The Falcon

Seattle Pacific University's student-run newspaper, The Falcon, reports current events, student life, and local stories relating to SPU and the greater Seattle area. I have worked at The Falcon since the Fall of 2022,  originally assisting with digital media content before writing for the news section full-time. As a news writer, it was my responsibility to write a news article every week with a requirement of three interviews per article. 

In June of 2023, I was promoted to audio editor, a new position at The Falcon. As the audio editor, my job is to edit new episodes of The Falcon Morning Show, direct and produce podcasts for The Falcon, as well as create radio-style news and feature stories for The Falcon website. 

Audio Stories

When existing is exhausting

Note: This story talks about mental health and suicide. Take care while listening.

For many people, it can be hard to open up about how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking, even when life gets exhausting. However, conversations regarding mental health are becoming increasingly more common, thanks to efforts made by professionals and organizations

One of these organizations is Active Minds, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting mental health awareness and education for young adults. To achi

End of the rainbow


For years, the office windows at Seattle Pacific University were full of posters and promotions. But over the summer, that changed when a new policy outlawed any non-approved displays on an exterior window in employee offices. This policy, simply titled “SPU Display Policy,” set new guidelines for staff and faculty to follow when it comes to posting around campus.

As of fall, many posters, signs, and art projects are still on display, including pride flags and symbols signaling queer

Dr. Porterfield: “Women lead differently than men… I’m going to lead differently.”

On January 26, 2023, Seattle Pacific University announced its newest president, Dr. Deana Porterfield, who would officially take office over the summer. With the start of a new school year, Porterfield is prepared to lead the SPU community as the first permanent president in 2 years.

The Falcon’s Antonio Nevarez spoke with Porterfield to get to know her more as a person and to find out how she plans to engage with the community.

Dr. Deana Porterfield is SPU’s 12th president in the university’s

News Articles

Provost Hartley fired by Interim President Menjares, no cause announced

On May 23, 2023, the decision to terminate Laura Hartley from her position as provost of Seattle Pacific University was announced to faculty during a senate meeting. The decision was made directly by Interim President Pete Menjares, with no cause attached. Hartley’s last day at SPU is June 2, 2023.

The announcement came as a shock for many SPU faculty members. Christopher Hanson, assistant professor of music, could not believe the news when he first heard it. Hanson reflects on what this seemin

How SPU students are preparing for the upcoming 2024 presidential election

With most high school seniors graduating at the age of 18, it is common for new voters to vote for the first time when they attend college. The most recent presidential election being in 2020, it is almost time for voters and presidential candidates to prepare for the 2024 election. The upcoming election marks an exciting step into adulthood for some Seattle Pacific University students.

Gail McMillan is a first-year psychology major. McMillan was not old enough to vote in the 2020 election, but

Faculty responds to impending program cuts: “Are we still a liberal arts institution?”

For the third year in a row, Seattle Pacific University is met with a budget deficit. For the duration of the 2022-23 school year, a committee of faculty members from all six of Seattle Pacific University’s schools has been tasked with making decisions to cut SPU programs and lay off faculty members, all in an attempt to return SPU to a financially stable status.

Patrick McDonald is a philosophy professor and has worked at SPU since 2001. McDonald is set to take a sabbatical after this academic

Decision day prepares future falcons for new adventures at SPU

May 1, also known as “National College Decision Day,” is meant for high school seniors to formally accept admission to the college of their choice. With new students set to attend Seattle Pacific University this fall, the admissions team is prepared to help incoming students find their way in the first steps of life after high school.

Xavier Smith is an incoming student with a plan to major in economics and is preparing to graduate high school this spring. Since committing to SPU, Smith has bee

Gwinn safety is ‘okay’ according to King County inspection

Gwinn Commons dining hall, the primary source of meals for many Seattle Pacific University students, was inspected by Public Health – Seattle and King County on April 11. While the dining hall has received higher scores in previous years, this particular inspection resulted in an unsatisfactory rating, marking the fourth time in a row that Gwinn Commons failed its health inspection.

The food safety rating system is ranked on a scale of four different scores based on the number of safety violati

What SPU is doing for the environment, how you can help

On April 20, Sodexo and Seattle Pacific University’s sustainability club worked together to create a vegetarian-forward dinner at Gwinn Commons, an event to celebrate Earth Month.

At this dinner event, Gwinn guests were able to choose from a variety of vegetarian and vegan menu options, ranging from ‘Impossible’ burgers to mushroom risotto; with only one meat option.

The sustainability club’s president, Eli Westbrooks, a third-year political science major, played a part in planning the environ

Nearly 60 years old, Ashton Hall will close down this fall for renovation

Since its grand opening in 1965, Ashton Hall has been a temporary home for Seattle Pacific University’s incoming students. Capable of housing 400 people, Ashton Hall is SPU’s largest residence hall. But due to its age and need for renovation, Ashton is set to be closed indefinitely starting this fall.

The idea of closing Ashton Hall for renovations has been around since at least 2017. The final decision to close the residence hall for the 2023-24 school year was made near the beginning of March

Changes to orientation planning in motion

At the start of every quarter, incoming students have the opportunity to attend orientation. In order to pull off these ambitious events, orientation coordinators and students work together months in advance. This year, coordinators have decided to change the way they plan orientation, hoping to create a smooth process with additional planning time.

Kevin Deschler is assistant director of the office of student involvement and leadership. He is also an orientation coordinator and is working with

ASSP passes new cabinet structure

Associated Students of Seattle Pacific serves as the official student government at SPU. Its primary purpose is to ensure student voices are heard and to promote community spirit. But in recent months, ASSP senate has faced challenges relating to staffing shortages and overall reduced interest in student leadership among other internal issues. However, ASSP hopes to address certain issues they have experienced in the past, especially those revolving around communication, by implementing a new ca

Even with limitations, SPU’s counseling services aim to help students

For college students, life can be filled with many stressors. Because of this, it is common for students to want to seek additional help for their mental wellbeing. But despite student counseling being offered at Seattle Pacific University, some students choose not to pursue those services for certain reasons.

Emily Ortega is a first year apparel merchandising student at SPU. During fall quarter, Ortega decided to schedule a meeting with Student Counseling, Health and Wellness. Initially, Orteg

Reflecting on classes during COVID

Three years ago, Seattle Pacific University closed its campus due to the spread of COVID-19, causing classes to go online. When The Falcon reported on the situation at the end of the 2020 winter quarter, many were unsure about how this transition would happen. Now, students and faculty can reflect on the time of online classes and how distance learning has influenced the way classes are taught post-quarantine.

Matthew Bellinger, assistant professor of communication at SPU, remembers what it was

No decision yet on motion to dismiss

At 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, courtroom W-728 was at capacity, filled with students, professors and alumni from Seattle Pacific University invested in the outcome of the Guillot v. Whitehead case. This hearing, which was to decide if the case would be dismissed on the basis of Uniform Public Expression Protection Act laws, took a little over an hour, and the judge heard oral arguments from both the defendants and plaintiffs.

Paul Southwick, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, felt confident in the case he

From bug infestations to ventilation issues

Residents in Ashton Hall have recently been experiencing issues that make for unfavorable living situations. Seattle Pacific University’s Ashton Hall is the school’s largest residence hall, known for its beautiful view of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the daunting hill that students endure every day. Now with alleged issues including bug infestations, ventilation problems, and much more, residents are speaking up about these problems and are hoping to see changes soon.

When first year bioc

SPU faculty receive buyout options

Seattle Pacific University has approached faculty members that have been at SPU for 10 or more years with buyout options. This is tied to budget cuts being made to faculty and programs. A major reason for SPU’s budget cuts is the decline in enrollment, and the buyout options are in an effort to meet financial stabilization by 2025.

A buyout is when an employer offers packages for employees that are intended to be removed from their position. Buyout packages may include insurance, sabbatical and

The future of social media

Shortly after his acquisition of Twitter in Fall 2022, Elon Musk was quick to make changes at the social media company. Most recently, Twitter’s Seattle headquarters is reportedly closing its office in favor of remote working, according to the Seattle Times. As the platform navigates through turbulent times, opinions on the state of Twitter and other social media platforms differ for students at Seattle Pacific University.

Since its creation in 2006, Twitter has become widely known for its char

Season to season, job to job

Every school year, hundreds of college students move away from home and into dorms. Often, this move leads students to find jobs on or around campus. Many campuses, including Seattle Pacific University, offer work study jobs as part of financial aid offers, allowing students to earn money in addition to paying their tuition.

However, during winter break, which is about six weeks long, student workers are not able to work due to the campus closing. This is one of the reasons why first year nursi

Facing students’ food insecurity

For many college students, reliable sources of food can be a struggle. Fortunately, Seattle Pacific University is working towards providing resources for people to apply for meal swipes, discounts or even to-go meals.

Students living at SPU are required to choose a meal plan to keep them fed throughout the quarter. Options range from 75 meals to 200 meals, costing between $1,873 to $2,169 a quarter. Meal plans give students access to Gwinn Commons Dining Hall as well as funds to spend at dining