ASSP Senate responds to BoT decision with call to action letter

Letter expresses disappointment in decision, asks for greater community engagement by Board

Talia Parlane and Kyle Morrison

On Monday, SPU’s ASSP Senate voted to send a call to action letter to the Seattle Pacific University Board of Trustees.

ASSP Senator for Ashton Hall Carrie Cox clarified during the meeting that the purpose of the letter is to help foster a stronger connection between the board and the SPU community, increase communication between the board and ASSP, and continue to press for change.

Cox said the letter is intended to be “complimentary to the Faculty Statement of No Confidence in the Board of Trustees’ decision.

The letter expresses the senate’s disappointment in “the Board’s decision to maintain SPU’s discriminatory hiring practices”, and claims there’s a division between the board and the individuals who make up SPU’s student, faculty, and staff population.

The letter asks the board to allow the ASSP president to attend future board meetings. This is a policy that has been practiced before in the past. Through this, the senate expressed hope that the board might “open itself to opportunities for discussion and direct engagement with community leaders.”

The letter says that the board has a narrow definition of Christianity that shuts down conversation before it starts, and places an emphasis on “recognizing the beauty and Imago Dei (image of God) reflected within human diversity.”

Cox said there is a disconnect between the community of SPU and the Board of Trustees.

“I think that this whole situation has been indicative of a broader problem, that a group that seems very disconnected from the community, its perception of itself, and its vision for the future has so much power to define our policies,” she said. “ASSP is looking to amend this lack of communication by making the student voice more active and heard during such decisive meetings.”