Meet Biola’s AS senate

Learn more about AS and how the senate operates at Biola.


From left to right: Jessica Harrell, Jordan Brunett, Tomas Gustafson, John Drebinger, Natasha Cheeley are a few on this year’s AS student staff. | JOB ANG / The Chimes

Many people on campus underestimate or are unaware of Associated Students, or AS. Most of us are so busy with classes, clubs, ministries, and extracurricular activities that we forget the people and the process that makes these things possible for us.

Composed of fifteen members, the AS Senate serves as a liaison between the Biola community and the administration. Each member represents a dorm, or the off-campus commuters, so that someone in the Senate represents every student on campus. They have budget meetings every Tuesday afternoon, where vice president John Drebinger gives an agenda and updates the Senators on new proposals and pending proposals.

“Being a senator is the perfect avenue to not awkwardly meet new people. When you have a clipboard and few bullet points to talk about, it makes meeting complete strangers and getting to know people really easy,” said Alpha West Senator Natasha Cheeley.

AS is given a $500,000 budget every year, which they disperse according to the needs and wants of the Biola community. However, the majority of the budget is first distributed to AS chairs based on their respective budgets. After money has been distributed to the budgets of Social Board, Spirit Board, Chapel Board, and the like, the Senate is left with about $60,000 that they use during the semester for proposals to be passed during meetings.

The way proposals are passed is not to difficult to grasp. When a senate member moves to pass an issue, another member must second the motion. Once all senators vote on the topic, it is then passed based on a 50 percent majority vote.

However, unbeknownst to most people, AS also has its own constitution. If a senator moves to pass a new piece of legislation, altering the constitution, it requires a 100 percent vote. In the past, the Senate has passed proposals such as a Horton “Slip N’ Slide”, Coalition for Social Action (CSA) Benefit Concert, Biola Film Festival, and Stewart’s annual Kilt Fest.

Although many of us do not necessarily see what goes on in meetings, most of the on-campus events and activities have been funded by AS. The proposals are only made when Senators know the needs and wants of the students around them.

“The best time for senators to know what is going on is during rounds, which should be done one or two times per week,” said Emerson Senator Tomas Gustafson.

Cheeley said that she tries to talk to residents on a weekly basis, and feels that oftentimes the mentality of students can be individualistic. Her goal this year is to facilitate more of a team mentality.

As the AS Senate seeks to decrease the gap between the administration and the student body, and to unify Biola’s community, students can expect to see continued efforts from the senate in meeting to answer the needs of the students. Their theme this year is, “Biola: Making God Known.” Senators have the best opportunity to enforce that on campus, together with their fellow peer

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