Seattle Pacific University is first and foremost a Christian school, a dry campus, and a smaller, private university.
These qualities ultimately lead to assumptions being made about SPU.
For example, the fact that SPU is a dry campus and a Christian school means that drugs and alcohol are not allowed on campus.
Though this may be true, it begins to put SPU in a bubble of sorts. A bubble of safety, an idea that nothing bad ever happens at SPU because it is a small, private, dry Christian campus.
By putting SPU in this bubble, students, faculty and the public alike are making assumptions that do not hold up under investigation.
As much as we would like to deny it, and as much as those in charge at SPU would like to not have to admit it, bad things can happen here, just as they can on any college campus.
For example, Seattle Pacific University’s Office of Safety and Security sent out an email discussing sexual assaults that have been reported while students were at house parties.
The email also states that students who are victims of sexual assault will not be punished for coming forward and will not be punished if they were intoxicated while the assault took place, which is a great first step towards bursting this “bubble” mentality.
While SPU cannot stop students from going to parties, they should make more of an effort to discuss these issues openly.
The school, the Office of Safety and Security, and the general student population need to be more open about traumatic experiences and recognize they happen far more than anyone wished they did.
We, as Falcons, need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
We also need to recognize that just as the SPU bubble can be viewed from the outside, it is still present when viewed from a student’s lens.
For example, some Falcons may come to SPU due to its supposed bubble of safety, and may not have experiences with diversity and homelessness.
This can lead to aversion towards the Tent City currently on campus, a community of individuals facing homelessness.
Aversion which, when examined, is rooted in fear of the unknown, fear of a community that they may not have any experience with.
While I am not advocating a conspiracy-styled dedication to safety, or the sudden decision to never leave one’s dorm or apartment, students must be wary of their surroundings, and their actions.
Simply put, SPU needs to break this bubble and spread awareness of sexual assault and many other college-related issues.
But just as SPU needs to do these things, the students at SPU need to employ a level of responsibility with their actions, as well as caution.
This is not to say one should not talk to people at a house party, go out late with friends, or not interact with those living in Tent City 3, but they should be wise in their decisions when it comes to these actions.
With a lack of education comes an inability to perceive risks otherwise known; and the bubble that surrounding SPU continues to grow.
If we are to grow as a community, as a student body and as a school, we must be willing to pop this bubble, be willing to grow, and be willing to educate our peers.