Changes to this year's Sex Power God, which attracted over 500 students to Alumnae Hall Friday night, resulted in far less confusion at the door and improved management in comparison to last year's event, according to Queer Alliance Head Chair Mike DeLucia '07.
Fourteen students at Sex Power God received medical attention for intoxication, according to Margaret Klawunn, associate vice president for campus life and dean of student life. Technicians from Brown Emergency Medical Services were stationed in a room in Alumnae during the party.
In addition to the students at the event, nine students in other locations required emergency medical attention Friday night. Klawunn wrote in an e-mail to The Herald that she and others will review information related to the cases this week to determine whether these alcohol transports were related to Sex Power God.
The dance last year, which attracted national attention when it was featured on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News program, was marred by management failures, and 24 students required emergency medical attention. Confusion at the entrance of the event was particularly problematic, as were attempts by several students to break in through first- and second-story windows. This year's event, however, was "well managed from beginning to end," Klawunn wrote.
In an effort to reduce chaos at the door, QA compiled a guest list for the party this year instead of distributing physical tickets. Michael Wert '08, a QA event coordinator, said the guest list "worked out really well," preventing confusion and completely eliminating the black market for tickets.
"One of the biggest problems last year was the mob scene, and we definitely managed to remove it," Wert said.
The party was also moved from Sayles Hall to Alumnae this year. According to Klawunn, Sayles had far too many entrances, and the change of location helped ensure that students only entered through designated doors. Klawunn also wrote that professional staff managed the door instead of student organizers, a change that "made a big difference."
One notable change was the presence of EMS personnel inside the building where the party was held. According to Wert, EMS personnel were at the door of Sayles last year but could not take care of people as effectively because they were "policing people." DeLucia said EMS was present to provide a safe place for intoxicated students who did get through the door, and he added that he has already received positive feedback about the room.
Klawunn wrote that the presence of EMS at Sex Power God allowed personnel to respond to students quickly, adding that they "probably identified more students at risk than they would have on a typical weekend."
Though fewer students required emergency medical attention at Sex Power God this year, Klawunn wrote that she is still concerned about how the event might encourage excessive drinking on campus and added that the University must continue to evaluate it.
"Overall, I still think there are some concerns about the larger campus climate and students' expectations about this event that lead to some unsafe behavior, particularly in regard to alcohol use," Klawunn wrote.
But Klawunn noted that Sex Power God is not the only event that might encourage excessive drinking and wrote that the University will continue to evaluate other campus events as well.
According to Wert, QA focused on discouraging pre-gaming for Sex Power God. Posters and flyers for the event warned that intoxicated students would not be allowed inside, and QA decided to close the doors at 12:30 a.m. DeLucia said QA did not have information on the number of students turned away at the door because of intoxication.
"We went above and beyond anything other campus groups do to try to curb pre-gaming," DeLucia said. "Anything beyond that is a campus-wide problem."
Chloe Root '07 attended Sex Power God and said the party was "a bit less out of control" this year.
"Knowing people are checking for (alcohol) really makes a difference," she said.
But Erik Font '10, who also attended the dance, said the increased security made for a "pressurized" atmosphere.
"It's OK in here," he said at the party. "But all the cops outside made it stressful."
DeLucia stressed that the increased control and organization improved the party and did not affect the dance itself.
"I don't think the party was tamer this year," DeLucia said. "The dance itself in the room was just as fun and exciting. The door was more controlled, but that's a positive thing."
DeLucia said Sex Power God was successful because it allowed QA to raise money while simultaneously providing a safe environment for sexual self-expression. But more importantly, Wert said, it allowed QA to reintroduce the dance as an institution after doubts about the event in light of last year's incidents.
"This is QA's way of saying Sex Power God won't go anywhere," DeLucia said.