SGA Rundown: Mental health and holiday events

Senators talk first-generation student support and Christmas plans.

Hannah Larson, Staff Writer

Senators discussed FirstGen Week and continued planning for a Christmas event. This week, Chief of Campus Safety John Ojeisekhoba gave a presentation to the senators about campus safety and emergency preparedness. 

SAFETY AND MENTAL HEALTH

Ojeisekhoba detailed the steps he and Campus Safety take to keep Biola students safe, including mandating the use of U-locks on bikes to reduce bicycle theft and providing tight security at campus entrances. Ojeisekhoba explained how Biola security protects off-campus students in Biola housing with marked patrol units and surveillance teams. He listed plans to update security apparatus at off-campus housing to deter any criminal activity.

Ojeisekhoba also discussed the support his security team provides for Biolans struggling with their mental health. He encouraged students experiencing suicidal thoughts to call Campus Safety. For students who experience suicidal ideation, he recommended reaching out to the Biola Counseling Center.

NATIONAL FIRST GEN WEEK

SGA diversity coordinator Clarissa Aubin gave a presentation about FirstGen students at Biola. Aubin noted that FirstGen students use health services, academic advising and academic support services less than second and third-generation students. Aubin discussed imposter syndrome, where some first-generation students feel a lack of belonging on campus. To combat this, she listed support for FirstGen Biolans, including the FirstGen Scholars Program, mentorship opportunities and the early orientation Summer Bridge program.

CHRISTMAS EVENT PLANNING

Senators further cemented ideas about a Christmas event on the lawn, tentatively labeled “Very Merry Metzger.” They discussed hosting apple cider and coffee alongside danishes and other sweets at the holiday event. Senators also considered a gourmet hot chocolate booth with crushed peppermint, marshmallows and whipped cream. 

Other plans for the event include a photo booth with a Christmas-themed backdrop, artificial tree and fake snow. Game booth ideas included tossing candy canes onto garland and a Squid Game-themed attraction. Senators further solidified details about a raffle at the event with prizes such as AirPods and a Christmas gift basket.  

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