SJS charges Pakistani group

Student Judicial Services investigated and charged the Pakistani Students Association Monday, two weeks after an unregistered off-campus party was held following Pakfest Millennium.

Martin Hicks, coordinator of SJS, said the organization was sent written notice Feb. 7 that it had been charged with failing to register and seek approval for an alcohol-related function, as well as disorderly conduct.

The party, held at the Embassy Suites Jan. 29, was arranged with the intention of raising money for the PSA, said group member Abid Mirza.

I was going to make the money back, and all the additional money was for the PSA, Mirza said.

Punctuated by a fight and an apparent theft, the party concluded with the arrival of Metropolitan Police.

This event was supposed to have no alcohol, said Qasim Cheema, former president of the PSA, who along with his brother Raza arranged Pakfest. Cheema said serving alcohol was not in the spirit of the Islamic religion.

According to a contract signed by Mirza Jan. 24, the party was supposed to have only a soft-drink bar.

Yet the updated contract from Jan. 29 contains a $100-bartender fee. Mirza said this fee arose because the bartender had to stay late.

Mirza said the bar was located outside the Embassy Suites ballroom and the intention was for no alcohol to come inside the ballroom.

A lot of people wanted it so we said, `OK, fine – we’re going to sell it as long as it’s not inside the ballroom,’ he said.

Mirza said the hotel was supposed to check IDs and give bracelets to the attendees who were of legal drinking age and who purchased alcohol.

But Mirza conceded that the plan did not hold.

I guess that’s how the beer bottle got in there, he said, referring to a beer bottle that was cracked over someone’s head, sparking a fight.

Both Mirza and Cheema said three girls from the PSA collected money and placed it in a locked box.

In the aftermath of the fight, Mirza left with the box of cash that contained the admission fees paid by party attendees.

According to a statement released by PSA Executive Board, at the time of the fight, it collected $3,120. After the party ended, members of the board recounted the money in the PSA treasurer’s residence hall room, and it totaled $2,120.

Mirza said he gave Cheema $1,000 to pay for the disc jockey for the party. Cheema said he never received any money from Mirza.

Manoj Kalath, a student at George Mason University, said he noticed tension between Cheema and Mirza when he arrived.

It was Abid and the three girls against Raza and Qasim, Kalath said.

Kalath said he was promised $25 an hour by Mirza if he served as security in addition to what was provided by the hotel. Kalath said he did not receive this money.

Mirza said he never hired Kalath.

He was not security, Mizra said. He was one of Qasim’s friends who was doing some recording.

As a result of the incident, the PSA faces sanctions should it be judged in violation of the student code of conduct.

It could be as significant as losing their status as a registered organization, said Mike Gargano, assistant vice president of Student and Academic Support Services.

The only effect that it could have on (the PSA’s SA funding) is that if it would lose recognition as a registered student group, then their account would be suspended, said undergraduate Sen. David Burt (at large).

Even though Greek-letter organizations are more often charged with hosting unregistered parties than other student groups, Gargano said the same rules apply to all student organizations.

Every (organization) is still bound by the Code of Student Conduct, Gargano said. It doesn’t give them carte blanche.

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