The Spark

Igniting Innovation in Student Development

Student Development Division Newsletter | Winter Quarter 2016

Our Mission: As stewards of the Redhawk Experience for all Seattle University students, we will partner with students and campus colleagues to develop and implement experiences that will engage, prepare, and empower students in their search for meaning and purpose.


Our Vision: The vision of the Division of Student Development is to help our students achieve success while at Seattle University and to empower them to lead extraordinary lives when they graduate.

Greetings from VP Michele Murray

I am pleased to share the innovative work of the Division of Student Development as we work toward our goals of cultivating students' search for meaning and purpose, respond to changing student demographics and needs, prepare students for a changing world, create high-value student experiences, and integrate effective technologies in our work.


In February the division hosted colleagues from the region for the annual Puget Sound Colloquium, during which we heard from Kevin Kruger, president of the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators. Kevin described myriad challenges and opportunities facing higher education and motivated us to continue our focus on student-driven, innovative programs and services.


A few weeks ago, Fr. Steve sent a message to the university community to share changes to the Division of Mission and Ministry. We are very pleased to welcome our colleagues in Campus Ministry to the Division of Student Development as of July 1. We have much to learn from one another as we build on collaborations already in place, and I look forward to how we continue to live in to our collective work to serve the spiritual and developmental needs of students in a holistic fashion.

Cultivating Students' Search for Meaning and Purpose

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KXSU Becomes First Low-Power FM Station in Seattle

On Friday February 26th at 10:21 a.m., 102.1 FM KXSU, Seattle University's student-run radio station, made history when it became the first low-power FM (LPFM) station to start broadcasting in Seattle. Staffed by students and SU employees, KXSU is the first of seven LPFM's granted licenses by the FCC to go on the air. Originally started as KSUB by Father John Foster in the early '90s, the station began by just broadcasting to surrounding residence halls. Then under the guidance of Dr. John Carter, it transitioned to Internet streaming. With the move to FM came new call letters (KXSU) and the addition of a professional broadcaster, Randy Scott, to help with the leap to the FM dial. KXSU brings the listeners in the surrounding area a mix of music, talk, and community engagement opportunities. Tune in now on the air at 102.1 FM and online at kxsuseattle.org. Want to know more? Contact Randy at scottr@seattleu.edu.

Responding to Changing Student Demographics

Seattle University's Task Force on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

Last month, President Sundborg shared the final report of the Task Force on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, which students, staff, and faculty can download at https://www.seattleu.edu/diversity/. Six goals are identified in the document:



  • Realize an organizational infrastructure that embeds inclusive excellence in all aspects of the Seattle University experience
  • Integrate inclusive excellence across curricular and co-curricular offerings
  • Build and sustain the capacity of students, staff, and faculty to engage, teach and lead through an inclusive lens
  • Meet the challenges and opportunities of recruiting and graduating a diverse student body
  • Meet the challenges and opportunities of recruiting and retaining talented faculty and staff
  • Maximize the university's capacity for social change in the local community



In order to assist the Division of Student Development in responding to the task force's recommendations, Vice President for Student Development Michele Murray convened a divisional working group, chaired by Office of Multicultural Affairs Director Czarina Ramsay. The working group is assessing the state of the division's efforts to support minoritized students and will submit recommendations to the division by the end of the academic year. Thank you to the following members for their service: Dale Watanabe, Diane Schmitz, Victoria Carr, Jose Vasquez, Michael Jaycox, Joelle Petty, Nicolas Cruz, Stephenie Simmons, Braden Wild, and Darrah Hinton.

Board Approves New Residence Hall for Growing Student Population

In recent years, higher student enrollment and desire to remain on campus have increased demand for on-campus living options. The division and SGSU hosted several programs in April to help rising juniors and seniors plan for their transition to off-campus housing.


Understanding the need to provide more opportunities for students to live on campus, the Board of Trustees recently approved the construction of a new upperclass residence hall located at what will be 1107 Madison St. When completed, the new building will feature modern technology, a prime location on-campus, and gender-inclusive restrooms for all residents.

Integrating Effective and Adaptive Technologies

Student Development Strives for Efficiency with 'OrgSync' Technology

The Center for Student Involvement and the Center for Community Engagement have partnered with Student Government of Seattle University to integrate a digital platform from OrgSync to increase, manage, and allow students to track involvement. The implementation of OrgSync aims to revolutionize club management, reduce data input, and entirely eliminate the use of paper by organizing all student organization and club processes online.


The adoption of OrgSync is incredibly exciting and innovative for the university, as both Student Development and Academic Affairs are working in conjunction to utilize all that the program offers. OrgSync provides students with the opportunity to create a co-curricular transcript outlining their entire involvement history to complement their resumes and academic work. The Center for Community Engagement will use the platform to have better conversations with community members and to log community service hours for students participating in service learning.


Overall, our adoption of OrgSync aims to increase the communication with clubs and advisors, make more detailed information accessible for students, and allow students to keep a record of their involvement.

Creating High-Value Out-of-Classroom Student Experiences

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International Student Center Presents 39th Annual International Dinner

On Saturday, January 30, the International Student Center kicked off International Week with the 39th annual International Dinner. The sold-out event, themed "Where are you from, Seattle?," featured food from around the world and seven cultural performances. More than 80 student volunteers organized the event.


The rest of International Week focused on bringing to light the cultural history of Seattle and the many communities in the area, the experiences of international students on campus, and a variety of education abroad programs. The perennially popular program "Say My Name" educated participants about the pronunciation of names from around the world.

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Seattle University Dance Marathon Raises $110,506.99 For The Kids!

On Saturday, February 20, Seattle University students showed a tremendous amount of care and initiative when Dance Marathon exceeded its $99,000.00 goal, raising a whopping $110,506.99 for the Uncompensated Care Fund at Seattle Children's Hospital. With this amount raised, SUDM is the officially the highest-fundraising Dance Marathon on the west coast.
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Homecoming Week Events Grow in Numbers and Participation

Above, outstanding Seattle University seniors Danicole Ramos (left) and Jen Cruz (right) were crowned 2016 Homecoming Royalty on Saturday, February 6, at the Men's Basketball game against Missouri-Kansas City. More than 600 students voted for the Royals. Student organizers worked closely with the Center for Student Involvement, Athletics, and Alumni Engagement to host activities throughout Homecoming Week that included the Homecoming Red Umbrella Parade, Alumni Day of Service, the Seattle U Athletics Hall of Fame Luncheon, the Pre-game Mega Redhawk Rally, and a post-game dance.

Educating and Preparing Students for a Changing World

Spring iLead Conference Develops Student Leadership and Resilience

More than 250 students attended the iLead conference on April 15 and 16. This two-day training conference required for students selected for positional leadership roles and open to all students. Focus areas were social justice, health and wellness, building community, and leadership development, framed this year around increasing resilience.


Participants were invited to complete an online Canvas program prior to attending the conference, in order to maximize the in-person time and prepare students for the experience. The current Ignatian Leaders created a closing ceremony for conference participants to reinforce their mission-enhancing work.

Seattle U Students Host IgnatianQ

In April Seattle University hosted students and staff from the 28 U.S. Jesuit schools for the third annual IgnatianQ conference. This three-day conference took place April 1-3 and brought together communities of LGBTQ people and allies from Jesuit universities.


Conference committee member Genna Cortese shared, "IgnatianQ is an affirming community of university students, brought together in part by our common experiences of marginalization and exclusion. As LGBTQ+ people, we believe that our own thirst for social justice and the Jesuit values that inform our education are forces that can and should work together for a more just and humane world." The conference focused on exploring the intersections of sexuality, gender, and spirituality together, as our institutions strive to educate and empower the whole person.

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