ASSP Elections

Welcome to 2013 ASSP Elections. Here we have some information from the candidates themselves!

ASSP Executive Vice President: Kathryn Owen

ASSP is more than just a group of student leaders representing the collective student mentality of Seattle Pacific University. ASSP works on behalf of the entire student body to create the most enjoyable, productive, and spiritually nurturing environment possible. We are not employees of the university- we are employees of the students. I want to be Executive Vice-President because I have a passion to help positively shape the student’s experience at SPU. I want to be able to use my skills and convictions to impact more than just the friend groups I have surrounding me. During these past two years as a student at SPU I have had a fantastic experience socially, have been challenged in my faith, and have learned volumes about leadership. I want to be able to ensure that the students at SPU are able to have these experiences and more. I also want to represent the SPU student body not only to the administration and potential new students, but also to other Christian Universities within the United States and Canada. As followers of Christ we are in community with other Student Governments, and have the potential to grow from each other’s past mistakes and learned visions.

To be an effective Executive Vice-President you need to be a jack of all trades since the responsibilities are so wide and varied. You must balance being both a leader and a member of a team. I have had experience in both these areas through participation in my high school’s ASB and being an officer in my local 4-H club for several years. When working as part of a team I strive to find productive compromises in difficult situations rather than arguing needlessly.  I am also persistent and dependable, willing to see projects through to the end. I value genuine relationships with other people, which I believe I can offer to help keep ASSP connected to the student body, by personally listening to student’s ideas or complaints. It is necessary for the student body to know their elected officers to ensure a successful and productive relationship that can shape the entire academic year. This past year I have had the privilege to work for ASSP as the Senate Secretary and have gained insight on the true responsibilities of the Executive Vice-President. My experience with Senate, which is a majority of the Executive Vive-President’s responsibilities, will allow a smoother transition between the existing student leadership and next year’s leadership. My knowledge of Senate’s workings will also allow me to focus on other duties that may be pushed to the wayside during training.

There are many goals I have for serving the student body next year as Executive VP, but three goals stand out predominantly. Firstly, I want to address the growing student population and the incompatibility of Gwinn Common’s capacity size. As our student body grows each year, more students will continue to need space at Gwinn, yet the cafeteria has not expanded at all. The Simply-to-Go meals have been helpful in alleviating some of this stress, but the issue still stands. As Executive VP I would pair with SPU’s administration to talk with Sodexo in trying to solve this conundrum. I would promote Gwinn expansion or inquire into devising an alternative meal plan that would incorporate the Simply-To-Go meals. Secondly, the sizeable commuter student presence at SPU is growing each quarter, yet a large portion of those students feel a negative effect of SPU’s on-campus orientated culture. I want to further develop the opportunities for commuter students to engage in the SPU culture. To complete this goal I would organize commuter student specific activities during the day to increase chances for their specific attendance. Another possibility would be to develop a tradition that commuter students could have for their own- similar to Moyer’s EMP or Ashton Cup. I would also look into expanding the collegium and maximizing its current space. Finally, I want to address the increasing freshman class and the lack of adequate housing. I am currently a sophomore and have spent the last 2 years in Hill Hall, so I understand the stressful nature of housing. I personally had a upsetting experience with trying to return to the same floor for my sophomore year and I do not wish for any underclassman to have to go through the same experience that I did. The Irondale Dorm is in the works of being built but one dorm alone will not solve the overpopulation, given SPU’s legacy of increasing freshmen class size. As Executive VP I would actively work with the University’s administration to try and increase housing in the future while proactively championing the students’ specific requests for specific dorm styles or details. I will also continue updating the students on the process of increasing on-campus housing since I know it is an issue that is evident in everyone’s minds. I love SPU’s small close-knit community, but I recognize that the university must expand with the increase in freshman applications and the need to combat heavy costs associated with running a University. As Executive VP I plan to help adapt the student body culture to the increase in students while still keeping the welcoming community SPU is known for.