SGA Rundown: Senate cuts Biolathon funding

Senators voted on four proposals and passed all but the final one after expressing concerns about Biolathon’s format and appeal.

Austin Green, Managing Editor

In the Student Government Association senate’s last meeting before Thanksgiving, senators evaluated the four external proposals submitted last Thursday, passing three of them while denying one—the senate’s first denial of a proposal this school year.

Bids to fund the 23rd annual Student Conference on Racial Reconciliation in the spring and GRIT’s annual Christmas party were passed in full, while the proposal to to fund the premiere of this semester’s Biola film was passed for a partial amount. All three proposals were passed unanimously.


After a lengthy discussion about a proposal for Biolathon, the student-run dance marathon fundraiser for charity slated to be held in the spring, senators voted 8-3 to deny the $3,435 proposal on a motion from Hart Hall senator Noah Love and Off Campus Community senator Jordan Wright.

Several senators, especially Love and Wright, were skeptical about the event’s appeal to students as well as its cost-effectiveness. According to Love, SGA gave over $5,000 to Biolathon’s organizers last year, only to see the event raise under $1,500. Sigma senator Seth Gladysz said the event did not seem particularly tailored toward Biola students, especially since its format was based off that of much larger universities such as Penn State and UCLA.

Hope senator Gabrielle Morris danced in the event this past spring and critiqued several of its aspects, including the tiny venue and miniscule turnout. She said that during the two hours she was there with her dance group, Mock Rock’s BroPoc, the only other people in attendance were fellow BroPoc members, another dance group, and Biolathon staff members. Morris also claimed that a promotional video for the event viewed by several senators was misleading, as it made the dancing look far less formal than it actually was.

Some senators, including Love, Gladysz, Morris and Alpha senator Corinna Magness, also pointed out that the money Biolathon requested could be saved for future proposals that had more support from the senate.

According to Stewart senator Kylie Dillon and Blackstone senator Tobias Joseph, Biolathon’s organizers could ask Student Programming and Activities for funding since Biolathon is now officially a student-run club, although they believe SPA would likely give them a much lower amount. Gladysz also said since the event is planned for March 2019, its leaders could submit an altered proposal to SGA next semester, and several senators said they would consider such a proposal.

OCC senator Naomi Hidalgo made a late push to table a vote on the proposal to gain more feedback from their constituents, but several other senators said their positions would probably not change after reviewing the feedback they had already received. Senior vice president Katherine Davis also pointed out that the vote would have an extra delay because of the holiday break. Dillon also floated the idea of a partial passage for $1,300, but Love argued against the idea, preferring not to give funds to an event that not many senators supported.

Hidalgo, Dillon and Bluff senator Gabe Plendcio had the three no votes on Love’s motion to deny the proposal.


Support for SCORR’s proposal, which called for $1,752 to augment the Biola-hosted nationwide conference’s budget for its 23rd year, was so widespread among senators and their constituents that when Davis opened the customary debate period to voice concerns about the bid, the room fell silent. Senators reported that students supported the conference even if they had never attended it themselves. The proposal quickly passed in full by a unanimous 11-0 vote.

It did not take senators much longer to reach a consensus that the proposal from the makers of this semester’s Biola film in order to fund its premiere was too excessive to pass in full. The proposal called for over $1,100 to go towards food alone, and senators expressed skepticism that enough people would attend the premiere to use the quantities of food called for. However, the majority of the senate also believed that enough students will also attend the premiere and the already-funded Deck The Haven even though both are scheduled for the evening of Dec. 6.

Hidalgo, one of the first proponents of a partial passage, moved to pass the proposal for $1,500, reduced from the original amount of $1,968. The motion passed unanimously.

Support for GRITmas, a Christmas party from the women’s resource collective which will allow Biolans to pack supplies for homeless women living on Skid Row, was also virtually unanimous. Love pointed out that the senate needs to be careful that they are serving their goal of improving student experience instead of being co-opted by outside proposals to give money to non-Biola agencies, no matter how noble they may seem. However, he pointed out that GRIT’s proposal provided a tangible event for students to enjoy themselves while also doing a great service. Gladyz moved to pass the proposal for the full amount of $2,491, and the motion passed 11-0.

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