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Table of Contents

Student Involvement

Learn more about how SPU students are engaging the culture through the Perkins Center at Seattle Pacific.

The City Urban Perspectives

Building Community Through Service

A Force of Freshmen

By Ruth Moon | Photos by Luke Rutan

HomecomingStudents paint and landscape at the Ballard branch of the Boys and Girls Club of King County.

The Saturday between Orientation and the start of Autumn Quarter, Seattle Pacific University’s incoming class spread out across the city to help local community members with service projects.

Around 700 students assisted with projects, including forest work at Cheasty Greenspace in Rainier Vista, landscaping and cleaning at the Ballard Boys and Girls Club, and tent mending at the Seattle Housing and Tent City 3, currently at Bryn Mawr United Methodist Church near Renton.

Students also helped distribute flyers for Hope Central, a pediatrics medical center in Rainier Valley, inventoried supplies from a backpack drive at Coalition on Homelessness, and helped set up a fundraising event for Food Lifeline.

CityQuest, which has been around with its current name since 1992, is an important commitment of SPU’s, says Tali Hairston, director of the John Perkins Center for Reconciliation, Leadership Training, and Community Development.

It introduces students to a diverse slice of the broader Seattle community they inhabit, and encourages relationships among the student body. Ideally, students will leave the day’s experience with questions about racial injustice, which professors can address in classrooms over coming weeks.

And after working for six hours on a project with a group of strangers, students often leave with opinions, and with friends.

“The seeds are planted — students who helped out with a forestry project ... at the end of the day, they’re going to care about the forest, or at least have some opinion about it, where before they didn’t know anything about it,” Hairston says. “It’s also the first time they get to be with a class, do something all day together. So along with what they’re doing, they’re building community between each other.”

HomecomingStudents paint and landscape at the Ballard branch of the Boys and Girls Club of King County.