New Web site offers bus options

Exodus, a new Web site from ASSP that tentatively launches Monday, will encourage students to get on the bus and explore less familiar areas of the city, opening up opportunities to connect and serve through the bus pass program.

Service is a main focus of Exodus. ASSP will post ways to minister to the Seattle community on the site, including service events from SPU groups, such as Urban Involvement and Latreia, as well as off-campus organizations, such as Queen Anne Helpline.

ASSP public relations officer John Driftmier likened the aptly named Exodus program to Moses’ calling the Israelites into the wilderness to worship.

"To most SPU students, unfortunately, the wilderness is a scary place," Driftmier said. "Exodus wants to take away obstacles keeping students from engaging the city."

A prospective blog where faculty and students can discuss favorite city spots, service opportunities and exploration experiences will serve to get students involved with and serving the community.

In addition, a scrolling event and service calendar for Seattle community events will alert students to upcoming ways to get involved both culturally and in service.

Also included are real-time bus schedules, informing students the remaining minutes until the next 13, 17 and 31 busses are scheduled to leave stops around campus; the availability of ASSP bus passes; and a Google Maps spread of the city with bus routes traced out.

Natalie Clements, a junior officer of Latreia, said that, because Latreia and Urban Involvement are branches of the John Perkins center, they are often overlooked as a part of University Ministries.

The Web site, she said, will reconnect the program with ASSP and allow students to easily find out what service opportunities are available.

"It’s really good. It is a go-to, one-spot for volunteering instead of having to search all over," Clements said.

Exodus is also working with local businesses to make student discounts available with an SPU ID card. Driftmier said ASSP strove to make the list of businesses involved as comprehensive as possible.

"Not just like 30 coffee shops," he said, although it does include "coffee corner" on Queen Anne, as well as El Diablo and Cupcake Royale. Other businesses include The Majestic Theater in Ballard, and Dusty Strings and Blue C Sushi in Fremont.

The list also contains art supply shops, organic food stores, bike shops and a rock wall climbing facility.

ASSP has been slowly expanding their bus pass system the past few years. They added more free five-hour passes and the option to purchase an all-day pass for $2.00 last year. It will not be affected when Seattle bus fare is hiked by 25 cents on February 1.

In small polls, ASSP has talked to students returning bus passes who primarily use the passes for work and to reach destinations such as Pike Place Market, Northgate Mall and the University District.

Some students, however, use the bus passes to explore new areas in the city and connect with Seattle culture. The ASSP program wants to encourage these students along with others to really get out into the city to worship.

Senior Sean Roon has worked for UNICOM for two years. He used the bus passes last year to go to and from school and his home in Magnolia. Although he says he knows Seattle pretty well, Roon said it would be nice to have many local events listed in one place, especially, if there were free stuff going on.

ASSP is creating and launching the Web site without any outside hire, and this means many late nights for Driftmier, although he sees the program as being worth all the hard work.

"The project is massive and very ambitious," said Driftmier, "but someone has to break the SPU bubble."

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Title: New Web site offers bus options | Author: Unknown | Section: News | Published Date: 2008-12-10 | Internal ID: 5844