SGA Rundown: SGA considers expanding open hours, reviews student surveys

Senators also voted unanimously to keep the diversity coordinator position.

Ashley Grams, Deputy News Editor

The meeting began by putting Student Government Association interns in the “hot seat” in order to get to know them better. The interns, freshman political science major Houston Reece and freshman nursing major Ashley Kroeker, answered questions about themselves from members of the senate. 

Immediately following, president Renee Waller read an update about freshman business administration major Nathan Lewis, posted earlier in the day by his father. SGA members prayed over the health of their fellow student and passed around a card for the Lewis family. Waller noted that updates about Lewis’ health are located in the SGA Instagram bio.


Vice president Seth Gladysz compiled data collected by each senator over the course of February. Some of the questions in the survey were, “What are your ideal open hours?”, “Are you satisfied with the allotted open hours?”, “What do you think is the most effective way to create a welcoming environment on campus for discussing diversity?” and “How do you think Biola and SGA can best serve underrepresented students?”

The highest vote regarding open hours, at 40.5%, was for “More hours & more days: Thompson Hall Hours.” These hours would be Monday to Thursday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.

“Closed hours forces you to get to know your neighbor and your community. They don’t want it to be a hotel where you live and sleep and eat, but they want to create community within the dorm,” said Hope Hall senator Gretchen Ferguson via FaceTime on behalf of the Hope Resident Directors.  


Vice president of diversity and inclusion Caleb Strauss proposed continuing support for the Spring Symposium on politics and immigration. He cited the success of the first event, an interracial dating panel on Feb. 17, as a reason to continue the symposium. Student Enrichment and Intercultural Development is partnering with SGA and fronting most of the budget. Strauss is asking for $1,560 to cover catering costs for the next four events. SEID and Strauss are expecting nearly 60 attendees at each of the next events. 

Hart Hall senator Jesse Creasman and freshman cinema and media arts major Harrison Zeiders proposed funding for the Biola Film Festival, now called the Guerilla Student Film Festival, named to be reminiscent of the Guerilla Film Society. Many of the supporters of the festival are freshman cinema and media arts students looking to network and collaborate with other students in a collegiate forum. However, film students are not the only supporters of the new festival, as a petition was created three weeks ago and signed by 535 people as of today. The festival will also give a platform to student films. The previous budget was $8,000. Students are requesting a budget of $1,427.48 from SGA that includes food, venue decor, awards and event services. 


Vice president of finance, human resources and technology Thomas Burgess said the Student Media Board does not feel that SGA has the ability or authority to change the allocation of the student fee. They will be meeting with the SMB to determine how to move forward. 


Student protesters and faculty with “Diversity Matters” signs entered the senate meeting to argue against the cutting of the diversity coordinator position. The senate members deliberated after hearing from Waller, who made the proposal last week, and students who attended the meeting. Senators voted unanimously against cutting the diversity coordinator position. 

Read extended coverage of the senate’s deliberation.


Editor’s Note: This story was edited on Feb. 28 at 7:45 a.m. to clarify Burgess’s statement regarding the Student Media Board. 

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