Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Student-Parents Encounter Lack of Resources


Being a student is a full-time job, but being a student as a parent is a herculean feat. For many student parents at Seattle University, they encounter a lack of both childcare and family housing options, which they believe contributes to a university that offers little to no support for students who are parents.

Midori Hogg is a student-parent who transferred to Seattle U from Shoreline Community College at the beginning of this school year. At Shoreline, Hogg had access to childcare on campus, and there were discounts on childcare for students.

“I was hoping that [Seattle U] would have relationships with local childcare centers, but they don’t,” Hogg said.


Hogg talked about the challenges of being a full-time student while being a single-parent to her one-year-old daughter.

“I very much struggle with reaching assignment deadlines,” Hogg said. “I also struggle with attending extra curricular activities that some professors require, as either a part of the curriculum or as extra credit opportunities that could increase my grade. There is no one to watch my daughter in the evenings or on the weekends, and I can not attend activities outside of class without childcare.”

Azrael Howell, Student Government of Seattle U President, talked about his experience as a commuter student and parent to four boys ranging from ages 16 to 21.

“There are some difficulties and barriers when it comes to being available for things,” Howell said. “It’s like balancing being there for your children while also seeking to finish your education and be successful there.”

Director of Parent and Family Engagement Laurie Prince provides services to both the parents of Seattle U undergraduates and Seattle U students who are parents. Prince is the only staff member in this office, according to the Seattle U website.

“My office primarily serves as a resource for parents of Seattle U undergraduates—that’s the main focus,” Prince said. “Supporting students who are parents is a much smaller component of the job. Why we don’t have childcare is a bigger issue than just this office.”

The Office of Parent and Family Engagement sponsors a few programs a year for student-parents, including a kids clothing swap happening on May 15.

Prince tries to have some information easily accessible on the Seattle U Parent and Family Engagement website for student-parents. The website includes information on childcare options near Seattle U, off-campus funding resources, and on-campus resources such as the student health center, lactation rooms, and bathrooms with changing stations.

Prince talked about the difficulties she faces in providing services to student-parents outside of childcare and family housing.

“It is hard to identify [student- parents] because that information is not a part of the SU admissions application,” Price said. “Unless students self-identify in some way, I don’t have a way of finding out who they are in any formalized way.”

The Outreach Center provides services to first-generation and veteran students and the McGoldrick Collegium, serving students over 25, both include populations that include some student-parents. However, the Outreach Center and McGoldrick Collegium do not provide services to student-parents outside of co-hosting events with the Office of Parent and Family Engagement.

Reflecting on her year at Seattle U, Hogg expressed what she would like to see, in terms of support for students who are parents at the university..

“I wish the school could be more accommodating to students who are parents. I haven’t even met other parents who attend this school, and I think that says a lot about the kind of environment SU has established,” Hogg said. “I would think that at a Catholic institution parents would be considered and supported more.”

Howell discussed some ways he feels Seattle U can improve its services to student-parents.

“When it comes to SU’s mission of educating the whole person, I think it’s important to take all aspects of a student’s situation into perspective and to make sure all students are taken care of. The student population is different. It is more important to be equitable than equal because we all have different needs,” Howell said.

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