Allegations of misconduct against Stony Brook’s South Asian Student Alliance, or SASA have resulted in an investigation into the Undergraduate Student Government funded organization.
According to two SASA executive board members, who spoke on the basis of anonymity, the 2009-2010 President, Jeevan Thomas, and Vice President, Trisha Sakhuja, allegedly abused their power and mishandled funds.
“The university is taking these reports seriously and is investigating,” said Lauren Sheprow, director of media relations.
The club receives Under Graduate Student Government, or USG funds, which come out of the mandated $92 student activity fee that is included in students’ annual tuition bills.
The two members claim ticket compensations for SASA events,such as the SASA Sholay Show, were given without an executive board vote. Thomas allegedly mishandled money collected for the annual formal event in March and financial information was withheld when requested by the board members.
“Not only are their actions a distasteful representation of Stony Brook University, but of South Asian American students and lastly of SASA, which has been one of the largest cultural organizations in Stony Brook history,” one of the executive board members said.
According to the two, a letter, obtained by the Statesman, outlining the allegations against Thomas and Sakhuja was sent to various campus administrators.
x“There are a lot of exaggerated allegations towards me and Jeevan personally,” Sakhuja said when asked about the letter.
Susan DiMonda, associate dean and director of student life, declined to comment on the investigation or the letter.
“We have not cheated USG,” Thomas said. “We never tried to cheat SASA.”
Both sides feel that personal issues contributed to how the executive board was run and the issues that have surfaced. The two anonymous members feel that personal issues contributed to how Thomas and Trisha made decisions.
Thomas and Sakhuja agree that these personal issues were a driving force in why the allegations surfaced.
According to Sheprow, the club will still be a recognized club on campus for the 2010-2011 school year and a final decision will be made once the review is complete.