SGA Rundown: Senate reconvenes to establish new semester goals

The senate reviewed last semester and brainstormed ideas for the upcoming semester.

Photo Courtesy of Biola University

Sophia Silvester, Staff Writer

This week’s Student Government Association meeting started off with all staff members sharing with each other about how God worked in their winter breaks. They also broke off into two-person “prayer pods,” a new aspect of SGA meetings that president Renee Waller and vice president Seth Gladysz are implementing in the new year to encourage unity within the senate. 

WHAT HAS BEEN DONE

Gladysz continued with a by-the-numbers recap of last semester. SGA spent 42 hours in senate meetings, heard 15 proposals, worked 3,509 hours collectively, began the year with a $31,000 contingency balance after budget cuts and spent $15,372.61 on proposals.

Gladysz also reviewed the campaign promises he and Waller made at the beginning of last semester, dubbed the three p’s: participate, proactive and partner. These include ideas like connecting directly with constituents to hear about student needs, collaborating with other organizations like Student Missionary Union and organizing a night of the arts. Gladysz said the senate has made progress in all those areas but they want to continue toward fulfilling those promises by creating a resident advisor appreciation day, hosting more commuter-friendly events, creating additional dorm competitions and continuing to feature smaller student-run events. 

SENATOR GOALS

After Gladysz presented these overall goals, each senator took time to brainstorm and present their goals for the semester. Some exciting ideas included a Bluff versus Block competition, presented by Block senator Ryan St. Pierre, Honk If You’re a Commuter, presented by Off-Campus Community senator Toni Rosales and an interactive art wall, headed up by Gladyzs, Blackstone Hall senator Blake Saathoff and Hope Hall senator Gretchen Ferguson. 

The senate also discussed the possibility of switching to an electronic newsletter instead of physical copies posted around the halls. The decision has not been made yet, but Gladysz plans on talking to Biola administration to find a solution that will work for all students. 

Horton Hall senator Keren Godwin also brought up finding a permanent location for the Biola food pantry in conjunction with Biola Basic Needs. SGA plans on surveying students during SGA hour to determine the best location for this pantry.

Vice president of finance, information technology and human resources Thomas Burgess announced that an additional $5,000 from last semester will rollover into contingency money, bringing the overall budget for proposals to about $20,000. Diversity coordinator Lorraine Ho concluded this section of the meeting by highlighting affinity groups that senators can connect their constituents to and encouraged senators to vote for proposals that will highlight racial and ethnic diversity.