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May 18, 2024

SGA passes African Fashion Show Funding Bill

By CATHY WANG | November 18, 2022



SGA members recognized the importance of providing funding to cultural events.

The Student Government Association (SGA) held its weekly general body meeting (GBM) on Nov. 15 to discuss the Beta X SGA Reindeer Games Bill, the SGA Communications and Marketing Commission (CMC) Funding Bill and the African Fashion Show Funding Bill.

Beta X SGA Reindeer Games Bill

Sophomore Class Senator Dalhart Dobbs introduced the Beta X SGA Reindeer Games Bill. The bill endorses a philanthropy event with the Beta Theta Pi fraternity that would feature outdoor game tournaments, with all proceeds going to Black Women Build Baltimore. The bill requests $400 of funding to be spent on prizes.

  • Sophomore Class Senator Jackson Morris inquired about how much Beta Theta Pi will contribute to the event. Dobbs responded that Beta will be providing all the needed equipment.
  • The bill was tabled to be read again at the next GBM.  

SGA CMC Funding Bill

Secretary Elaina Regier and Director of Social Affairs Milton Diaz presented the SGA CMC Funding Bill to request $172 of funding for preliminary costs of CMC operations, such as purchasing a Canva subscription, printed materials and tape.

  • Morris asked for clarifications regarding the Canva subscriptions and the free trial period.
  • The bill was tabled to be read again at the next GBM.  

African Fashion Show Funding Bill

Junior Class Senator Shalala Leny presented the African Fashion Show Funding Bill to request funding for the sixth annual African Fashion Show hosted by the African Students Association (ASA). 

The event promotes diversity by showcasing African designers and student models. The bill requested a total of $4,050, with the ASA funding the rest. The show will charge an entry price and all proceeds go to the Maasai Girls Education Fund.

  • Leny invited ASA President Ameerah Bello and Vice President Derin Adeleke to answer questions about the event.
  • Morris inquired about the necessity of charging an entry price, citing SGA tradition of trying to avoid charging money for events. Bello explained that ASA donates all proceeds to charity, stating that “it is in our mission and constitution to promote and support the African continent.”
  • Senior Class President JiWon Woo inquired about the drastic increase in funding, as the 2018 ASA Fashion Show requested $2,000.
  • ASA board members explained that costs have increased as a result of inflation and that they do not want to cut down prices of custom-made clothing from small, Black-owned businesses. They cited a desire to outdo themselves and celebrate African culture.
  • Woo suggested looking at alternative videographers to help reduce costs.
  • Morris agreed with Woo and proposed that ASA contact the Digital Media Center about using their sources to reduce the cost. 
  • ASA members explained that videography is a crucial element of the event, and they selected this videographer for their specific style and skillset. Last year they hired a volunteer videographer, which resulted in low-quality results that did not do the event justice. They mentioned that the show is about celebrating African culture, so they want to hire Black businesses.
  • Treasurer Kya Nicholson stated that SGA is allocated $25,000 a year and has only used $5,000 so far, so it has enough money. She noted that ASA did not receive a semesterly allocation and has relied solely on fundraising to host events this semester, so they deserve the money. 
  • She emphasized that the show is about celebrating African culture, so they want to support black businesses. “The independent contractors and all individuals involved are Black. This is a Black event,” she said.
  • SGA Advisor Rebecca Walsh reminded SGA of their mission, stating “We are not in these positions to nitpick over money, we are here to enhance the student experience. It’s not about the nickels and the dimes when we have quarters.”
  • Sophomore Class Senator Nasreen Naqvi and Junior Class Senator Mufasa Cruz Moreno agreed, adding that the event will have a big impact on campus and showcase the importance of supporting cultural organizations.
  • The bill passed with one abstention.

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