ASSP president will help choose next SPU president

Senior Josh Norquist lounged back in the ‘70s style booths in the Student Union Building Monday.

With a confident voice, he discussed his plans for the coming year and the challenges he faces as president of the Associated Students of Seattle Pacific.

This year, Norquist has been saddled with an unexpected challenge.

When running for office last spring, he did not know Seattle Pacific’s current president would be resigning in June 2012.

Because of this, Norquist has a new responsibility: He is on the search committee for SPU’s next president.

“It was not something I planned for,” he said. “Going into the year, I had a set of goals designed, but now I have a huge new responsibility.”

Goals have been shifted and some things have been moved farther down on the priority list – such as free printing.

When he campaigned for his position as ASSP president last year, part of Norquist’s platform was to make free printing available to all SPU students.

The issue is still important to Norquist, but he said searching for the new president is more pressing.

“We have to secure the future,” Norquist said.

“Making sure we hire the right person for the job is very important.”

Norquist said he and University Services have been discussing possible models for a free printing program at SPU.

Implementing free printing is not a quick process, Norquist said. Many things are at play, and it is never fully free for everyone, he said.

Norquist hopes, however, that a compromise can be found for printing costs.

“Cost shifting needs to happen so students don’t have to shoulder it,” he said.

Another of Norquist’s goals this year is to implement a new ASSP position.

“We are endeavoring to create a new vice president position: the vice president of intercultural affairs,” he said.

This position would help expand the sphere of influcampus.

Norquist is working closely with Cristina Hernandez, the current intercultural coordinator, and Ellerie Chen, the current intercultural senator, to create the new position.

“Reconciliation is a main focus for the university,” Norquist said. “This new position will work to promote that focus and allow the school’s cultural and ethnic programs and clubs to grow and develop.”

The bid for the new position passed Senate last week. Now ASSP is working on the student vote portion.

Adding this position would be an amendment to the school’s constitution, so the student body must pass the proposal as well. Norquist said the vote should happen in February.

Another of Norquist’s visions for this year is to look deeply at the advising at SPU.

Norquist said he does not think advising is a current problem at SPU, but he said he hopes to improve the system already in place.

He said there are many advisers on SPU’s campus: advisers for ministries, clubs and ASSP. There are also faculty advisers for each student.

“Everyone advises in a different way,” he said. “We want to enhance those adviser-student relationships.”

Norquist said advisers have played a major role in his development as an adult.

“They have been mentor relationships for me,” he said.

Norquist said he hopes the advisers can become mentors to students; he wants the relationship to go beyond the practical and into the personal.

“I want to provide this relationship for everyone on campus if they want it,” he said. “I want to make it a signature of SPU: intimate, quality advising,” he said.

Overall, Norquist said his main hope for ASSP this year is that it will be a “magnifying glass for students’ voices.”

He wants ASSP to look for the needs and wants of SPU students. “ASSP functions to play the role of equipper, to be the platform from which the student voice springs,” he said.

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Title: ASSP president will help choose next SPU president | Author: Abigail Blum | Section: News | Published Date: 2011-10-26 | Internal ID: 7841