Members of the South Asian Society are scrambling to find donors for their largest event of the year, Bhangra Blowout, after the Student Association Finance Committee denied the organization’s request for funding Monday.
Last year the committee gave the organization $6,000 to put on the event, which is one of the largest South Asian dance competitions in the United States. This year, however, the group said they will not receive any money from the SA, even after the student fee increase was passed last year.
“They haven’t given us a good reason for it,” said Anil Desai, treasurer of SAS.
To fund the event, SAS said they must now look for outside donors. But amid the current economic situation, finding donations is harder than in years past, Desai said.
SA Sen. Steve Glatter (Law), a member of the Finance Committee, said the SA decided not to fund the event because it has the ability to make a large profit.
“Considering that the Finance Committee receives far more requests for co-sponsorships than available funds, our policy is to provide the amount organizations actually need to hold events,” Glatter said. “By the South Asian Society’s own estimates, Bhangra Blowout will earn anywhere from $1,600 to $35,000 in profit this year, which would make it one of, if not the most, profitable events held by any student organization.”
Glatter added that if Bhangra Blowout cannot garner enough funds to hold the event, the Finance Committee made provisions to ensure the event will still go on.
“We recognize the importance of ensuring this unique event will occur, so the committee has guaranteed any potential losses on this event up to $5,000 which could still make this one of the largest co-sponsorships granted all year,” said Glatter.”
But Madiha Malik, co-director of Bhangra Blowout, said even if the event makes a profit, all of the money is donated to charity.
“The whole point of our event is to raise money for charity, but the only way they are going to give us money is if we lose money,” Malik said.
Organizers of Bhangra Blowout said the event will still go on, but said they feel disrespected by the Finance Committee, which took more than a month to respond to their co-sponsorship request and offered what organizers described to be an unclear explanation as to why the event was denied funding.
“They said we would hear back in a week and we just heard back today, it took them a month,” said Malik said. “They kept saying you’ll hear back today, you’ll hear back today, and it was just never sent out. We were kind of were weirded out by that.”
Glatter said the Finance Committee took a long time to get back to SAS to ensure their decision was the right one.
“The finances for this event are great and complex,” Glatter said. “Requests for additional documents stretched our normal timeline.”
SAS said they will make an appeal to the Finance Committee for funding. The event takes place April 11 in the D.A.R. Constitution Hall.