Student Affairs Newsletter, Issue 3

Wheelock Student Center continues to grow and change with renovation

As spring approaches most of us are looking forward to throwing our windows open and listening to birds chirping and students frolicking outside. This spring, however, you are more likely to hear saw cutting and pneumatic drills from the long-awaited Wheelock Student Center renovation and expansion project.

Work began on the 12-phase renovation in summer 2011, when increased lighting was added to Wheelock lobby and the Information Center and Piano Lounge were made more accessible. The current construction kicked off last May, and includes installation of a sprinkler system, a new passenger elevator, and the addition of 20,000 square feet to the building. The expansion will be completed in early May, allowing Dining and Conferences Services to move into its new space on the second floor and the new kitchen to be fully used when preparing for the Commencement Brunch. The next phase of construction will begin the day after Commencement, May 19, when the core of the student center will be blocked off as contractors demolish the servery and bathrooms on the main floor, and bathrooms and a few offices on the second floor. The demolition will allow us to start from scratch and make the spaces far more user friendly and efficient.

For more information the Wheelock renovation and other summer projects, visit, or contact Sarah Comstock at

Core Survey Highlights misconceptions about substance use on campus

Data from the Core Survey, administered in December 2013 and completed by 833 Puget Sound students, reveal that dramatic misperceptions persist regarding substance use on the Puget Sound campus. The Core Survey is a 40-item questionnaire related to campus climate and involves questions related to alcohol and other drug use, sexual harassment/assault, and racial and ethnic harassment.

  • 4.6 percent of Puget Sound students reported using marijuana once per week, while the typical Logger believed that more than one-third of their peers were using marijuana this often.
  • 26.4 percent of Puget Sound students endorsed using alcohol once per week, while the typical Logger believed the number of students drinking at this rate was nearly 50 percent.

While prevalence of alcohol use among our students is comparable to national findings, use of marijuana, hallucinogens, and designer drugs is greater among Loggers than the average college student. Even so, looking at reported use over the last 30 days, 67 percent of Loggers reported that they had not used marijuana, and over a quarter had not used alcohol. Puget Sound students who endorsed use of alcohol typically drank in moderation, with 36.1 percent reporting that they had one to four drinks in an average week, while 34.3 percent reported that their average number of drinks per week was “0.” This number suggests that just over 70 percent of Loggers are either choosing not to drink or doing so in less-harmful ways each week.           

More information about national core data can be found at Watch for more information about our campus results in educational campaigns during the 2014–15 academic year. 

Spotlight on a staff member: Sarah Shives

Sarah ShivesSarah Shives comes to Puget Sound after recently earning her master's degree in gender and cultural studies from Simmons College in Boston. In her role as assistant director for spirituality, service and social justice (SSSJ), Sarah is very excited to work with students around service and social justice issues, and finds that her new position lends itself well to meeting radical alumni working in local community organizing, enticing students with life beyond campus, and supporting students as they realize they don't want to do exactly what they always thought they wanted to do (professionally or otherwise). Sarah is grateful for running, yoga, sushi, and her work family in the yellow house. To contact Sarah stop by the yellow house at 3219 N. 13th St., call 253.879.2751, or send an email message to