Friday, June 1, 2018

BDSA Annual Report 2017-18

The Bangladesh Students Association had a great year on the 2017-18 academic calendar. The association saw a lot of new faces and new active people. A significant shift from its more traditional social activities were led by the Executive Committee, with the introduction of academic and new cultural events. We over saw transformation of BDSA and pushed forward new ideas as much as possible.

Primary focus of the current committee of BDSA was to strictly maintain punctuality, strictly enforce food safety and hygiene to avoid food poisoning, and to focus more goal driven events than simple social events. Most activities that we undertook had to have a good answer to the question “why we are doing it?” Main thrust of the committee was academic, cultural and sports events.

Events and Activities

1. BDSA Cricket League

BDSA cricket league planning started before we, the 2017-18 Executive Committee, officially took charge of BDSA. Many a times, in cricket, some players are deprived of batting or bowling, especially if their side was playing well. We envisioned a tournament for the first time where some new “fair participation” rules were introduced. BDSA become the second club in Purdue to host its own cricket tournament, (after the Purdue ICL). Fair participation rule dictated that every player in a team, regardless of his skill level must bowl, no player would face more than 10 balls in a game, and batting order must be shuffled in every game. Total 32 players split up in 4 teams formed the league. The audience participation in the game was unexpectedly well, with community members of BDSA coming to enjoy the game and cheering for their teams.

2. BDSA new website

The upgrade program to BDSA’s website was undertaken by the BDSA 2016-17 committee, and the past President put a lot of effort to redesign the site. We had to redo the designing in as it was a more economically viable option. Our website came live 2 hours before we officially took charge of the BDSA, on July 8th, 2017. Since is extremely efficient in content creation, our website has been one of the most UpToDate website in the campus, and on December 2017 we redesigned the interface to more professional outlook.

3. Summer Outing

The Summer outing event was not planned by the current committee. It was originally envisioned as a Summer BBQ by the 2016-17 committee and the Happy Hollow Park Shelter was booked for July 27th, 2017. The 2016-17 committee had hoped originally to hold the transition of power at the BBQ, but later decided to hand over power to the current committee on July 8th. We, the 2017-18 committee decided that it would be best to have the BBQ when most of the students come back to campus at the beginning of the Fall semester, and converted it to a “Summer Outing”, an outdoor picnic event. The event went on successfully despite heavy rain and mosquito attacks in the hilly Happy Hollow Shelter. We introduced a new game called “couple’s marble race and traditional picnic games such as musical pillow, stamp hitting, etc. About 62 people signed up for the event.

4. Fall BBQ

Fall BBQ of BDSA was one of the major events of BDSA that we envisioned will help us with more Bangladeshis around the campus. The BBQ was held in Ross Hill Park shelter on August 27th 2017.The event had a vibrant presence of Undergrads, community members, and families. This was the largest BDSA gathering and had more signups than the last two BBQs combined. To make the BBQ successful and enjoyable for all the participants, we had to come up with innovative solutions to handle the unprecedented large signup. In past we had problems of shortage of grill which resulted in extremely long wait time for BBQ, and, impatient participants not waiting for their turn to take seconds and thirds. We introduced color coded coupon to make the food distribution more disciplined. We also took about 7 grills to the venue and hired a U-haul to quickly transport the coal and grills to the venue.

The primary focus of the event was the incoming undergraduate and graduate students. To receive them into the community and welcome them, we gave fresh roses to each new student, given by the toddlers of the BDSA community. The event saw a huge involvement of the Undergraduate students of Purdue, thanks to a mass-email sent to every Bangladeshi student in Purdue campus, and the undergraduates actively participated and volunteered in the BBQ.

We were also particular about finishing the event before the announced time of 4 pm.

5. BDSA Flood Donation Fund

In monsoon 2017, Bangladesh experienced one of the worst floods in 40 years. Approximately one-third of the country’s areas were flooded with devastating harvest, livestock, and homes. The flood required humanitarian aids and reliefs, and BDSA worked to collect funds for the flood affected people. 1894.02$ were raised through the fund raiser. BDSA donated the money to Manush Manusher Jonno (MMJ) Foundation Inc. through the Purdue Business Office for Student Organizations (BOSO).

6. BDSA Table Tennis Tournament

One of our lesser focused events, the table tennis tournament focused to increase active sports in the community. We had undergraduate participation in the tournament. The tournament was held between September 12-15. Gold (1st place), Silver (2nd place) and Bronze (3rd place) medal were given to the participants. (Women's Singles: Gold: Priyom, Silver: Faria, Bronze: Mun; Men's Doubles: Gold: Asif & Shamya, Silver: Tridib & Saeed, Bronze: Zahid & Shakib S.)

7. Adda with Founding President of BDSA

Professor Hafiz Abdur Rahman, founding president of BDSA visited Purdue on September 2, 2017. Prof. Hafiz Rahman and his wife, Prof. Nazmun Nahar, both graduated from Purdue. We organized an informal discussion session with them, where they shared memories about their stay in Purdue and early days of BDSA. According to Prof. Rahman, originally, BDSA had a graduate president and undergraduate secretary in the executive committee. Prof. Rahman also discussed job prospects in Bangladesh and career opportunities.

8. 1st BDSA Symposium

We, the bachelors of the BDSA, have iftar at the ISGL during Ramadan and have great adda sessions after iftar. In one such adda, Shahriar Karim (Sajal) bhai suggested to introduce more academic focused events at BDSA and have talks by graduate students. The idea was extremely enthusiastically received by Tridib, who insisted we start this symposium series. The first symposium was held on September 24, 2017 at the PGSC with Tridib Saha, Rifat Ferdous, Naimur Rahman, Shahriar Karim Sajal, and Shamya Dey talking about research and activities. To increase the number of audiences, we distributed the table tennis medals at the symposium.

9. BDSA Undergraduate Symposium

I always wanted to do an event particularly focused on Undergraduate students and increase undergraduate involvement in BDSA. Quick brainstorming with a few undergrads that I knew, we came up with the idea of the Undergraduate Symposium, where senior undergrads and recent alumni of BDSA gives the talk on their career path and Purdue graduate students who also did their undergrad here gives a talk on research opportunities in the campus. Thereby the first Undergraduate research symposium was held on October 21st, 2017 in the Krach Leadership Center (KRCH 260). Other than myself giving a presentation about BDSA to the Undergrads, Sajid Choudhury, Shahriar Karim, Iramul Hoque, Saiful Islam, Salsabil Salah, Ishmum Hasan, Saeeda Zaman, Mohammad Absar spoke regarding their career paths, while Tridib Saha and Shahriar Karim (Sajal) bhai spoke about the research opportunity. Maliha prepared slides for the presentation for undergrad research.

10. Bangladesh Night

Hosting a Bangladesh Cultural Night on a similar scale of IMLD was a dream of mine. As I showed in the General Meeting in BDSA, Purdue is extremely strategically located to have a get together of different Bangladeshi Communities, with UIUC, University of Notre Dame, IUPUI, IU Bloomington, University of Chicago, PU Fort Wayne all being with in 2 hours driving distance, and the concept was to make a Bangladesh night in collaboration with all these Universities. The Bangladesh Night was held on October 28th, 2017 in the Matthews 210. We had over all 14 performances and had audience and performers from neighboring cities and Universities.

11. Free T-shirt Distribution for BDSA members

To utilize surplus budget and to encourage members to become active, BDSA distributed free t-shirt to all active members, adjunct members, and donors. The t-shirt was prepared from a Purdue approved vendor with an official license from Purdue University and designed by Shorf Afza with scarlet, gold and forest colors chosen by vote by the BDSA members. Total 95 t-shirts were distributed to the contributors.

12. Purdue Winterization

BDSA participated in the winterization event, which is the largest community service organized at Purdue. Winterization was held on November 11th, 2017. Members of BDSA gathered to help rake leaves and trim bushes of elderly people of Lafayette. We started distributing the T-shirts at the Winterization event so that volunteers could wear BDSA and Bangladesh’s name while helping the community. Our advisor, Prof Ashraf Alam joined in the event to encourage us.

13. 3rd BDSA Symposium

The third symposium of BDSA was held on November 11th, 2017 in PGSC 105. Talks were given by Prof. Md. Saifur Rahman, Krannert School of Management, Uma Aryal, Dr. Ziaur Rahman, SM Zahid Iqbal, Ragib Hasan Arefin, Afia Sultana. BDSA Tshirts were distributed amongst the attendees.

14. Holidays Around the World

BDSA participated in the Holidays Around the World organized by PSUB on December 6, Wednesday. It was from 7:00pm-10: 00 pm at the Purdue Memorial Union, North Ballroom. Members of the West Lafayette community learned about the Bangla Noboborsho at the event, and had an opportunity to pose at the Photo Booth decorated with a "Nokshi Katha".

15. Subaru Factory Trip of BDSA

BDSA organized trip to Subaru factory for its members. 22 people initially signed up for the trip, but due to adverse weather condition with heavy snowfall, only 11 people participated in the tour.

16. BDSA Ultimate Women’s and Men’s Badminton

BDSA Purdue arranged a two-day badminton tournament in February 10th and 11th. The tournament featured doubles format games for men and women. Women’s Doubles Champion: Faria & Israt, 1st runner-up: Orchi & Jame, 2nd runner-up: Shagufta & Sarah, Men's Doubles: Champion: Rajib & Rabu, 1st runner-up: Biddut & Shamik, 2nd runner-up: Sajid/Saeed

17. Ekushey Probhat Feri

Bangladesh Students Association - Purdue University BDSA pays homage to the martyrs of Bengali Language Movement at Ekushey Probhat Feri. About 23 people participated in paying homage to the paper Shahid Minar model and singing patriotic songs of Bangladesh at the Hiler Theatre in 21st February 12 am.

18. BDSA SWE Symposium

BDSA collaborated with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) to present the joint symposium featuring the female graduate students at Purdue in STEM from Bangladesh. Tahrima Rouf, Zinia Jaman, Saima Sharmin, Maliha Hossain, Rafatul Faria, and Orchi Hassan presented their research topic and field. Mallory Slavis Vice President SWE, gave presentation on the Society and expressed interest in collaborating more with graduate students.

19. Celebrating International Mother Language Day

Through the International Mother Language Day (IMLD) program, Firstly, we wanted to put forward Bangladesh, its history, and culture to the diverse Purdue population. Secondly, we wanted to give a platform to the diverse student body at Purdue to celebrate their linguistic diversity and culture.  We celebrated the International Mother Language Day (IMLD) on March 31st, 2018 in Fowler Hall, Stewart Center. Total 7 non-Bengali performances representing 9 different languages were held at the event. In total, there were 16 different performances. We are particularly proud of our depiction of the history of IMLD and Bangladesh part in this year's IMLD Celebration. The presentation combines live dance, song, poetry, and march with our traditional video presentation. Execution of this part required synchronization with a live video.

20. BDSA Boardgame Night

We organized BDSA Board Game Night on April 7th, Saturday at PGSC. Games that were played, were Fifa, Ludu, and Uno.

21. ASUB Multicultural Showcase

BDSA performed in the ASUB Multicultural Showcase held in Fowler Hall, Stewart Center, on April 8 2018. About 200 people attended the show where “Aji Bangladesher Hridoy Hote” (From the heart of Bangladesh today…) was performed with singing and dancing.

22. Pahela Boishakh Celebration

Pahela Boishakh Celebration was held on April 14th, 2018 in the PGSC. It was one of the largest indoor events that BDSA ever organized, with 128 people participating in the event (based on signup sheet and headcount). Community members sponsored Hilsha for BDSA. The PGSC was completely reorganized and decorated with the help of volunteers. After the dinner open-mic performances were held by the BDSA members with the spirit of Borsho-Boron.



23. BDSA Soccer Tournament

BDSA organized the soccer tournament named “BDSA World Cup 2018” in the Turf Recreational Sports Center (TREC). The TREC was booked officially for the tournament. For men’s group three teams titled Abahoni, Mohammedan and Muktijoddha was formed for five a side soccer game. For women’s group penalty shootout was organized with three a side team.

24. Bangladeshi Movie Show – Dhaka Attack

Aiming towards our cultural thrust, BDSA organized movie screening of the Dhaka Attack (2017). The movie was showed with the help of Bioskope Films LLC, sole distributor of it in North America, through signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU). Dhaka Attack (2017) is a police-thriller film, envision and written by Sunny Sanwar.The screening was held in the Hiler Theatre in Wilmeth Active Learning Center (WALC) and was attended 75-80 people estimated by headcount.

25. BDSA Symposium Sunny Sanwar

The scriptwriter of the Dhaka Attack film is a Police Additional Deputy Commissioner himself. Mr. Sanwar is a chemist from Jahangir Nagar University. He is also an expert of high-risk operations and head of Bomb Disposal Unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police. Mr. Sanwar was known personally to one of the committee members of the current committee. We reached out to him, and he agreed to give a talk on the vision and making process of the film. The talk was telecast live from BDSA facebook page and well received. Mr. Sanwar thanked the BDSA and organizers for promoting the Bangladeshi film.

Future activities and administrative improvements

BDSA has obtained permanent locker space in the PGSC basement, and permanent office space in the Krach Leadership Center. We received two SOGA grants – one for the IMLD event and one for a future Bangla Nobanno Utshob (Bengal Harvest Festival) to be organized on Fall 2018. The Nobanno Utshob grant is the highest grant ever received by the BDSA. We received GSOGA grant for supporting our activities. BDSA is also going to attend the PSUB organized Homecoming Parade, that is to be held in September 2018. We updated the BDSA Constitution limiting term to Presidency to only one term. We bought capital equipment for BDSA such as storage tote for all BDSA properties, and label maker to reduce cost of trophies and medals in sports event.

Over all, it was a very active year for us with lots of activities and planning. I sincerely thank particularly my committee members and the Bangladeshi community in general and hope the new committee will continue to bring new ideas and events to the community.


Researcher and academician by Trade. Hobbyist webdeveloper, photographer and ametuer musician.


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Sajid Choudhury
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