Indian Student Alliance hosted annual fall event, hopes to grow in members

November 28, 2016

Hannah Harvey

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     New experiences are a hallmark staple of a student’s time in college, but they aren’t just limited to difficult courses and new roommates.

     The Indian Student Alliance hosted Diwali, the festival of lights, on Nov. 19 in Berger Hall. The club hosts two major events a year, including Diwali and Holi, the festival of colors in the spring.

     Nationally, Diwali falls on Oct. 30 this year. Diwali is a Hindu festival in India where people celebrate by lighting firecrackers and oil lamps, according to club vice president Aamir Jamal, who is studying for his master’s in computer science.

     “It’s spreading light into people’s lives and celebrating festivities,” said Jamal.

     Although Diwali allows for prayer, the club did not incorporate prayers into their event.

     The club currently has 200 members and is expected to keep growing, according to club president and sophomore computer science major Arivandan Perumal.

     The club tries to be inclusive of the Colorado Springs community, not just UCCS.

     “It’s a cultural diversity that the campus is trying to promote by promoting inclusivity, which gives us a chance to show what we have back in India,” said Jamal.

     Last year, 350 to 400 people attended the club’s Diwali event. The club has improved their marketing strategy by promoting events on Facebook, Mountain Lion Connect, word-of-mouth and pamphlets distributed at locations such as Café 65, according to Jamal.

     “This gives us a wonderful chance to show what we have in India,” said Jamal.

     Anyone is welcome to join the club, although they do not hold weekly meetings, said Jamal.

     “It’s open invitation; anyone who wants to sign up can as well,” Jamal said.

     The club will hold Holi, the Hindu festival of sharing colors, in the spring.

     Students interested in upcoming events or finding out more information about the Indian Student Alliance can visit the club’s Facebook page at UCCSIndianStudentAlliance/.