SGA Rundown: Senators vote on student proposals

SGA discusses diversity and microaggressions on campus.

Phoebe Vrable, News Editor

This week, the Student Government Association hosted numerous guest speakers including Associate Professor of Education Dr. Denise Reid, who discussed the significance of Biolans having open conversations with people different from themselves. 


During her presentation, Reid emphasized the importance of recognizing intersectionality. Reid said that diversity goes beyond race and gender, encompassing many aspects of what makes up a person. Such factors include race, gender, age, ability and disability, social class, religion and ethnicity. Reid explained that being labeled a “deviant” from society is a problem some people with disabilities face. 

“Observing and acknowledging a person’s disability is not problematic,” Reid said. “Your thoughts after the acknowledgement can be potentially problematic.” 

Reid encouraged Biola students to consider what their next thoughts are when interacting with people who are different from themselves. She also emphasized the importance of following through with difficult conversations even if they become heated. 

Lastly, Reid touched on higher education and the need for excellent pedagogy, meaning that professors present material in ways which meet the individual needs of students. “There’s an art to teaching and there’s a science to teaching,” she said. Reid implied that her philosophy of education had been impacted by her own experience with professors in college who refused to accommodate her sight disability. 


Biola’s Global Student Programs and Development (GSPD) requested $1,000 for a country highlight fair called Meet the Neighbors, which will be held in the spring. “GSPD’s vision to see global students thriving in a more globally minded community at Biola,” said Community Groups Coordinator Cassia Lee. She explained that in the past, small community groups of GSPD students have formed to share life with each other and facilitate community. The fair will focus on bringing awareness and fostering community on a much larger scale, inviting all Biola students to participate. 

If the proposal is accepted, SGA will give GSPD volunteers a budget to create stations featuring cultural food, music and games.


Senators discussed the Biola Food Shares Pantry’s request for $991.81 at length before passing it in full. Funding will go towards providing a larger variety of foods at the Pop-up Pantry. Currently, the Pop-up Pantry seeks additional external grants. 


Last week, Block Senator Bradley Plausse asked for just over $200 to reimburse actors and actresses for Biola’s recent Macbeth performance. After discussion about whether this would set a precedence for future financial involvement, the motion was passed. Members of the board concluded that reimbursing the students for a small amount of money would offer a temporary solution until SGA can formally appeal to the Theater Department to provide future financial assistance for student run plays, given the wide success of Macbeth. 


Diversity and inclusion coordinator Isaiah Swasey presented on how SGA can serve students of color and address microaggression, bias and racial profiling. Swasey said that these students can feel alone and experience a lack of cultural humility from others in social situations. Swasey opened the floor for open discussion, which sparked considerable lively popcorn conversation amongst board members, especially in respect to microaggressions. 

Swasey ended by highlighting resources already available to these students including student clubs, affinity groups and the hate/bias incident form. He encouraged SGA to serve the students by “actively seeking to learn by listening to them, reflecting on personal pre-conceptions through prayer and thought … [and] submit proposals, searching for practical ways to help.”

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