SGA kicks off the year with Pursue Your Passion initiative

President Renée Waller and vice president Seth Gladysz launched an initiative that encourages students to pursue their passions.


Jodie Stock, Freelance Writer

This Monday, students walking pass the Biola Health Center may have caught the tantalizing smell of fresh popcorn at a Student Government Association booth that introduced Pursue Your Passion week. Although some may have been initially attracted by the popcorn, many students struck up conversations with president Renée Waller, vice president Seth Gladysz and community senators. The booth and popcorn marked the start of SGA’s Pursue Your Passion initiative, which will last throughout the week until Friday.


Waller explained that the purpose of the Pursue Your Passion initiative—named after her campaign slogan from last spring—is to remind students of SGA’s role as a resource for students. 

“We’re working to pursue the passion God has for them in this life,” she said.

Waller says her administration intentionally kept last year’s slogan for this initiative. 

“We just want to show… consistency in our messaging,” she said. “And we want to answer a concern that students have, which is wondering what kind of work we are practically doing for them.”

Some of this practical work can be seen in the next few days, as various SGA departments will set up booths around campus, with the intention of making themselves easily accessible to students. 

“We heard from a lot of people that they loved the energy of campaign week… and they feel that that goes away as soon as someone wins and that there isn’t that face time anymore,” Waller said. “We wanted to bring back that feel of how much we care and our service for students, so we make an effort to come meet [students] where they’re at.”


The focus of today’s SGA booth was to increase senator-constituent interactions through a senator-led interactive survey. The survey challenged students to point out their senator on a board with all the senators’ pictures and then asked students to give feedback about the initiatives they most appreciate seeing from their representative. Sigma Hall senator and sophomore cinema and media arts major Rawleigh Grove emphasized the importance of the booth in the Pursue Your Passion initiative. 

“We want to make sure not only that [our constituents] are heard and listened to, but [we] also want to take steps to help them succeed,” he said. 

This, he believes, can only be done effectively if constituents recognize their senators and feel comfortable approaching them. 

“We want to make sure that they can get the right connections… Get the right opportunities to then pursue whatever their passion is,” he said. 


On Tuesday, SGA Marketing and Communications will have a booth so that students can learn more about scholarships available to them. 

“They’ll be out asking about students’ small businesses and student talents, just figuring out how can we support students on campus who are using their talents to supplement their income,” Waller explained. 

Then, on Wednesday, the vice president of finance will have a table at the Involvement Fair in order to help students better understand the authority of student government––what it is and what it is not.  

“The biggest way we have an authority is over the student fee, which is nearly a million-dollar budget that is allocated to [Student Programming and Activities], [Student Missionary Union] and other organizations run by student government,” Waller said. “We want students to know about that so that they can have a voice into what the allocation process looks like.”

This will be followed by SGA Administration’s booth on Thursday, which will help students know in what ways they can be involved on campus. It will also provide resources, such as a master calendar that will allow students to know everything that is happening across campus.

“Finally, on Friday, we’re going to have a poll where the VP of diversity and inclusion and his coordinator are going to be out, hearing how SGA can do a better job of including the university,” Waller said.

Waller says this week will be indicative of the care that SGA intends to deliver to students throughout the year.  “Our passion is that students would be freed up,” she said. “Whether that is some administrative red tape that they’re not sure how to go through, or if they have an idea that they want money for. We really think that student government frees people up to pursue the thing that God has placed on their heart.”

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