The turmoil that has plagued the Student Association this school year is taking its toll on the smaller groups that rely on the SA, including the African Student Association (ASA).
The ASA has been unable to host as many events as it would have liked to, according to group’s events director Imina Edebiri.
“Starting from last year it has put a huge dent on different associations and clubs,” says Edebiri. “There just isn’t enough funding for all the clubs and societies.”
Most recently, the ASA hosted an indoor soccer tournament at the Campus Field House. The tournament was a fundraiser to support the group’s upcoming Gala Night.
The turnout was not as high as Edebiri and the rest of the ASA would have liked. Only 14 players came out to play. At $10 a player, the group only generated $140, which means the ASA didn’t break even financially due to the cost of running the tournament.
The students who did play enjoyed the games. Among them was Emmanuel Anugwa, a mechanical engineering student at UOIT. He wants to see the SA resolve its problems so events like this are more common.
“This is a great way to meet new students,” says Anugwa. “It’s an opportunity to do something fun away from class.”
Earlier in the year, the ASA planned to host a multicultural night in conjunction with other cultural clubs at DC and UOIT. However, they were unable to host the event, in part due to a lack of funding by the SA.
Another problem facing clubs such as the ASA is E.P. Taylor’s losing their liquor license. This forces associations to look at outside venues to host events such as Pub Nights. This can be a costly expense for groups that already lack funding, says Edebiri.
“We have to go through the hassle of finding proper venues, getting insurance and doing it all for next to nothing,” Edebiri says. “We need to charge people accordingly since they are students. We need to find places that won’t charge them to much so we don’t spend too much.”
The ASA’s Gala Night is set for Apr. 1 at the Italian Recreation Centre in downtown Oshawa. It is the club’s biggest night of the year.
“It’s a dress up, red carpet event. We will have lots of food and entertainment,” says Edebiri. “It is open to everybody. I know the name African Student Association scares people but it shouldn’t. It’s just a platform for us to share our culture with other people and embrace diversity.”
The ASA has no other events planned before the Gala, according to Edebiri. He says they will continue hosting events for students and hopefully have more support from the SA.