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No significant changes in store for Sex Power God

With 590 tickets available for Saturday's Sex Power God dance, some students were willing to wait all night to ensure a spot on the guest list.

"I slept an hour," Julio Reyes '12 said Wednesday morning after spending the night in Leung Gallery for a chance to buy tickets. "The floor was too hard." Reyes, Ora Star Boncore '12 and Gavriel Cutipa-Zorn '12 were first in line when tickets went on sale at 9 a.m. for the annual dance hosted by the Queer Alliance.

Reyes said he didn't mind the sleepless night because he heard that "the party is something that you have to experience as a Brown student."

Part raucous dance party, part rite of passage, the event has raised controversy in past years for the high number of intoxicated attendees receiving medical attention.

The dance, QA's "main and almost only fundraiser for the year," is a safe space for sexual expression, said Event Coordinator Zachary Marcus '10.

Free condoms, lubricant, dental dams, glowsticks and pamphlets about sexual health-related topics will be available at the event.

"I think having a dance like this and not providing safer sex materials would be irresponsible," Marcus said. "If another organization were to just throw an event and say, 'Oh look, this is sexually free,' I think that just that in and of itself is not a safe space. A safe space has a lot of other things that are well thought out about it."

No Department of Public Safety officers or security will be allowed inside the dance itself. Approximately 20 students will be acting as party managers and will be stationed in and around the dance, wearing spiky plastic wristbands for identification. They have been trained by the Student Activities Office to manage the event and to watch specifically for any warning signs of non-consensual sexual activity, Event Coordinator Aida Manduley '11 said.

Alcohol will not be sold at the dance. Students who are visibly intoxicated will be turned away, Marcus said.

SPG has had problems with safety and security in the past. The dance gained national recognition when footage taken at the 2005 dance was aired on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor." That same year, 24 students required medical attention at the dance and numerous students tried to break into the event.

Since then, event coordinators have worked with the administration to make changes to the dance, including moving it from Sayles Hall to Alumnae Hall, creating a guest list rather than giving out tickets and hiring extra security from Green Horn Management.

In 2006, after many of those changes were implemented, 14 students were treated by Emergency Medical Services at the event. Last year, only five students across campus required treatment the night of the dance.

"The measures that we've taken and the steps that we've put in place have been very effective," said Margaret Klawunn, vice president for campus life and student services.

Because "there were no issues of concern after last year's event," Klawunn said, no new safety measures have been implemented for this year's dance.

Despite improved safety, the party has not become tame, Marcus said. "I don't think it's lost its spirit at all. I think it's become safer and I don't think there's a reason to be ashamed of safety," he said.

The dance will feature music with a "techno, house-y feel," Marcus said. Two songs played during the dance will be original compositions by Jonathan Gordon '11, the winner of a contest QA held this year to feature student music.

Manduley said that while students should feel welcome to take risks with their clothing and "not just wear the old underwear you wear all the time," the event is not "a naked party."

"You are there to create whatever you want SPG to be," Manduley said. "We just provide the space, the safety and regulation and atmosphere for that, and you just do whatever you want with it."

QA sold a limited number of $20 tickets on Wednesday and Thursday. As of Thursday afternoon, about 100 tickets remained for sale Friday morning.

The dance will be on Saturday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. in Alumnae Hall.



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