SGA Rundown: diversity matters

The student senate voted on proposals and discussed the importance of diversity.

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SGA Rundown: diversity matters

Photo Courtesy of Biola University

Photo Courtesy of Biola University

Photo Courtesy of Biola University

Lacey Patrick, Staff Writer

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The Student Government Association piled into the conference room, ready to discuss this week’s proposals. The senate was not only able to discuss the benefits of the Student Congress On Racial Reconciliation Conference (SCORR), but Biola’s Chief Diversity Officer Tamra Malone also presented important concepts of diversity to the student senate. 

SCORR CONFERENCE VOTING

The SCORR Conference would cost $4,800 if passed in full, but Off-Campus Community senator Jonan-Rohi Plueger argued that the senate should pass in partial for $2,400. Passing in partial, according to Plueger, would still give the SCORR conference the finances necessary, while leaving the less essential items to be funded through fundraising. Hope senator Gretchen Ferguson argued that the proposal should be passed in full in order to properly fund the conference. Cutting any more of the $4,800 would cause the conference to suffer, also causing lower attendance, according to Ferguson. Also, instead of paper fliers, a graffiti artist and taiko drum performance will be used to advertise for the conference. Ferguson added that without SGA funding, this may not be possible. Bluff senator Jesse Creasmen agreed with Ferguson, saying no one looks at fliers or handouts, but a live performance and graffiti banner would draw students in. 

“We need more awareness of diversity,” Creasmen said. 

Creasmen believes the conference represents a large range of minority communities and cultures on campus. He also thinks it creates a safe place for them to discover and pursue their passions, which is all the more reason to invest in the conference fully. Horton senator Keren Godwin supported Creasmen’s claims, as she said the SCORR conference bridges the gap between cultural identity and Christianity. All senators, except for one, agreed to pass the proposal in full for $4,800. 

REPROPOSAL OF CAESURA 

Creasmen reproposed the showing of “Caesura” which is a film by cinema and media arts majors Andy Brewster and Ellie LaFrombois. It will cost $1583.50, which is significantly lower than the original proposal made at the beginning of the semester, which was $3,000. The proposal will be voted on next week.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION TRAINING

The senate was trained on diversity matters, presented by Tamra Malone and Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Caleb Strauss. The two shared their backstories and the culture shock they experienced when they arrived to Biola. They emphasized the need for conversations surrounding different race, cultures and backgrounds. Malone emphasized that diversity does not only concern physical differences, but it also includes differences in upbringing, gifts and a multitude of other things that make humans human. It is also important to live out the calling of being the body of Christ, without falling into the trap of division, according to Malone.