Courtesy of Biola SGA
In the third senate meeting of the semester, the Student Government Association heard from leaders of The Dwelling, including Talbot School of Theology graduate student Jacob Keeth, about the importance of being leaders and friends to students who identify as sexual minorities through engaging in conversation and cultivating community. Additionally, SGA passed a proposal to fund 12 $1,000 scholarships for students.
THE DWELLING FOSTERS UNDERSTANDING
Keeth spoke to SGA about the Dwelling, a campus group which provides a safe environment for students that identify as a sexual minority or as part of the LGBTQ community. The group has existed for about three years, operating under Spiritual Development administrator Chris Barragan.
The Dwelling, according to the representatives, encourages discipleship in Christ through biblical grace, giving a “dwelling” to students, where they can voice their experiences and engage in conversation. According to Keeth, the group affirms Biola’s statements about marriage and relationships, but will not turn anyone away based on their theological standpoints.
Keeth says the Dwelling averages about 25 students per meeting, with a 93 percent retention of students who attend these meetings throughout the year. The members meet once a month for dinner and discussion, and twice a month for small group discussions. The small groups seek to allow students to discuss their diverse perspectives about sexual identity through discussions about literature, God, blogs and thoughts and questions.
Keeth encouraged the senators to take a larger role in the lives of students who experience same-sex attraction through leadership and friendship. According to Keeth, it is important for leaders to communicate validation to students who share their stories, asking questions at the right time and with the right mindset to show dedicated interest in people’s identity. The Dwelling will also be seeking ways to partner with SGA in the future.
SGA SCHOLARSHIP PROPOSAL APPROVED
Senators then voted on vice president of community relations Katy Hendricks’ internal proposal to fund 12 scholarships for $1,000 each, which was submitted at the previous senate meeting. The senators unanimously supported the proposal, with some senators pointing out that the scholarships allow SGA to tangibly provide for students. The vote to approve the SGA scholarships passed in full, 10-0-1.