More than 250 HBS students flooded downtown Boston’s Saint club Thursday, October 27 to celebrate International Week and help raise proceeds for the recent earthquake in South Asia. The “World Party,” organized by the Student Association (SA) International Committee, generated more than $2,600 for relief efforts in Pakistan, the country hardest hit by the earthquake.
“You know it is a good party when the bouncers say they have never seen the place so busy,” Liz Hopkins (OA), co-chair of the SA International Committee, said. “We were just sorry that people who arrived later got stuck outside waiting.”
Mustafa Siddiqui (OE), who is leading the earthquake fundraising efforts on the HBS campus, echoed similar sentiments. “The party was an overwhelming success,” he said, apologizing to those who could not make it inside. “We still hope they will consider donating to this cause.”
As part of a pre-negotiated arrangement, Saint agreed to waive the $15 entrance fee for HBS students who arrived before 11p.m., which in turn helped encourage students to contribute generously to the much-deserved cause.
In keeping with the World Party theme, Saint treated the students to an eclectic mix of international music in addition to more typical club tunes. The students, many of whom stayed until the very end, danced to Brazlian Samba and Indian Bhangra.
Although Hopkins had been planning the World Party as part of International Week for some time, she and her fellow International Committee Co-Chair Alia Zaharudin (OJ) approached Pakistani students on campus following the deadly earthquake to discuss the possibility of partnering for the event.
“The scale of the destruction and the human loss arising from the Pakistan earthquake were truly horrifying,” Hopkins said. “Alia and I felt that International Week was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about the earthquake. We were more than happy to use the World Party to raise money for this very needy cause.”
The party at Saint was part of a broader fundraising drive organized by the South Asian students at HBS. Given the severity of the earthquake, which has led to more than 70,000 deaths in Pakistan alone, the fundraisers felt the strong need to raise awareness and money for relief and reconstruction.
“The media’s appetite for covering natural disasters has waned this year,” Siddiqui said, adding, “That is why we have been trying very hard to keep this critical issue alive.”
Earlier last month, the fundraisers delivered a short, moving presentation about the earthquake to all RC sections. Furthermore, for two weeks they set up tables outside Spangler and the Grille to solicit donations.
In addition to the $2,600 raised at the World party, Siddiqui and his team have garnered an additional $18,000 from members of the HBS community. “The support from our fellow students, professors and HBS administration has been heartening,” Siddiqui said.
The total funds raised will be distributed among three international charities working in South Asia – Red Cross, Oxfam and UNICEF – as well as an extremely well-reputed local charity in Pakistan, The Edhi Foundation.