Passionate, determined and ambitious are only a fraction of the words used to describe Seth W. R. Brickey by his peers and mentors. As an upcoming senior, Brickey has been appointed the student trustee position by Gov. Jay Inslee to serve a one-year term on Western’s Board of Trustees. Not only will he provide a student voice on the board, but he will also be representing Western’s student body throughout this position.
“I interacted with Seth early on in his time at Western,” Western Alumni Carly Roberts said. “I was immediately impressed with his professionalism and the sincerity in the way he approached the activities he was involved in.”
Roberts is the former Associated Students president as well as the former student trustee.
With firsthand experience as the student trustee, Roberts said she instantly saw the characteristics and principles that make a good trustee in Brickey. She thought he would make a good candidate due to his wise decision making, thorough representation of ideas and understanding of complex concepts, Roberts said.
Born and raised in Juneau, Alaska, Brickey has had numerous leadership experiences as well as a diverse background to bring to the board.
In Alaska, Brickey was an intern with the state legislature, president of the board of directors for the Youth Core of Alaska, program director at a camp for youth and captain of an environmental science group called National Ocean Sciences Bowl, Brickey said.
Once Brickey came to Western, he discovered groups like Campus Christian Fellowship and Resident Life.
Cameron Harris, a Western Alumni and leader of WWU Campus Christian Fellowship has watched Brickey grow throughout his time in the fellowship. Harris was one of the mentors who wrote Brickey a personal recommendation for the student trustee position.
Campus Christian Fellowship is an active community of university students who spread the gospel of Jesus at Western. Brickey has been a leader in the fellowship alongside Harris and other WWU students.
“He really contributed to the fellowship in a lot of ways,” Harris said. “He contributed most just with his ability to connect well with students and really show genuine care and concern, to listen well to where our guys were at and to find ways to be able to connect them to opportunities and resources and fellowship within the community.
Harris said Brickey was one of the most consistent students he has worked with.
During his leadership experience with the ministry, Harris said Brickey would make himself available for students. By listening to their concerns, Brickey would help counsel them through life’s hard times, find ways to support the students and assist them in accomplishing the goals they had.
“The Campus Christian Fellowship community is very interested and really concerned in people’s college experience and that they have a meaningful and fulfilling college experience,” Brickey said. “That passion and that drive is something that has been passed on to me and that I care deeply about, whether people are having a meaningful and fulfilling college experience.”
Along with being involved in the fellowship, Brickey is involved in Western’s Residence Life and was a resident advisor last year.
Megan Morrison, the SHADO Community resident director, said a big part of the Residence Life program is the resident education model. This model is based off of helping students learn about themselves, how they interact with others and people in the community, which Brickey assisted in.
Last year, Brickey was a resident advisor for SHADO on the Ridgeway Complex. SHADO stands for Sigma, Highland, Alpha, Delta and Omega. Morrison was his direct supervisor and she oversaw daily operations, made sure students felt safe in their living environment and promoted academic success, Morrison said.
“Seth worked specifically in the Omega community and he was the resident advisor for the upper half of the Omega building,” Morrison said. “So he was responsible for about, roughly, I believe between 45 to 50 residents, and so he was really their first line of contact.”
Brickey was seen as a leader and a role model to not only the residence, but to the advisors as well, Morrison said. The new advisors looked up to him and the students living in the community felt comfortable to talk to Brickey at any given moment.
Along with gaining leadership experience, Brickey listened to student’s concerns while being a resident advisor.
“While being a resident advisor, I not only had the chance to be present in the lives of students when challenges and crisis occur, but I have also been able to facilitate conversations that can proactively help them to make meaning of their experiences during their time at
Western,” Brickey said.
With resident advisor experience behind him, Brickey will be an assistant resident advisor in the Beta-Gamma community next fall. This job will include helping to raise the next generation of student leaders on campus while letting the resident advisors help facilitate the students growth, Brickey said.
As the new student trustee, Brickey will be involved in numerous activities as well as continuing his fellowship involvement and assistant resident director position.
He will be assisting and playing a large role in the selection of finding a new president for WWU. However, he will not be a part of the new dean for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences selection process, Roberts said.
“You will often hear people say that the most important job that a Board of Trustees does throughout their 10-year is to appoint a president,” Roberts said. “That’s actually going to be a very big part of his role next year and he is very lucky to have the opportunity be involved in that whole process. It’s going to be a very wide-based process needing a lot of wise and critical input from all parts of the university.”
Harris also said he is excited to see where Brickey takes the student trustee position. He said it is encouraging and comforting that there is a student in the trustee position who really wants to serve the interests of students at WWU and wants to know and support what students are doing.
Brickey said he hopes to continue the legacy that previous student trustees have established with their productive student voice. Along with continuing that legacy, he also hopes to impact and to voice the student concerns to the board about tuition and academic advising.
“I hope that at my time at the Board I can help to make wise financial decisions,” Brickey said. “Help to provide context for any decisions regarding tuition and how that will impact the students of Western and the people of Washington who are trusting us with this institution, to run it wisely and to run it in a way that benefits students in Washington for years to come.”
Brickey will be working as the student trustee from now until June 30, 2016. He will also be an assistant resident advisor for Residence Life and continue his journey as a Campus Christian Fellowship member.