SGA Rundown: Survey effectiveness and Senate responsibilities

Potential collaborations prompt discussion on senators’ abilities to amplify voices.

Phoebe Vrable, News Editor

Director of Campus Engagement Sunroot Liu spoke about multiple needs he would like the Student Government Association to address, including an updated gym, more resources for global students, new scanners for malfunctioning doors in the Student Union Building and an expanded Collegium space. 

Many of the issues presented do not fall to a certain department, Liu explained, and therefore remain unaddressed.

“These are things that SGA can address,” Liu said. “You guys are the voice of the students.” Liu encouraged the senate to collaborate with him and meet to take necessary steps to enact changes. “Who is going to say no to a thousand voices?” Liu said as he referenced the power of the senate to represent students. 


Senators discussed their goals and responsibilities toward the student body. The effectiveness of surveys was also discussed at length, including which methods are best and how to craft surveys that lead to actionable steps. Block Senator Bradley Plausse voiced concern that open-ended survey questions do not usually offer clear suggestions of which changes senators should enact.

Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Isaiah Swasey said he hoped that open-ended questions will result in more accurate answers. The overall consensus by the board was that future surveys should result in data that is specific and actionable, while leaving room for students to add optional comments in their own words. 

Senators also discussed financial barriers to creating changes. Vice President Sophia Block encouraged the members to lean into their role of amplifying the voices of students, and Vice President Andrew Cantelmi suggested that in the future, SGA and administration should work more closely together in order to do this more effectively. “We are the student body between students and administration,” Cantelmi said.


Block Senator Bradley Plausse proposed reimbursements for actors who bought their own costumes for Biola’s recent Macbeth performance. SGA members discussed why student directed plays do not receive funding from the theater department, and questioned whether plays in the past have brought in enough money to justify a budget. 

Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Isaiah Swasey gave a presentation about how SGA can serve disabled students. “Biola is inconveniently accessible,” Swasey expressed regarding students with physical disabilities. “This means Biola is up to code [but] not necessarily accessible.” His presentation suggested advocating for additional services for individuals with different disabilities. 

The meeting concluded with executive updates and discussion about plans to help Biola’s Student Missionary Union with the Carnival for a Cause event on Nov. 10.

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