As some students have heard through word of mouth or social media, Student Development has made decisions to discontinue Heat of the Night, Deck the Haven and Mosaic Masquerade.
Biola’s leadership realizes that these events have contributed to the building of community among students for a number of years. We understand students and alumni are disappointed by the decision to discontinue the events. Community is integral to the Biola experience, and Student Development is committed to continuing to provide meaningful experiences for students. We desire to process the decisions with the student community.
How Student Development arrived at the decision
Student Development and other campus departments (including Residential Facilities, Accounting, Purchasing, Risk Management and Campus Safety) have dealt with issues that arise from the planning and execution of these events for several years. During the 2016-2017 school year, Laura Igram, SGA Advisor, and Garrett Suhr, Director of Residence Life, piloted and assessed new planning requirements for large-scale SGA funded events hosted in the residence halls — Heat of the Night, Deck the Haven, and Mosaic Masquerade.
Laura Igram met with SGA in Fall 2016 to describe some of the issues these events have caused over the years and to provide new planning requirements for residents to follow. SGA, the leaders for the Fall 2016 Deck the Haven and Spring 2017 Mosaic Masquerade, along with senators in those buildings, were alerted of the new requirements and expectations for student planning teams to follow.
Once the events were over, Laura Igram and Garrett Suhr gathered feedback from RDs and staff from other university departments to see how student planners followed the guidelines. Unfortunately, the new planning requirements were not fully met. As a result, Student Development realized that there is no way to effectively and safely continue these events and made the difficult decision to discontinue them. Student Development determined these events will no longer be permitted due to the strain on residential facilities which includes damage to the building, and its furniture and amenities. In addition while these events are usually run by students (RAs and residents), the size and scope of the events require oversight to ensure student planners’ adherence to safety, accounting, and housing policies. These demands require support from the following professional personnel: Student Programming and Activities/SGA, Residence Life, Purchasing, HR, Accounting/Finance, Risk Management, Campus Safety, and Auxiliary Services/Residential Facilities. The university is unable to provide the necessary oversight, support and follow up needed to make these events successful.
Student Development initially informed Resident Advisors and SGA Executive Board, as they serve in student leadership roles, and immediately following, residents of Mosaic and Haven were informed. Leadership was planning to provide opportunity for these student groups to process the decisions and inform the entire student community once school started. Student Development welcomes conversations with students about this decision. They have already had several conversations with students in the last few days and are scheduling further conversations with floor leaders.
Please email any questions or concerns to Laura Igram, Director of Student Programming and Activities to firstname.lastname@example.org.