SFB approves funding for annual Campus MovieFest

By Roderick Macioch
Staff Writer

During its weekly meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 10, the Student Finance Board accepted proposals for several multicultural events, allowing for a potentially varied campus event calendar in the coming weeks.

The first student organization to present a proposal was TCNJ Saathiya, which is “a nationally ranked fusion dance team specializing in both modern and traditional dance,” according to the request form they presented.

The team asked for funding for transportation to competitions in Canada and South Carolina, as well as for costumes required for their performances in those competitions. In total, the group requested $6,760.60, more than 7 percent of SFB’s remaining budget for Special Appropriations. With the prospect of such a large investment, the board members were quick to scrutinize TCNJ Saathiya’s breakdown of expenses.

Ultimately, the board agreed that tabling the discussion would be the wisest course of action, in hopes that some cost-cutting could be achieved.

Representatives of the Student Film Union (SFU) entered to propose their plan for Campus MovieFest (CMF). As stated in SFU’s proposal, the event is “the world’s largest film festival and a premier outlet for the next generation of filmmakers, giving them the tools they need, such as camcorders and Apple laptops, to make movies in one week.” Thus, the event “fosters creativity, helps to build a community of filmmakers on campus and helps to create opportunities for networking for students interesting in pursuing a future career in television, film, public relations and business endeavors.”    

The board OKs plans for TCNJ’s Got Talent.
The board OKs plans for TCNJ’s Got Talent.

The board unanimously voted to fully fund the event, in the amount of $13,800, most of which covers the event fee that pays for the equipment. The event will take place over several days in April. The finale will be held on Monday, April 18, in Mayo Concert Hall. 

Medicine, Education and Development for Low-Income Families Everywhere (MEDLIFE) then proposed A Taste of South America. Co-sponsored by Union Latina, the event seeks to “provide students the opportunity to be subjected to the foods of a different culture than our own,” according to the request form. Additionally, the event will give attention to issues of public health in South America and “spread the word about MEDLIFE and get people involved because MEDLIFE informs its volunteers about the health situations in third world countries and lets them travel to these places to do charitable work.”

In addition to food and information about MEDLIFE’s humanitarian efforts, the event will feature performances by two of the College’s a cappella groups iTunes and the TrebleMakers, as well as Ritmo Latina, the College’s traditional South American dance team.

When the time came to vote, the requested $4,718 was granted, which will pay for catering, supplies and decorations. The event is scheduled for Thursday, March 3, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Decker Social Space.

The Italian Club then requested funding for Una Serata Italiana (An Italian Evening), co-sponsored by the College’s Italian program. 

This event “will introduce (the College’s student body) to the rich history of Italian music. It will also give them a sense of what popular music is in contemporary Italy,” according to the request form. Specifically, “the band I-Talians will sing Italian hit songs and present some history behind them. I-Talians is a band of Italian musicians.”

Noting that the event looked pretty straightforward and that the breakdown of expenses all seemed in order, full funding in the amount of $520.81 was granted. The event will take place on Friday, Feb. 26, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Library Auditorium.   

Black Student Union (BSU) requested funding for a lecture by Terrell L. Strayhorn — just one of the BSU events happening during Black History Month. Strayhorn is “a one of a kind speaker who uses personal rhetoric and academic research to decipher some of the issues that minority students face while in higher education,” according to the request form.

The lecture itself had previously been approved by the board in an email vote, so all that remained to be done was to approve the proposed reception to follow the lecture. According to BSU Treasurer Baldween Casseus, a sophomore business and marketing double major, holding a reception with Strayhorn immediately after the lecture will allow students to “have one-on-one interaction with Dr. Strayhorn, for those who feel intimidated about asking him questions in the concert hall.”

SFB Operations Director Tom Barr, a senior economics major, said that the reception would “make a good event better,” and the board agreed and voted to fully grant BSU’s request in the amount of $792. The event, catered by Sodexo, is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Feb. 23, in Mayo Concert Hall at an undetermined time.

The junior class council proposed the seventh annual TCNJ’s Got Talent. According to the request form, “the purpose of this event is to showcase the talents of TCNJ students. Student performers may represent different organizations, friend groups, classes, etc. All of these various groups will come together and unify to perform in front of other students, organizations, faculty and campus community members.” 

The only topic of debate regarding the event was the amount of money that should be given away as prizes. The board decided to reduce the amount of prize money that Student Government had originally planned to give, but otherwise kept the proposal intact and unanimously voted to approve the $1,026 of funding.

The final order of business was the Eurasia/Middle East Society (EME)’s Nowruz, a celebration of the Persian New Year. The event will provide “a unique opportunity to experience the music, food and art of the region that the media wrongly associates with conflict and violence. (The) event thus encourages the campus community to experience the region in a new way,” according to the request form.

A performance by Amir Vahab and his Ensemble, a group that performs traditional music of the region using authentic instruments, will be followed by dinner catered by King Pita Palace and Cairo Cakes.   

The board’s motion to fully fund the event was unanimously passed and the requested $5,165, which will cover the cost of things like the music, catering and flowers (an integral part of Nowruz), was granted.

The event will be held on Thursday, March 24, at 7 p.m. in the Decker Social Space.

*Even though SFB agrees to finance certain events, there is no guarantee these events will take place. The approval only makes the funds available.