“Engaging the culture, changing the world” — Seattle Pacific University Vision Statement.
SPU encourages its students to seek out diverse atmospheres on a regular basis.
The university attempts to provide its community with opportunities to explore the world beyond their comfort zone in order to create learning experiences.
Recently, SPU has brought one of these opportunities to campus through Tent City 3.
Instead of embracing this project though, many members of the community have spoken out against the temporary homeless camp, despite it only having a short-lifespan.
There are claims that the camp is unsafe and could negatively affect the community.
Still, this is not the first time our campus has held Tent City on university grounds. The university is experienced in knowing what precautions it should take.
SPU has a reputation of being in a bubble, where many of its students are seen as sheltered and privileged. Some of the responses towards the camp don’t refute these beliefs.
Tent City 3 gives SPU the opportunity to be involved with a community that is often susceptible to stereotypes and stigma.
Our community should strive to step out of the comfort-zone and be okay in unfamiliar situations, like our university preaches.
Tent City 3 is a learning experience and an opportunity to understands others and their struggle. It is a chance for students to show that they genuinely do want to “engage the culture, change the world.”
Many complain that they rarely get much out of the SPU experience, but when the university gives us a resource for meaningful action, many denounce it, discrediting its impact and failing to really see the extent of the project and the people it affects.
If you support the camp, be loud about it. Let the city know it’s home is here with us.