Staying connected to on-campus upheaval

Students find keeping track is difficult, but doable while living at home

Santi Quiroga Medina, Staff writer

Protests, lawsuits, and COVID outbreaks have marked a tumultuous and eventful year at Seattle Pacific University. Many students are experiencing the term from a distance as they take classes online from their homes across the country.

Ernest Ibanga is a sophomore from Lacey, Washington and says the distance has made it difficult for him to keep up with the issue revolving around the Board of Trustees.

“I’m still connected with the hall that I was a part of when I was on campus. We had this group chat on Groupme and when everything went down, I was like ‘Oh what’s going on?” said Ibanga. “My friends and room advisor started talking about it and that’s when I found out what was going on. Besides that, I’ve only received bits and pieces from other sources like emails.”

Lexi Hellums is a Junior majoring in Biology and she has mostly been able to stay up to date with campus events. (Courtesy of Lexi Hellums)

Lexi Hellums, a junior majoring in biology, is currently living in Colorado and says that it’s been relatively easy to keep up.

“I get my info from my friends and the emails the school has sent out,” said Hellums. “Many of my teachers have even mentioned it and sent emails so I definitely still get informed about it.”

Mia Perez, a current freshman double majoring in social justice and english literature is currently in Southern California, and though she has never spent a quarter on campus, she has remained involved in student-organized events.

“I’ve been involved as much as I’ve been able to given that I live two states away. Even since March of 2020, I’ve been involved in LGBTQ+ communities at SPU,” said Perez. “Instagram pages like the ASSP page, the Haven page, and the SPU LGBTQ+ Alumni pages have been posting a lot of information on community issues. I’m also friends with people who have coordinated many of the events that have happened so that’s helped too.”

Though these students may be inhibited from participating in physical events, many out-of-state students still care deeply about issues affecting SPU, most notably the fight to remove the Statement on Human Sexuality.

“I’m upset with the decision they’ve made. I do not believe who you love is a sin and I urge the board to educate themselves on the matter,” said Hellums. “The Bible is a very old book and as I’ve learned in my religion classes, it is hard to interpret correctly to today’s issues and views. Plus God’s greatest commandment is to love him and his second greatest is to love others (Matthew 22:36-40). so this discrimination in my opinion goes directly against God’s second greatest commandment.”

This sense of community is strong for students like Hellums and Perez despite being out-of-state.

“I wish that things were different and it breaks my heart that students and faculty on campus have to fight against all of this,” said Perez. “I don’t think we’re gonna get very far if we just sit and be angry, which is why I think it’s so special and important that there are so many students still involved.”