By Chaitra Somasundar, Staff Writer
The first regional night (Easterlies Regional Night) of the Fall 2015 semester was held on Saturday, September 19.
The TEC was filled with exotic dances, plays, costumes, music and cuisines provided by the African Club, Middle East and North Africa Club (MENA), China Club, East Asia Club, and India South Continent Club. The aroma of fresh henna pervaded through the air and people thronged into the photo booth to get pictures. Nash Wills (MA ’17, US) and Gabrielle Gueye (MA ’17, US) did a fantastic job as MCs presenting an unforgettable show staged by T-Birds to the audience.
When I asked, Pallavi Subramaniam (MS ’15, India) about the regional night, she said, “Regional nights are always something I look forward to. There were definitely some stand-out performances this time and I had loads of fun dancing for the 70s-90s Bollywood numbers”. This experience calls for a recognition of the challenges overcome and the work that went into the event.
We approached the TSG Events Planning Chair, Jonaki Moitra (MS ’15, India) to give us an idea about organizing this massive event. She said, “We had a dedicated team of volunteers called ThunderPlanners (Ryan Todare, Pam Bhullar and Chaitra Somasundar) who handled the food and drinks, regional booths and performance co-ordination sections which really helped in reducing the total work load. I have been super lucky to have a team like them and would take this special opportunity to thank them. Andrea, my rep did a fantastic job coordinating the entire event.”
The TSG Events Planning Representative, Andrea Kaloush (MA ’17, US) stated, “Between communicating with clubs to finalize menus, finding volunteers, organizing set lists and music, designing and printing menus and flyers, finding outside artists, decorating, and setting up the event, there were definitely a lot of late nights and early mornings that our ThunderPlanners, Torrey Mann, the entire TSG team, volunteers and performers devoted to the event.” Both Jonaki and Andrea agreed that the biggest challenge faced was the short span of time they had – two weeks – to plan the event.
Thunderbird, undergoing the merger with ASU, had some budgeting constraints for the event. On managing the expenses, Andrea said, “We were able to manage our budget by taking advantage of resources that we already had from previous events and building on them. When purchasing additional items, we were able to prioritize what we needed most and were careful when checking prices. Our team was really mindful about not over-spending, but still maintaining good quality.”
With the merger bringing in changes in the Thunderbird culture, Jonaki said, “This will be rough. Earlier, Events Planning was a paid position and we were accountable for this event. I want to let all students know that irrespective of most positions not being paid in TSG, we should still be accountable towards Thunderbird and support these events. We can make a difference only if we are accountable and flexible.”
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