SGA Rundown: Senators discuss religious minorities and a film festival proposal

SGA discusses commuter parking spaces and continues to plan spring formal.

Hannah Larson , News Editor

This week, the Student Government Association discussed serving students from diverse denominational backgrounds and considered a student proposal. 

RELIGIOUS MINORITIES AT BIOLA

Sigma senator Andrew Cantelmi discussed serving students of minority denominations and highlighted Orthodox Christianity. Cantelmi cited a probe Biola conducted from 1997 to 1998 to investigate the beliefs of four Orthodox Christian faculty and staff members. 

During those years, Biola established a task force to decide whether Orthodox Christian beliefs aligned with the university’s statement of faith. After nine months, Biola concluded the inquiry and recommended the university continue to employ Orthodox Christian faculty and staff. 

Cantelmi said he believes Biola has a desire to promote unity amid diversity, but explained he would like to see more support for the distinct denominations represented on campus. Cantelmi suggested incorporating stronger theological education into chapel services, including liturgical practices of various denominational backgrounds. 

FILM FESTIVAL PROPOSAL

Junior cinema and media arts major Lawrence Chang, sophomore cinema and media arts major Abby Elliot and junior cinema and media arts major Harrison Zeiders requested $950 to host the Guerilla Student Film Festival, an annual awards ceremony that celebrates CMA student films, on April 23. 

Zeiders said the nominated films will be screened throughout the day, followed by a 7 p.m. mixer with refreshments in the Sutherland courtyard. After the mixer, student winners from 18 categories will receive trophies during the awards presentation. 

After brief deliberation, senators passed the proposal in partial for $300.

PASS THE TORCH

Senators and the executive board wrote cards to incoming student government representatives to be delivered at “Pass the Torch,” an event on April 21 where current SGA members welcome the 2022-2023 staff with drinks and desserts in the SGA conference room. 

Senators discussed four commuter parking spaces that will be implemented next year for Biolans who drive over 25 miles to campus. Currently, the proposed commuter parking spaces—two on Caf Hill and two in Lot H—have signs that reserve them for SGA and Student Missionary Union executives. Senators will make an internal proposal for $250 to replace the current signs in next week’s senate meeting. 

SPRING FORMAL PLANNING

Senators continued planning how to set up lights, speakers, a disco ball and a PVC pipe entrance at the formal. Senators discussed potential liabilities of students bringing a date who does not attend Biola. Deciding not to restrict attendance to Biolans only, senators cited the potential for decreased attendance and lower student engagement. Instead, senators considered creating a QR code for attendees to scan at the door if they do not have a Biola ID.

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