Tamer Starf*ck yields little trouble

Monday, March 19, 2007

Queer Alliance’s Starf*ck dance Saturday experienced fewer problems than in previous years, with better event management and only one student requiring medical attention.

“We were very pleased with the success of the event, the hard work of student planners and the solid coordination between students” and University officials, wrote Margaret Klawunn, associate vice president for campus life and dean of student life, in an e-mail to The Herald. “The careful planning to structure the event paid off.”

The one student needing medical attention for alcohol consumption represented a decrease from past years. In 2005, eight students at Starf*ck required medical attention, as did 14 at last semester’s Sex Power God, the QA dance traditionally held in the fall, said Amanda Lehtinen ‘08.5, who helped organize the event.

The QA was placed on probation after 24 students required medical attention at Sex Power God in November 2005. The event attracted national attention after it was featured on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” and Starf*ck was not held the following semester.

In preparation for this year’s event, the University hired a second ambulance for the night and posted emergency medical technicians at the event. An EMT was also stationed at Health Services for the night.

The event’s exact attendance has not yet been determined, but “Alumnae Hall was pretty much filled up,” said co-organizer Katie Lamb ’10. “It was certainly fewer people than were at SPG, but there were still a lot of people there.”

The event administration also “ran really smoothly,” Lehtinen said. Student party managers checked identification, roamed the party and manned the bathrooms “to make sure that people were safe,” she said.

Department of Public Safety officers and private security employees hired for the event dealt with only one major incident involving two students attempting to break into the party through a window near Alumnae Hall, Lehtinen said.

“The event was very successful,” said QA President Mike DeLucia ’07. “We had extremely cooperative partygoers. People really got into the theme … and were having a great time on the dance floor.”

The dance serves two purposes for the QA. It is one of the alliance’s main fundraising efforts that allow the group to sponsor events during the year, including “queer programming and events promoting understanding of gender and sexuality,” DeLucia said.

The party also serves as a “liberated space for people … who are sometimes on the margins or are not mainstream,” DeLucia said, adding that in this respect, the party was very successful.