| New Student-Led Diversity Initiatives
Continue to Gain Momentum
AS A SOPHOMORE at Seattle Pacific University in 2000, Denise
frustrated. Of Hispanic and Anglo background,
she didn’t feel free to express her ethnic identity on campus. For a time, she
pulled away from campus life and even considered transferring, but two things
stopped her: She prized her professors in the Biology Department, and she decided
that she could make a difference.
Martinez was elected multicultural senator
for the Associated Students of Seattle Pacific (ASSP) in May 2000. Before her
term began, she and ASSP President-Elect Emily Cochran met to discuss diversity
issues. They formed a President’s
Action Committee, or PAC, and changes
began. “Emily and Denise shaped policy,” recalls Joe Snell, assistant director
programs for intercultural affairs.
In the fall of 2001, the PAC sent three
students — Martinez, majority student Brad Box and international student D.J.
Inoue — to Calv in College for the National Christian Multicultural Student
Leadership Conference. There they discovered concrete ways to work with, even
lead, the University to effect change. “We got so excited that we brought all
ideas back to start here,” says Martinez.
Soon the MOSAIC cadre began, where
students discussed issues of cultural and ethnic diversity, as well as ways to
cross-cultural community on campus. By
year’s end, MOSAIC was the largest cadre on campus, with dozens of students attending
weekly. Working with the Office of Residence Life, two multicultural floors opened
in Emerson Residence
Hall. Intentionally living as a community, students of all racial and ethnic
could discuss and act on diversity
issues. Connections formed between clubs
and cadres, including MOSAIC, the
International Justice Mission, Mu Kappa
for children of missionaries, and Ohana
O Hawai’i for students interested in Hawaiian Islands culture.
By Autumn Quarter
freshmen were welcomed to campus with
MOSAIC’s original drama, “Where’s Your
Mask?” The play challenges students in overcoming their natural fears of difference
by learning to appreciate and respect the variety of people God has created.
It was so well-received that students repeated it at the 2002 National Christian
Multicultural Student Leadership Conference held at Bethel College. This year,
SPU representation at the conference grew from three students to 17.
Quarter continued, students hosted an international dinner; MOSAIC increased
to 100 students; “Club SUB” débuted an international music event to raise money
for the International Justice Mission; classes began in Capoeira, a Brazilian
martial art; and “Where’s Your Mask?” was performed during the first Seattle
Pacific Day of Common Learning. More events are planned for Winter and Spring
Quarters — and next year’s student leaders are
already being sought.
“True engagement can’t take place without a true understanding
and cross-cultural issues,” says Snell. “If you don’t go there with students,
might as well not say you’re going to
engage the culture.”
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From the President
SPU aims to take its vision to new spheres of influence and effectiveness. "I
love finding those strategic, economic levers that allow us to allocate,
align, realign and increase our resources — so that our vision might
bear fruit,” says President Philip Eaton.
An SPU Icon
Danna Wilder Davis completed what few others ever did at Seattle Pacific: Between
1924 and 1939, she went from first grade to college graduation in consecutive
years on campus.
Vocation, Vocation, Vocation
Three faculty-led initiatives received SPU’s 2002-2003 Faculty Grants for
Theology and Vocation. The grants support projects that weave vocational
themes into the curriculum.
Falcon Legends Hall of Fame
Six Falcon athletes become the inaugural group inducted into the Falcon Legends
Hall of Fame. Their athletic success and character make them legendary individuals
in Falcon sports history. [Athletics]
“I’m the father of an AIDS orphan,” says Tim
Dearborn, dean of the chapel at SPU, as he recounts his teenage
daughter’s trip to Uganda. There she visited an AIDS orphan
sponsored by the Dearborn family. [My Response]