SGA Rundown: proposals lay groundwork to bring back campus traditions

Discussion about Alpha’s Candyland and Deck the Haven along with a visit from Chief Ojeisekhoba highlight the senate’s first open proposal day.

Austin Green, Managing Editor

The Student Government Association senate had its first open proposal day of the 2018-19 school year Thursday. Representatives of three well-known campus communities took advantage of the opportunity, and SGA president Sierra McCoy added an internal proposal formed in conjunction with Biola Athletics. Plans to renew four Biola traditions now await approval for funding from the senate.


The first proposal came from junior history major Tiffany Nichols and sophomore psychology major Cassidy Merlo, both resident advisors in Alpha Hall. Their proposal, on behalf of Alpha’s Residence Life staff, asked for $2,000 to fund the dorm’s annual Candyland community outreach event.

This will be the 19th annual Candyland, put on by Alpha residents and their resident advisors who decorate and open their dorms to local families every Halloween. The students dress up and hand out candy to local schoolchildren and use the event as a way to give back to the local community outside of Biola as well as network with local businesses and churches for donations.

Nichols and Merlo asked for $2,000, slightly more than requested last year, explaining the money would go towards buying more candy than in previous years, as shortages of sweets had been a constant problem even when they tried rationing the goodies.


Junior business major Tinisee Kandakai and senior business major Jordyn Jensen were next on behalf of the organizers of the Woven Conference, a women’s leadership conference aimed at female Biola students. They asked for $5,998 towards conference costs, which Kandakai said was slightly less than the 2017 proposal.

The conference, which describes itself on its website as being “designed specifically to encourage women in their walk with the Lord and their position in the working world,” is also open towards women from nearby colleges, churches and communities. The goal of its leadership every year, though, is to make admission free for Biola students, Jensen said.

The two said they want to aim for around 120 students attending this year, a slight increase from the approximately 100 attendees from Biola that they usually receive. In response to questions from senators and senior vice president Katherine Davis, Kandakai and Jensen said they expect to use a similar timeframe, schedule and catering for the conference as they have in years past.


The third and final outside proposal came from sophomore journalism major Quinn Gorham, senior political science major Micah Weichbrodt and sophomore physical science major Gabe Licudine, representing the Haven floor from Hart Hall. The men were there to secure funding for the 11th year of Deck the Haven, which until 2017 was held on the floor before getting canceled, reinstated and moved to an outdoor tent near Flour Fountain.

Deck the Haven is a Christmas-themed event taking place just before finals week every December, where Haven residents build interactive rooms and invite the rest of the Biola community in for an evening of food, fun and games. Gorham, Weichbrodt and Licudine asked for $7,200 in funding for this year’s edition, $1,200 more than what the floor secured last year. However, Licudine said the event’s organizers were working on cutting the cost down to around $6,700.

Gorham said the added cost comes from the need for curtains to better divide the rooms and make them more soundproof, which was an issue the year prior, as well as an increased budget for advertising and room materials. However, the Haven residents said that they plan slash food expenses to partially offset the added cost. They also answered several logistical questions from senators regarding the event’s duration, start time, use of the tent and wheelchair access.


SGA is no stranger to helping Biola Athletics draw bigger sports crowds with special giveaways, but McCoy proposed to expand that approach by introducing those giveaways for every sport that has games on campus, including volleyball, soccer and basketball. The freebies include a barbecue during men’s and women’s soccer games versus Azusa Pacific University on family weekend, pennant giveaways during a volleyball game and the proposed return of an In-N-Out truck during basketball games against APU in December.

That last event was the subject of much debate among the senate, with McCoy and some returning senators reminding their colleagues of the success of the truck in February while others suggested changes such as added snacks and different catering options. McCoy closed the discussion without a clear resolution due to time constraints.

The meeting ended with a presentation from Campus Safety chief John Ojeisekhoba, who went over updated crime statistics, emergency preparedness initiatives and a new campus safety app that is in the last stages of testing.

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