SGA Rundown: Theme of transparency leads new administration

Communication team announces podcast release date and a simplified budget, both available to students.

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Photo Courtesy of Biola University

Ashley Grams, News Editor

The Student Government Association met this Thursday via Zoom to kick off the remote fall semester. SGA president Keren Godwin and vice president Gretchen Ferguson led introductions as members zoomed in from across the country. 

CONTINUING COMMUNITY 

Ferguson explained how SGA plans to continue empowering students even via Zoom. SGA will continue allowing constituents to submit proposals for clubs, events and groups during senate meetings.

“The purpose of SGA is to serve the student body, promote their interests and welfare, ensure understanding throughout the Biola community and foster a Christ-centered community,” Godwin said. She reminded the group that passions and interests will not disappear, even when the pandemic is taking a toll on the community.

PENDING PODCAST

SGA is releasing a podcast on Sept. 4 to better inform students about the decision making process within the university’s administration. 

Vice president of marketing and communications Michael McKay explained his team’s desire to create a link between students and faculty during a time which can feel disconnected. Godwin and Ferguson stressed the importance of transparency as students sit at computers around the country. SGA aims to communicate consistent information, available at the click of a button.

SGA has partnered with KBR The Torch in order to make the podcast more accessible to students by publishing it on Spotify and The Torch’s Soundcloud. The podcast will also be linked in a weekly newsletter. 

FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY

Vice president of finance, IT and human resources Noa Wilding is creating a simplified and condensed budget which will be available to students and faculty alike in order to promote transparency and establish trust.  

“While our full budget has always been kept up to date and has been available to students upon request, it can be a bit long and convoluted,” Wilding said in an email. “Our simplified budget will have our postings of all the money we have spent each month along with explanations of the accounts they are from.”

Wilding and SGA’s financial controller, Annelise Brown, are currently working with Biola to find the best way to make the information available to the public. 

SGA’s budget is established by the student fee which is based upon enrollment. As enrollment is finalized, the budget will be finalized, Wilding explained.

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