The Monroe Park campus Student Government Association chairman of information and technology George Pottanat introduced the Bhangra Off-Campus Practice Space Bill to the SGA Senate on Monday.
The bill will allow the Monroe Park Campus SGA to grant $3,000 to the student dance organization, Bhangra at VCU, to rent a temporary practice space outside of the student campus, said Pottanat.
“Bhangra and many other student dance organizations like Muevelo, Breakology and the Poppers have been experiencing a lot of difficulty finding practice spaces inside of the campus,” Pottanat said. “A lot of the spaces that they used to use, like the Franklin Street Gym, are currently being denied to them because of minor issues that I hope me and the SGA can eventually solve … at the meantime, Bhangra is being recommended to find a space outside of the campus as a temporary solution to the problem.”
Pottanat, an applied mathematics major, said if the bill is passed by the SGA senate, it will serve as a precedent in favor of student dance organizations looking for funding from the SGA to rent practice spaces outside of the Monroe Park Campus. VCU has nine student dance clubs, many of which struggle to find regular practice space.
“Hopefully, if this bill passes the Appropriations Committee and the Senate, it will show that SGA supports the student dance organizations … especially now when they need support the most,” Pottanat said. “If the bill passes, we (the SGA) can’t deny other student dance organizations funding for renting practice spaces outside of the campus.”
Members from Bhangra at VCU were present at the senate meeting to show their support for Pottanat and the Bhangra Off-Campus Practice Space Bill.
Harsmiran Sodhi, a senior business major and a captain of Bhangra at VCU said he is glad Pottanat presented the bill to the SGA senate.
“This bill is great,” said Sodhi. “They’re coming to an agreement to how to find a facility outside of the campus for us to practice on.”
Members of other student dance organizations, such as Blank Canvas, the Poppers and Breakology, were also present on Monday afternoon to show their support for Bhangra at VCU and Pottanat’s bill.
Yvonne Pretlow, a sophomore nursing major and vice president of Blank Canvas, said she was pleased with the number of student dance organization members present in the senate meeting.
“I am really excited to see a huge turnout of supporters for (Pottanat) and Bhangra,” she said. “A win for Bhangra is possibly a win for all of us. Hopefully the senators can understand our passion for dancing and find a more permanent solution to our practice space dilemma.”
The Bhangra Off-Campus Space bill is being examined by the SGA Appropriations Committee. If the bill is approved by the SGA Appropriations Committee, it will be voted on by the full SGA Senate on Oct. 7.