures, though we cannot guarantee the timeliness of those reports. AM radio stations KIRO 710 and KOMO 1000 and FM stations KNKX 88.5 and KUOW 94.9 air snow closure announcements. Local television stations KOMO, KING, KIRO, KONG, KCPQ and Northwest Cable News also announce school closures.

Q: What are some demographics of this year's first-time-in-college students?

October 31, 2018

In addition to this being our largest ever first-time freshmen class, the university saw a 3.4 percent increase in enrollment of those students who are from Washington over fall 2017. The percentage of women first-time freshmen students fell by 4.6 percent, while the percentage of students who are represented by “all diverse groups” rose to 50.1 percent of the first-time freshmen class, an increase of 3.4 percent over fall 2017.

Q: What's notable about this year's Homecoming?

October 22, 2018

Well, for one thing, SU's Homecoming, which for the past few years has been held in February, will now take place in November--Nov. 8 to 11 to be exact.

full slate of activities awaits, including the Red Umbrella Parade and Redfest Celebration, a variety of sporting events, as well as opportunities to network, serve and more. 

With Homecoming now coinciding with Veterans Day weekend, the celebrations include several events to honor our veterans

The weekend also features the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) men's soccer tournament, which SU is hosting, with all matches being played at Championship Field, including the championship on Sunday, Nov. 11.

Q: How does the university assist students affected by natural disasters?

October 12, 2018

As the university community continues to keep in its thoughts and prayers all those impacted by the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, Hurricane Michael and other natural disasters around the world, some faculty and staff may be wondering if SU has protocol in place for reaching out to students who may be affected by such events. 

The answer is yes. These sorts of situations are addressed by the Coordinated Assistance and Resource Education Team (CARE Team) under the auspices of the Office of the Dean of Students. 

The CARE Team, Dean of Students James Willette explains, responds to a broad range of concerns. Some of these relate to behavioral issues of varying levels of urgency. For the past two years, the CARE Team also responds to non-behavioral referrals, including the loss of a loved one, unusual financial difficulties, food or housing insecurity, feeling overwhelmed with the transition to college life, relationship and family concerns, short- or long-term illness or injury, and challenges getting involved and connected. In recent years, the team has also taken the lead in assisting students impacted by natural disasters. 

“When large disasters occur,” Willette says, “the Office of the Dean of Students coordinates with the Office of the Registrar to identify students who may be from the impacted area and sends a message of support and information about resources that might be helpful. Some of the resources are intended to assist students in managing trauma and distress, such as Counseling and Psychological Services and Campus Ministry. Other resources offer practical assistance, such as information about emergency financial assistance, emergency housing and food insecurity.” 

Over the past year, the Office of the Dean of Students has reached out to students impacted by the California wildfires; Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Florence, and Michael; the Kilauea eruption; last year’s major earthquake in Mexico; and; the recent Indonesian earthquake and tsunami. 

“We do our best to monitor global events and reach out to students who may be impacted by natural disasters,” says Willette, “but we always encourage faculty and staff to connect with our office if they learn of an event impacting a student about which we may be unaware.” 

To refer a student for CARE Team outreach, please use this online referral form. CARE Team referrals can also be made by contacting the Office of the Dean of Students directly at or 206-296-6060. If you have information that indicates an immediate safety risk, please call the Department of Public Safety at 206-296-5911. All CARE Team outreach is conducted with privacy and sensitivity. At times, information may need to be shared with campus partners outside the Office of the Dean of Students; however, such information sharing will be done with extreme discretion.

Q: What are the results of the facilities survey that was conducted last spring?

October 11, 2018

Facilities Services thanks everyone who participated in the Facilities Campus Condition survey that was distributed last spring. Your feedback and comments will be helpful as the university continues to create a campus that inspires. A summary of responses on Campus Condition and Building Comfort is available at SU Facilities Survey Results. If you would like to see the full report, please contact Donna Horn Congratulations to survey respondent John McLean from Albers who was the winner of the drawing for the Kindle Fire!

Finally, Facilities is offering a new Quick Reference Guide for faculty and staff on the services it offers, whether there is a charge and how to access the services in an easy-to-download PDF.

Q: What is Impactathon?

October 10, 2018

Here's the event description:

The Impactathon, which takes place Oct. 13 and 14, is an event modeled after a hackathon, an intensive problem-solving session that often focuses on computer programming. However, the Impactathon expands the hackathon idea to encompass problems in all fields that could benefit from the perspectives, time, and energy of Seattle University students--specifically, problems facing members of our local community.

Our community partners will present the projects that students can take on during the Impactathon; our primary goal for the weekend is to bring as much benefit to these partners and projects as we can. Accordingly, our community partners, along with SU faculty and industry partners, will mentor students throughout the event. If students wish to continue working on their projects beyond the Impactathon, they will have the opportunity to apply for grants through the Center for Student Research or to become involved through clubs or scholarship cohorts on campus.

Students will also benefit from participating in the Impactathon. Students from any discipline at SU will have the opportunity to gain experience applying their learning to a problem facing members of our community. They will also deepen their knowledge of our community and develop problem definition, analysis, and presentation skills. The results of the weekend’s worth of work could serve as a valuable addition to a student’s portfolio and an inspiring topic to discuss with recruiters at a career fair. Students will also be fed throughout the Impactathon, and members of the teams that devise the best ideas will receive gift cards.

Q: What all is involved with SU's upcoming earthquake drill?

October 9, 2018

On Thursday, October 18, at 10:18 a.m., Seattle University will conduct a campus wide “Drop, Cover and Hold” drill to practice earthquake safety. All members of the campus community are strongly encouraged to participate in this drill. The “Drop, Cover and Hold” drill is an opportunity for us to practice how to protect ourselves during an earthquake. We will not evacuate for the drill. 

The drill will happen specifically at 10:18 a.m. in order to participate in The Great Washington Shake Out drill. With over 19 million participants worldwide and 840,000 just in Washington, the Great Shakeout is a great opportunity for Seattle University to be part of something impactful.

Please participate for 90 seconds by dropping under a desk or moving to a safe part of your area; covering your head and neck and finding shelter under furniture; and holding on to something. If there is no furniture to shelter under or you are unable to shelter, quickly go to a part of the room with the least potential for falling objects. Make sure to keep your head and neck covered. Once you have protected yourself for the 90 seconds, the drill is over. 

Public Safety will test the emergency notification systems at the beginning and end of the drill. To sign up to receive emergency text messages, all you need to do is text “SeattleUalert” to 79516. 

To participate: 

DROP to the floor. Do not try to exit during shaking.
COVER your head and neck with one hand and seek shelter under your desk or table as best as possible. If in an auditorium with no tables, take cover between the rows of chairs.
HOLD on to the leg of the desk/table with your other hand

In the classroom:

POINT out Emergency Exits
REVIEW emergency procedure information posted in the classroom (Emergency Procedures Poster)
LEARN your building’s evacuation area

In a laboratory:

REVIEW emergency procedure information posted in the classroom
STEP BACK from the lab table.
DROP to the floor on your knees next to a wall, away from glass and other hazards if possible.
COVER your head and neck with your hands and arms.
HOLD on to something sturdy during the shaking

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)