By Roderick Macioch
During its weekly meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 17, the Student Finance Board granted full or partial funding for several upcoming events, while keeping a watchful eye on expenses.
The first student organization to present a proposal was TCNJ Saathiya, returning after its request for travel expenses to various dance competitions was tabled during last week’s meeting. The group is “a nationally ranked fusion dance team specializing in both modern and traditional dance,” according to the group’s request form.
TCNJ Saathiya requested $6,906.90, (having requested $6,760.60 the week before). Their requested amount had increased due to new expenses resulting from acceptance into one more dance competition. As they had done the week prior, the board expressed concerns that the organization was requesting an unreasonably large amount of money. Deciding that they should not fully fund the initial request, the board deliberated on how much to fund. A motion to fund the group’s costumes and part of the transportation cost passed, for a total amount granted of $3,020.95.
The group plans to attend three competitions: Aag Ki Raat, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27, in South Carolina; Bollywood Dance Canada on Saturday, March 12, and Nach Ki Dikha, which will take place in Virginia on Saturday, April 2.
Representatives of the College Union Board (CUB) and Student Government (SG) entered to propose their plan for Funival. As stated in their High Volume Request form — a type of request reserved for expensive events with large expected turnouts — the event is “the annual spring carnival at (the College),” which features “large mechanical rides, inflatable attractions, novelties, food trucks and food vendors from the local Ewing area.”
CUB will contribute rides, entertainers, novelties and staffing, while SG will provide food and additional staffing. Rides will include a drop tower, grand carousel and bumper cars. Other attractions will include a photo booth, inflatable attractions and live entertainment from comedy juggler Evan Young.
The board unanimously voted to fully fund the event in the amount of $130,009. The event will take place on Friday, May 6, in lots 5 and 6, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Representatives of the Haitian Student Association proposed Ambiance, an annual event which attempts to “have various cultures come together and celebrate and experience Haitian culture,” according to the organization’s request form. Thus, the event “will foster appreciation for diversity on campus because it allows students from various backgrounds to gain exposure to a different culture along with its different set of norms and traditions.”
When the time came to vote, a motion to table the entire event, in hopes that some cost-cutting could be achieved, failed. Instead, the board decided to table only the band booking fee, as this was pinpointed as the only unreasonably expensive area of the proposal. The total amount granted was $4,302.50. The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 5, from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. in the Decker Social Space.
The same representatives also requested funding for a separate event, the Legacy Ball, to be presented by the Black Student Union (BSU).
This event is intended “to have various cultures come together to celebrate black history and culture. (BSU) will be having alumni from various backgrounds also in attendance to speak about how beneficial the (BSU) was for them while they attended this institution,” according to the request form.
The board passed a motion to grant zero funding on the grounds that BSU had advertised before bringing its proposal to the board. This action violated one of the board’s Funding Principles, stated in the board’s funding guidelines: “Programs receiving (Student Appropriations Fee) funding cannot be advertised prior to approval. Any program publicized prior to approval that cannot occur without funding will not be funded.”
Executive Director Brandon Klein, however, exercised his veto power, thus overruling the motion for zero funding.
Explaining his use of the veto, Klein cited the fact that when zero funding is granted, the organization that requested funding can make an appeal. Klein reasoned that funding would probably be approved anyway if BSU appealed, so his overruling the motion for zero funding would save time and energy for everyone involved.
A new motion, to fund the catering and decorations in the amount of $3,339.05, was brought to a vote and passed without being vetoed.
The event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27, in the Decker Social Space. The time of the event was not announced.
The Jewish student organization Chabad requested funding for three events: the Purim Decade Party, Movie Night and monthly Shabbat celebrations. The Purim Decade Party intends to “celebrate and educate the campus community about the Jewish holiday of Purim. Often considered the most festive and joyous holiday on the calendar, it commemorates the miraculous survival of a persecuted people,” according to the request form.
Chabad’s Movie Night aims to “reach out to both the Jewish and non-Jewish community,” according to the request form.
Weekly Shabbat lunches are already held by Chabad, funded out-of-pocket by the organization. Chabad plans to continue holding these, but requested that the board grant funding for “a monthly celebration of greater scale to fully celebrate the culture and beauty of the Shabbat”, according to the request form.
These Shabbat celebrations aim to “(educate) the campus community about the traditions and heritage of the Jewish Sabbath.” Additionally, “Shabbat celebration allows the campus community to enjoy traditional Jewish foods which are such a major part of the culture and has helped preserve it for millennia,” according to the request form.
The Purim Decade Party was fully funded in the amount of $5,433.35. The event is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 23, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Brower Student Center.
Likewise, the motion to fully fund Movie Night passed and $378 was granted. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 2, at 8 p.m. The movie shown will be the 2008 comedy “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan,” starring Adam Sandler.
In addition to the weekly lunches held every Saturday at 1 p.m., the monthly Shabbat Celebrations passed and are scheduled for selected Friday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in the 1855 Room.
The final organization of the day was the Muslim Students Association, proposing HaLOL Comedy Night with Hasan Minhaj. According to the request form, the event “will foster appreciation for diversity on campus because it will allow (the student body) to enjoy a nice night of laughter with a prominent Muslim American in the media as well as their fellow Muslims on campus.” The event will kick off Islam Awareness Week, which is intended “to show students that Muslim Americans are a huge part of American culture and media. Islam has a huge image problem here in the U.S., and our goal is to help fix that problem by bringing a successful Muslim American comedian, Minhaj from ‘The Daily Show,’ to campus to help bridge these gaps with the power of laughter,” according to the form.
Full funding for the event, in the amount of $15,874.00, was granted. The event will take place on Friday, March 25, at 8 p.m. in Mayo Concert Hall.
*Even though SFB agrees to finance certain events, there is no guarantee these events will take place. The approval only makes the funds available.