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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


African Student Union cancels fashion show after months of planning

L’Afrique Dance Team performs at the 19th Annual Multicultural Show and Food Tasting event on Nov. 14, 2019. The team has been practicing since the beginning of the semester to perform at the African Students Union Fashion Show on March 28, which has been canceled after all Stony Brook University’s on-campus events have been canceled for the rest of the month. AMAYA MCDONALD/THE STATESMAN

All of Stony Brook University’s on-campus events during March were canceled after state universities announced that they’d be going remote on March 11.

The African Students Union (ASU) Fashion Show is among the canceled events, after several months of planning and more than $24,000 in projected expenses.

“It’s insulting,” Zamansky Twum, ASU secretary and junior in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, said after an executive board meeting on March 11. “We had to physically go and get an answer that could have been given to us earlier.”

Schools in the tri-state area have been closing their campuses as New York hits 729 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), making it one of the largest confirmed outbreaks in the country.

ASU spoke with university officials on Wednesday to ask about the likelihood of their show — scheduled for March 28 — being canceled. At the same time, students were protesting outside the Administration Building, demanding better communication between the university and its students after days of rumors that the school would be going remote after spring break.

“We had people going to Philly for dresses, buying Amtrak tickets at their own expense,” Benjamin Owusu, ASU treasurer and junior psychology major, said. “It’s not just about money … we had designers for the show who put in hard work and time for this, and now it’s all in vain.”

Besides designers, the fashion show also included catering services and performers. The Stony Brook University African dance team, had been training since the beginning of the semester.

“We turned down other events to do this show,” Adanna Ibeku, L’Afrique’s public relations officer and junior biology major, said. “There’s been no other gig. All of our energy was put into this.”

Staller Center for the Arts and the Recreation and Wellness Center also canceled all events until April. Emails from the Staller Center were sent to ticket holders, stating that “all public gatherings on the Stony Brook Campus for the month of March will not occur.”

The status of other major events on campus, including Brookfest, have yet to be officially declared by the university.

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