Torrey takes the lawn
Gary Friesen during his session in Chase Gym last Torrey Conference (2014). Student directors prepare for a new location for Torrey Bible Conference this year. | Marika Adamopoulos/THE CHIMES [file photo]
Updated: October 7 at 11:58 P.M.
Due to a decrease in student enrollment, budgetary cuts resulted in the 80th Torrey Memorial Bible Conference taking place on Metzger lawn instead of Chase Gymnasium and overflow locations. This is potentially the first time where the majority of the student body, freshman to senior, will be together worshipping in one location for the conference said Lisa Igram, associate dean of Spiritual Development.
“One of the rare opportunities that we will have with this Torrey Conference is to be together for the first time ever as a student body,” said Sarah Stricklin, senior music worship and English major and student director of Torrey Bible Conference. “I think it will be a really amazing opportunity to feel that and see that and engage in that as a student body all together.”
Plastic chairs will be available for attendees and will face northwest towards Calvary Chapel. Main sessions will be during the morning and late in the evening to accommodate hot weather conditions, while breakout sessions will be located in various locations around campus.
Many students were not aware of the change of location to Metzger lawn, but are excited for a new experience, despite concerns regarding weather.
“It just depends on the temperature. I think it’s cool, I hope more people can see Torrey because of it being on the lawn, but if it’s too hot it can be kind of rough,” said Taylor Van Ginkle, junior marketing major.
Back-up plans have been discussed to relocate the conference if it happens to rain, but the main concern has been the heat.
“I did not know that it was being held outside,” said Jessica Eidenmuller, freshman human biology major. “I am from Washington, so the weather here is a little different. I feel like it may be hot outside.”
TRUSTING THE STUDENTS
Chapel Accountability, Event Services and senior, psychology major and logistics coordinator, Nathan Mueller have also been addressed concerns regarding students leaving the sessions. They will be strategically placing scanners in four locations around Metzger lawn as well as decorated barriers to prevent students from skipping sessions.
“We are trusting that students will honor the fact that they have scanned in for credit and stay to receive credit,” said Lisa Igram, associate dean of Spiritual Development.
The conference is experiencing many changes with Student Programming and Activities and Student Missionary Union teaming up with student directors to bring students a variety of sessions, as well as Student Government Association providing refreshments.
“We want this to be more of a Biola communal conference, not just a Spiritual Development puts on Torrey conference. We want everyone to be able to connect to it, we want everyone to be able to gather,” said Olivia Ramzi, sociology major and student director of Torrey Bible Conference.
MUCH MORE RELAXED
After students voiced concerns about last year’s conference, they can now expect a much more relaxed atmosphere that allows them to reflect, engage, preventing the feeling of being rushed in between sessions.
“I look forward to students having the opportunity to not only engage in the sessions, but also to engage in the prayer rooms and in the experiential sites and have time to reflect on their own, to rest, to spend time fellowshipping with people they would normally not see during the year,” Stricklin said.