International Relations Council creates events despite budget cuts


After the increase in the number of events that the International Relations Council (IRC) organized last year and their apparent success, many of the international students will be expecting even more from the organization as the year kicks off. This, however, may prove to be even more difficult than the current team bargained for because of a cut in their budget.

IRC is involved in multiple events hosted by cultural clubs run by international students. These events include International Night, Nepal Night, China Night, Africa Night, India Night, Bangladesh Night, Saudi Night and Korea Night.

The IRC’s request for an increase in budget last year was declined by the Students’ Association. In fact, a reduction in the overall budget for clubs resulted in a sum $10,000 less than what the organization hoped for, hovering at $31,770. The reason IRC maintains a large budget is because it has a unique structure. According to the club’s constitution that was amended last year, ‘all registered international students are recognized as members.’ This means that the club has just over 700 members on campus.

IRC promised to help fund featured country night events by up to $3,400 each, but may not be able to offer that exact sum because of the organization’s limited funds. But, as difficulties arise, so does a sense of optimism.

“We are under a lot of pressure to not only meet but also to pass the success of last year’s team,” said Daniela Ruiz, the IRC treasurer. “We have met multiple times last semester to get an early start. It is paying off now. We have multiple events planned for this semester along with International Night. We will be announcing the dates in the next two weeks.”

Although International Night is usually IRC’s primary focus during the fall semester, there may be more events organized by the club than in years past. Saudi Night is set for Sept. 27, which will make this year the first in IRC history in which two major events will take place in the fall semester. Usually, all other events are organized in the spring semester.

The only exception to this is the IRC Welcome Back Picnic that is set to take place in Hillcrest Park on Oct. 12. The event hopes to target at least 150 national and international students along with members of the Brookings community.

This target may seem possible, especially after the huge success that the first IRC general meeting had last Thursday night, attracting almost 60 members, which is almost double last year’s average attendance.

The 2015 IRC team hopes to improve on last year’s organization and planning methods.

“We should also not forgot that the success of the night resides in the ability of six people (IRC Executive Board) to coordinate over 100 volunteers,” said Amir Maliki, the IRC student advisor. “Both groups of which are taking time out of their own busy schedules without return.”

However, successfully organizing an event with 470 guests is not impossible, as proven last year.

“The 2014 International Night was the best one we had,” Maliki said. “It started on time and ended on time. The food and the shows were the best so far. We were congratulated by both the president and the provost.”

The importance of such an organized and committed club increases as the International Office closes in on its target goal of 1,000 international students at SDSU.