Statement on Acts of Racism Against the Asian American & Pacific Islander Community
Earlier this week, eight people were killed at three Atlanta-area massage parlors, with six of them being Asian women. We mourn the loss of Daoyou Feng, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Paul Andre Michels, Soon Chung Park, Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yaun, and Yong Yue. This letter is the result of the immense pain, grief, anger and frustration we feel due to the recent Atlanta shooting, as well as the decades of racism and discrimination. To our Asian and Pacific Islander students, we recognize and acknowledge the multitude of emotions that accompany this horrific event, and while we make no assumptions about the way that you may be feeling or not feeling, we want you to know that you are not alone. You matter and are a deeply valued member of our community.
As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12: 26, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” As the body of Christ called to live in mutual interdependence with one another, we cannot flourish until all parts of the body flourish. Our AAPI community has been terrorized, targeted, and dehumanized due to racial injustice that has been normalized and ignored for far too long. The Atlanta shooting follows a disturbing increase in anti-Asian violence evidenced by more than 3,800 reported hate incidents directed at Asian Americans in the past year, harmful rhetoric like the “Chinese Virus” or “Kung Flu”, and a 114% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in Los Angeles alone (Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, California State University San Bernardino). While the COVID-19 pandemic did not cause anti-Asian discrimination and xenophobia in the United States, it revealed it and exacerbated it. This anti-Asian sentiment is morally reprehensible and, as followers of Christ, we all have an obligation to speak truth and seek justice.
SGA wholeheartedly condemns racism and is committed to creating a safer and more equitable campus for every student, regardless of their racial identity, socioeconomic status, ability, or sexual orientation. We stand in solidarity with our Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities, and all who are touched by these terrifying events. We see you, we grieve with you, and we affirm your intrinsic value and worth.
Together, we can condemn racism in its various forms and take action by: (1) understanding the history of racism and discrimination directed toward the AAPI community in the United States; (2) taking the time to think about the ways in which we may have intentionally or unintentionally participated in the culture of divisive, anti-Asian language and stereotyping that has resurfaced with COVID; (3) listening to and honoring the stories and experiences of our Asian sisters, brothers, neighbors, and communities. Below, you can find a list of resources that we have compiled. While this list is by no means exhaustive, we hope that it helps us all become better neighbors and better members of the Biola community.
As your Student Government Association, we deeply value diversity and inclusion, and our utmost goal is to serve you to the fullest extent of our resources and to represent you to the best of our ability. If you have further questions, ideas, or concerns, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Your SGA Executive Board
Resources for Self-Care/Well-Being
- “The Road to Resilience”
- The Asian Mental Health Collective
- The Biola Counseling Center
- The Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor
Resources for Education
- PBS: Asian American History
- PBS: The History of Racism Against Asian American in the United States
- Dr. Nancy Yuen: Anti-Asian Racism Is Taking a Mental and Emotional Toll on Me
- Human Rights Watch: COVID AAPI Racism
- National Geographic: The US's History of Scapegoating AAPIs
- The Cut: U.S. Spike in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes
- Christianity Today: Asian Americans Call on the Church to Preach Against Coronavirus Racism
Resources for Action
Statement on SGA COVID Response
Dear Biola Students,
By now you have likely seen Dr. Barry Corey’s announcement that we will be remote in the Fall. We recognize that this is not the Fall many of us envisioned, and that remote learning may cause complications for you this upcoming semester.
Gretchen, [add title] and I came into our positions with a desire to help you “Voice Your Heart”, whether that meant sharing your ideas, passions, or concerns for Biola’s community, and we are still committed to this goal. In person, and now online, SGA’s aim is to connect with administration and advocate for student needs. SGA’s Exec Board recognizes the increased need for communication, particularly regarding university resources for students, and is planning ways for SGA to bring this information to you. We are also in partnership with the Biola Basic Needs Committee, housed under the Student Enrichment and Intercultural Department (SEID), and are actively working to advocate for your basic needs. Please click the link at the bottom of this letter to let us know what your needs are, so that we can serve you to the best of our abilities.
While our plans for the Fall may look different, SGA desires to integrate the action steps in our previous statement into our new online capacity. We strive to partner with other groups at Biola to create an equitable online learning environment for students.
Finally, we thank you for your patience as we transition SGA online. While we are still in the planning process of this shift, serving Biola’s students is our purpose as an organization, and we want to communicate that we will continue to be a resource for you.
Scholarship Tips from SGA
- Step 1: Go to financial aid, set up a meeting and talk to your advisor.
- Step 2: Search “Biola Undergraduate Scholarships” and apply.
- Step 3: Search “External Opportunities Biola” and explore other scholarships outside of Biola.
- Step 4: Use other websites to help, including Fastweb, ScholarshipOwl, Cappex and Niche.
- Step 5: Have a trusted friend or family member review your application before submission since you never know what you might’ve missed.
Tip: Be sure to use the Writing Center as a resource for those scholarship essays. During COVID-19, they have gone fully remote and are available to help!
Statement on Black Lives Matter
This letter comes after a week of heartache, anger, frustration, and sadness due to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others. Our hearts break because we know that our Black brothers and sisters are God’s children, made in His image and loved dearly. SGA firmly believes that the issue of racial inequality is not a political issue, but a human rights issue, and a Christian issue.
In Micah 6:8, it is written, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (ESV). Whether or not we have experienced the same pain as the Black community is not the point. Our Black brothers and sisters are hurting due to racial inequalities that have been left unaddressed for far too long. As members of the body of Christ, each of us have an obligation to call out injustice in deed, and not just in word.
SGA condemns racism and is committed to creating a safer and more equitable campus for every student, regardless of their racial identity, socioeconomic status, ability, or sexual orientation. We stand with our Black community and we wholeheartedly believe that your lives matter, that Black Lives Matter.
This year, SGA will come alongside the university in the pursuit and implementation of the strategic diversity plan. Furthermore, we will be taking steps to promote and pursue justice as an organization.
- Increased Collaboration Between the Diversity Coordinator and Senators
- This spring, students across campus spoke up in support of keeping the Diversity Coordinator position for the 2020-2021 school year. We have not forgotten your petition, your emails, and your voices. This year, SGA will actively increase our internal collaboration between the Diversity and Inclusion Department and our Senators. Senators will work with the Diversity Coordinator to construct a presentation on an underserved subset of their living community and how SGA can better support these students. This will encourage senators to actively engage with and seek out the needs of the students they serve.
- Increased Training for SGA Staff
- This year, SGA will engage in additional diversity training to better equip our staff members to serve our diverse student body. We will seek biblically-centered and service-oriented training from key campus leaders such as Tamra Malone, Biola’s Chief Diversity Officer, and other faculty and staff. We commit to applying the training we have received to the ways in which we plan to serve Biola’s community.
- Petition for Making SCORR Conference Mandatory
- Our last action step is a step we would like to take alongside the student body. The issue of racial inequality is not just your problem, it is not just SGA’s problem, but it is our problem. Together, we can commit to engaging in the hard conversations, and spending more time learning how to love our neighbors well. A petition was created by Biola students to advocate for making SCORR mandatory. President Corey shared an update on SCORR yesterday in his letter. Within SGA, we will follow up with Biola's administration on the "requisite education" and be sure to represent student voices.
Finally, we apologize to any student who has felt disappointed or unseen by our delayed response. We recognize that we should have spoken out earlier, and in our failure to do so, we may have hurt many members of our community. We are speaking out now, and we hope that you would grant us grace. While we may have been slow to respond, our support and solidarity for our Black students are not lessened. We are with you, and we are for you.
As your Student Government Association, our utmost goal is to serve you to the fullest extent of our resources and to represent you to the best of our ability. If you have further questions, ideas, or concerns, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Your SGA Executive Board
Contact your Senator if you have a concern or idea related to one of these areas. You will be put in contact with the appropriate staff member who oversees these partnerships.
- Administrative Partnerships (AP's)
- Alumni Relations
- Campus Safety
- Information Technology (IT)
- Student Development
- Student Media Board
- Student Success
- University Advancement
- University Services
- The Cafeteria/Bon Appetit
- Academic Advising
- Career Center
- Club Funding
- Constitution Committee
- Elections Committee
- SGA Cares
- SGA Outreach Committee
- SGA Scholarship Committee
- Writing Competency Committee
- Task Forces
- Resource Fair
- SGA Chapel
- Open Hours
Check out a hammock for free in the SGA office and hang out with your friends outside of the Student Union Building! More hammock spots will be installed during the 18-19 school year.
- SGA Room Sponsorship
SGA reserves tabling spots or rooms for students to conduct meetings or simple events. Intended activities must meet Biola's Community Standards in order to be approved. SGA sponsorship does not imply endorsement or financial support of the activity or event. Please email our office assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org with time and location of your booking request.
Biola Student FAQs
How come there isn't a men’s volleyball team at Biola?
Due to the rules established by Title IX, the amount of sports teams for both men and women have to be equal. If Biola were to add a men’s volleyball team, there would need to be another new women’s team as well, which Biola does not yet have funding for.
Why aren’t skateboards allowed on Biola’s campus?
Biola's administration has determined that skateboarding is not conducive to their responsibility to keep the campus safe and secure for students, staff, faculty and guests. Within the past few years, there was one incident where a student on a skateboard ran into another student who was just walking and injured her. This student was going at relatively high speeds and could have been struck by a vehicle.
Why are all on-campus students required to have a meal plan?
All residential students are required to purchase a meal plan due to the limited facilities on campus. Currently, Biola dorms are not equipped with the kitchen space and resources for every student to be able to cook for themselves. Commuter students are not required to purchase a meal plan.
How come there aren't more ice machines on campus?
Due to extensive plumbing requirements, draining issues and building codes, putting an ice machine in every building is significantly expensive and arduous for Biola's maintenance team. Currently, both lower and upper campus students have access to an ice machine. There is one in Hope for south campus residents, and another in Alpha for north campus residents.