The Asian American Association (AAA) was denied a $26,462 request for comedian Russell Peters to perform during Experiance Asia month at last Wednesday’s Student Finance Board (SFB) meeting.
AAA received $8,530 for Experience Asia which takes place throughout November in an effort “to raise Asian awareness through various events,” Kyle Chan, AAA treasurer, said.
Students will be able to experience Asian culture through music, authentic cuisine, games, crafts, workshops and shows that will be offered throughout November.
AAA hoped for the up-and-coming comedian to be one of the main events of its celebration, but many questions regarding the price and expected turnout forced SFB to decline.
“$30,000 for an up-and-coming comedian is a little ridiculous,” Bill Fenimore, SFB administrative director, said.
AAA tried to defend its request by saying it wanted to get Peters before he became mainstream, just as the College did with Dane Cook years ago.
The $26,000 price tag is a significant increase from Dat Phan, the comedian who performed last year, and Dane Cook.
“We looked at other comedians but Russell was the only one who fit the theme of the month,” Chan said.
AAA brought a petition with 700 signatures of students who said they would come to a Peters performance, but SFB feared Peters is not well-known enough to have the turnout necessary to compensate that price.
The College Union Board (CUB) refused to co-sponsor the comedy show because they also felt Peters was not famous enough.
“I don’t put that much faith in the petition,” Jim Gallagher, SFB equipment center manager, said, adding that almost everyone in Eickhoff Hall will sign something put in front of them.
The board also brought up that the College does not have as high of an Asian population as Rutgers University or the University of Pennsylvania where Peters performed in front of sold-out crowds.
Other business at the meeting included full funding of $6,624 for CUB to bring Live From Springfield!: A Simpsons Lecture by David Silverman to the College.
David Silverman, an original animator and creative mind of the hit show “The Simpsons,” “will give members of the College community a true insight into the workings of animating a hit series, as well as the creative process that has gone into the 12-time Emmy winner,” CUB representatives said.
SFB gave full funding to this event considering the popularity of the show and the success of the Kevin Smith lecture two years ago that was also run by CUB.
$3,710 was given to the Leadership Development Program for its fall leadership retreat at the Pocono Environmental Education Center where students participate in team building and leadership activities.
$677 was allotted to the French Club for a trip into New York City to experience French culture at either the Metropolitan Museum of Art or Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum.