SGA Rundown: Cybersecurity tips and Christmas cheer

Senators deliberate Boba Bake and discuss artwork controversy.

Hannah Larson, Staff Writer

Updated Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. 

Director of Information Security Anthony Valentino shared his team’s efforts to protect student data with the Senate on Thursday. He explained that hackers target universities because of the wealth of student information available. Valentino said that Biola’s Information Security protects against the unauthorized use of student information through advanced cybersecurity methods.

Valentino recommended Biolans make passwords a 15-20 character phrase rather than a single word, and never share the password with others. He also encouraged students not to give information to phishers over email. Valentino discussed the risks of using a phone to save a table, and recommended that Biolans keep a close eye on their devices. He explained his goal to empower students to make wise decisions in their daily lives to protect their private data, resources and reputation. 

CHRISTMAS AT THE FIRESIDE

Senators worked to reorient an upcoming Christmas event after a shift in plans. They plan to host festive holiday booths on Sycamore Lawn and caroling bands at the fireplace pavilion. Senators confirmed raffle prizes include a parking pass, AirPods, a gift basket or Hydro Flask. They set a tentative date of Dec. 10 from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

BOBA BAKE

Senators deliberated about the student-run Boba Bake pop-up proposal. Some senators suggested that students enjoy going off campus as part of the boba experience, while others supported the proposal’s pop-up at Biola, citing convenience. Senators also shared concerns that local boba shops may attract students more than the pop-up. Others pointed to the Boba Bake as a method of supporting ministry on campus, since some of the proceeds would support the Student Enrichment and Intercultural Department and the Global Students Programs and Development, which educate students on world cultures. 

ARTWORK CONTROVERSY

Senators discussed a controversial piece of artwork displayed at Biola’s SEID-affiliated “90639 Night Market: An evening of Celebrating and Standing in Solidarity with the AAPI Community” on Nov. 30. The event was funded by a grant given to Biola for  students to bring attention and visibility to the Asian-American Pacific Islander community in light of the rise of hate crimes towards the community as well as in honor of the 20th Anniversary of 9/11. A planning committee made up of 20 students, faculty and staff were assembled to plan the event to accomplish the goal of the grant. 

One of the exhibits depicted a male hanging on a cross wearing a respirator, with a sign nailed to the cross above his head reading “I Can’t Breathe.” The art piece is not specifically depicting any individual, but was created in response to George Floyd’s death and is representative of people and communities who have experienced hate crimes such as the AAPI community, as well as the global movement protesting systematic injustice, police brutality, and silencing. According to Media Relations Coordinator Sarah Dougher, the expression “I can’t breathe” is not referencing George Floyd as that phrase has been said by multiple people over the years.

The exhibit was part of the larger event and displayed only for the duration of the event. Attendees were provided with context and education on the purpose of the event and what they would experience throughout the night. Still, some constituents shared concerns that the piece created political conflict on campus.

SGA advisor Sandy Hough explained that the art exhibit was commissioned by New Song church in Santa Ana more than a year ago to create an art piece grounded in Hebrews 4, using the concept of the Stations of the Cross. The church commissioned modern day images and stories that would resonate with the community.

The art exhibit was created by a local Christian artist Richie Kong, and it was not created specifically for the event. This specific art installation was displayed at Saddleback Church as well as New Song Church in the past year. The artist was invited to share his art, new and old, at Biola’s event. Hough emphasized that Biola did not commission the painting to the campus event, but said multiple faculty members on a committee were aware the artwork would be displayed. 

Editor’s note: The Chimes originally published the SGA Rundown on Dec. 2. Originally, the piece stated that an art exhibit depicting George Floyd was displayed at Biola’s Night Market event on Nov. 30. New information on the exhibit was brought to our attention—the exhibit was not depicting Floyd rather it was meant to represent the global movement protesting systematic racism, police brutality and silencing.

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