SPU bubble holds strong

Despite the concerns of COVID-19, fear has not infected campus life

Angela Ide, Opinions Editor

The entrance of SPU drawn in a bubble
Illustration by Chloe Guillot

Green trees that were once barren and desolate are now full of life, the robins that flew to warmer weather for the winter have once again returned to the branches and leaves of campus, and the sweet aroma of rain fills the air every few days. Spring has come in full force and the lessons it has to teach are on display for all to see and with the current state of the world, it is a welcome sight.

The lesson that I am constantly reminded of every spring is that growth comes through dark and isolated seasons. With my family living four hours away and the demands of a four-year education chaining me to my computer screen, the life outside my Arnett window is my sustaining hope.

Any student who spends a significant amount of their time on campus during an ordinary quarter knows that Seattle Pacific University has a tangible bubble going from the Seattle Pacific Art Center all the way up to the sixth floor of Asthon and down to Otto Miller Hall. The school has its own little ecosystem and until one leaves the bubble, they find themselves in a whole other world apart from Seattle.

With a global pandemic that forces everyone to face social distancing parameters, protective masks and gloves to limit contamination and a halt on most activities, this bubble suddenly becomes a fortress.

Despite the safety found within the bubble, SPU is not out of reach for COVID-19, and many precautions and measures have been taken by the institution. These are to ensure the well-being and safety of everyone who still crosses the campus to get to their office or get food from Gwinn Commons. Even though the campus is aware of current concerns and cautious in how to live safely on-campus, there is something about the campus that keeps the fear of COVID-19 at bay.

Students who have the capability and have chosen to remain on campus find a welcoming community surrounding them even with the new precautions being taken.

As they walk up the ramp leading to Gwinn, students are greeted by the trees and the many plants spotting the pathway, the familiar walk brings memories of lines, floor dinners, and the many happy run-ins that were taken for granted.

As the Gwinn doors swing open, the front desk attendant welcomes every student in as always. There are blue X’s marking six-feet distances as one walks up to the stations for food, but the staff is just as happy to see them and engage in small-talk as one drinks up the social interaction like a person lost in a desert.

Rush-time is very different now, one might happen upon ten or fifteen students trying to get their dinner at once, but that’s as packed as Gwinn gets these days. But underneath the masks that cover the faces of employees and students alike, one can easily see the hidden smiles, friendly nods and happy hellos that are quickly exchanged. One can still see the heart of this campus in the eyes of every student, faculty member and staff member who calls this place home, and in the stories of students far and wide.

That is what I came back to campus to see. When my family isn’t the safe, warm, inviting place that I need it to be, I find that on-campus with my peers, my professors, advisors, friends and fellow Falcons. The SPU Bubble has created solid ground for me in the midst of a worldwide earthquake and I know that I will never again take a full campus for granted again.