Indian dance clubs unite
During its meeting on Thursday, the Executive Board confirmed the absorption of the Indian dance teams RPI Rounak and RPI Bhangra into RPI Rudras, the existing dance team within the Indian Students Association.
The agenda originally recognized proposals from the Bhangra and Rounak clubs for Union recognition. By the end of the meeting, the Board decided to merge these two groups with the third dance team, Rudras. During a closed portion, they also approved a budget for the RPI Men's Club Basketball Team.
Senior Choreography Captain Deepshikha Karna ’22 represented the Bhangra team—which performs traditional dance—for a request to be recognized as a Union-affiliated club. The team used to be Union-affiliated, but was terminated due to inactivity caused by the graduation of the previous club officers.
Two years ago, however, the team decided to begin performing again at the International Festival as well as events for the Indian Students Association and the Pakistani Students Association. This year, the Bhangra team has 25 members, half of which were retained from last year’s team. The team specifically asked for the re-recognition of the club in order for them to obtain rooms for practices and to be able to request funds to register for and participate in Bhangra competitions across college campuses.
A motion to recognize the Bhangra team by the Union and approve a budget for competitions was read. Initially, there were queries about the re-recognition process, which President of the Union Caitlin Kennedy ’20 noted is the same as the recognition process for any new club. This motion failed with a vote count of 1‒8‒7. The Executive Board instead decided to merge the Bhangra team, RPI Rounak, and RPI Rudras into one large dance team under the current title of the Rudras team.
Chairman of the Club Operations Committee Vish Gopalakrishnan ’20 brought up that the three Indian dance teams were considering merging into one large group. Vice President for Club Relations Ryan Delaney ’20 then asked why the clubs could not just merge now. This question then prompted lots of discussion, much of which was back-and-forth, amongst the members of the Executive Board.
Some of the crosstalk included Gopalakrishnan advocating to grant the Bhangra team recognition and then merge it with the other dance teams for the next fiscal year, while Vice President of Board Operations Anissa Choiniere ’20 expressed concern over how to “guarantee that a new budget actually happens.”
Senior Advisor of the Indian Students Association and Captain of RPI Rudras Sanjana Davuluri ’20 commented that she and the officers of the other dance teams had looked over the individual needs of each of the clubs and had created a budget template. Deepika Kothakapa ’22 then added that “a leadership structure” within the club “exists to carry on the merger” to the following years.
The Board also approved $2,216 to be reallocated into a budget for the Men’s Club Basketball Team. This portion of the meeting was closed for the club’s budget review and approval, which is standard procedure for the Executive Board.
The Executive Board meets at 7 pm on Thursdays in the Shelnutt Gallery.