Do Students Feel Safe at Queer Events?

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On Saturday, Dec. 3, the House of Opulence is hosting an Arctic Ball in the UB Ballroom. However, due to the recent shooting at the Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub, there have been concerns on campus regarding the safety of the events hosted by marginalized communities. 

John Mark Day, vice president of Student Life, said that the university has not issued an official statement on how the safety of the event will be ensured. 

“We don't usually issue statements about the safety of events unless there is a specific cause for concern,” Day said. 

Day added that the DePauw Police are aware of every scheduled event that happens on campus and this will include House of Opulence’s event as part of their normal campus safety plans. 

“We want to make sure that students feel and are safe on a daily basis, as well as in events that they are planning and executing,” Day said. “We are always happy to work with event planners to talk through the safety and security of their event, and making sure that students are able to and we, as a campus, are able to have a vibrant campus experience that is also a safe campus experience.”

According to Day, any time a student organization is planning an event, the university will work with them, both from an event planning perspective and a safety and security perspective, to make sure they have the resources they need for that event. 

“If they [the student organizations] have specific concerns, we’ll make sure that we are addressing those concerns and providing them with the support that they need,” Day said. 

Aaron Trinidad, House Father of the House of Opulence, said he is going to meet with the Chief of DePauw Police to discuss general event safety to keep the queer community safe. 

DePauw Police is always aware of events such as the Ball and does their due diligence to ensure the safety of our community,” Trinidad said. 

Trinidad added that as House Father, he would rather the university did not issue an official statement about safety.

“I do not think a statement over the safety of our event should be made simply because we are a queer organization putting on an event to highlight queer culture,” he said. “Of course, we acknowledge that recent events have influenced people's sense of safety, but this is not an event that should be over-policed because that's not our goal or mission.”

According to Trinidad, there have not been any safety issues at House of Opulence’s events before, and added that they will keep track of attendees for safety reasons.