Azusa Pacific’s Student Government Association discusses faith integration and finalizes rebrand

Azusa Pacific’s Student Government Association (SGA) held their final meeting Wednesday, March 14 before welcoming the newly-elected senators onboard. The committee addressed faith integration within classrooms and finalized their new logo.

Guest speaker Paul Kaak Ph.D., the Executive Director of Faith Integration, opened the meeting with a brief presentation on the progress of faith integration in classes. Since Azusa Pacific first implemented the faith integration requirement in all classes, there has been both negative and positive feedback from students. The presentation highlighted how professors could better implement fluid faith integration in the classroom based on student feedback and a survey SGA was given.

“One of the critiques I always hear from students is, ‘every class I go to [faith integration] is always the same,” Kaak said. “Part of my job is to help faculty think of creative ways to do this.”

Another issue Kaak is trying to resolve is the Faith Integration Paper that professors are required to assign because “students can tell when it’s forced.” Kaak emphasized that faith integration should be meaningful and fit into the course’s criteria.

“I want it to connect meaningfully to what you’re there to learn, and I think then it will overflow into your life and into your professional experiences,” Kaak said.

The survey results showed that 46 percent of students in SGA thought what was shared about faith is irrelevant to the course, while 13 percent thought that what was shared about faith is interesting or inspiring, but not relevant to the course and 80 percent thought faith integration from professors felt forced.

“The constant struggle we’ve been having is finding faith integration in courses where it may not be as evident, such as math and science,” Communication Director of SGA Morgan Lawrence said. “Dr. Kaak is implementing new programs and continually encouraging faculty to seek out new ways instead of just doing a devotion and prayer at the beginning of classes.”

Kaak closed with a discussion with SGA where members gave feedback about their specific faith integration experiences.

The meeting transitioned to SGA’s recent rebrand and finalization of the new logo. SGA set in stone that the new logo in the legislation’s resolution could not be changed for the next four years. This is to ensure consistency in SGA’s mission so that future members have to abide by a consistent measure, SGA President James Whitfield said.

“The new logo has been a really effective way to communicate with faculty, because we are just here to be a positive change,” Whitfield said of the new logo, which is an upward “S” symbol. “The purpose of the resolution is to pass down certain things we think are important in student government each year, because we have new people on our team every year, so this is part of the way we keep things that are important to us.”

The previous logo was a design of four hexagons, which the current team felt was outdated and unclear.

“I like the new symbol, because I was really confused by the previous symbol. I think it’s a fresh rebrand,” Academic Senator Tayo Agbalaya said.

The SGA team is excited to welcome in the new senators. Lawrence has high hopes for how the new team will handle legislation, mainly because they will have a brand new office space located on East Campus where Cornerstone Coffeehouse used to be.

“I think with the new space we’re going to get it’s going to open up new opportunities, because the senators will have a fresh start to choose what kind of issues they want to tackle,” Lawrence said. “It will also provide visibility for students to come talk to us because we’re in an odd space right now, so the new senators will have a lot more student engagement.”

SGA’s senators for the 2018-2019 academic year were announced via email Friday, March 16:

Academic Senator: Dohun Choi

Azusa Senator: Darincka Vargas

Commuter Senator: Rachael Corrales

International Senator: Kasey Djongroaminoto

Multi-Cultural Senator: Alexis Diaz

Transfer Senator: Briana Dababneh

University Senator: Max Wilson, Mayra Nunez, and Hannah Hernandez.”


SGA’s last official meeting will be held April 18.

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