Though Tuesday night's negotiations between the Student Labor Alliance and the organizers of next week's Gala concluded on a promising note, the chances of moving the event — to honor a worker-led boycott at the event's location — looked slim late Wednesday night.
SLA members met Tuesday with members of the 2011 Class Board and the Key Society, as well as with administrators, to warn them that if they held the April 17 Gala at its currently scheduled location of the Westin Providence hotel, they would face a picket line of hotel workers, who have called for a boycott of the hotel in light of a labor dispute.
SLA members met late Wednesday night to discuss an e-mail from 2011 Class Board Secretary Salsa Ahmed '11 to members of SLA, in which she wrote that finding another location for the event would be unfeasible. SLA invited the event's organizers to their meeting, but none could attend.
President of the 2011 Class Board Neil Parikh '11 told The Herald Wednesday night that the organizers of the event are willing to keep an "open dialogue" with the SLA, but, in a series of meetings with University administrators and general counsel, the organizers found out that in addition to the logistical difficulties of switching venues late in the game, not using the Westin would cost them their $5,000 deposit, and a $20,000 minimum fee for the event.
"We really have put all our hearts and souls into finding another venue," Parikh said. "If we could, we would move it in a heart beat."
But SLA member Sam Adler-Bell '12 warned that Brown's image is at stake if the Gala is held at the Westin. He said he wasn't convinced all avenues had been exhausted, and thinks Brown should try using its "clout in the community to get out of the contract."
Parikh said he may know more after meeting with Westin management Thursday morning.