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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Office of LGBTQ+ Initiatives Hosts Silent Disco for Queerfest

Ale Lewis
Students dance at the silent disco, hosted at the O’Connor Campus Center.

A Silent Disco lit up the O’Connor Campus Center (the Coop) on Friday, March 29. The Office of LGBTQ+ Initiatives at Colgate University hosted the activity as part of the Queerfest and “’Gate After Dark” event series. With upbeat music and lively dancing, the disco gave students a place to have fun, connect and dance the night away. 

Senior R Hunsicker, an intern for the Office of LGBTQ+ Initiatives, came up with the idea for a Silent Disco.

“Last year, I studied abroad in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Pride month in Aotearoa is in March, which was the beginning of my semester,” Hunsicker said. “One of the big events the Dunedin Pride Organization put on was a Silent Disco in the university’s science museum. There was a bar, face painting, speed dating and fun music along with all the cool interactive science exhibits. It was such a fun bonding experience for me with many other queer international students and the local queer community that I wanted to try to bring that experience to Colgate.” 

Hunsicker explained the significance of having a special, safe space where LGBTQ+ students can feel comfortable and celebrated.

“Since the LGBTQ+ Art Gallery [was] in the same room as the Silent Disco, it [acted] as an unapologetic, reclaimed space that is often unsafe or exclusionary towards many LGBTQ+ students, especially because there are no gender-neutral restrooms in the Coop,” Hunsicker said. “[It was] a night where every student [could] come together in celebration of queer joy and happiness, centering something that is often erased and pushed aside by dominant campus culture.”

Sophomore Oscar Brown was grateful for the experience that Hunsicker designed and reflected on the benefits of the event for LGBTQ+ students.

“The Silent Disco is a great opportunity to be able to engage in a dance environment which doesn’t just create a safe space for LGBTQ+ students, but empowers them and their identities,” Brown said. “I really appreciate the thought that was put behind it to make it inclusive and accessible for all students.”

Brown also highlighted how the upbeat music contributed to and uplifted LGBTQ+ pride.

“There were a lot of queer artists and staple queer icons that were familiar and brought great vibes to the event,” Brown said.

Senior Jordan Smith particularly enjoyed the upbeat music selection at the event. 

“[It was] a solid mix. A lot of pop — Janelle Monáe, Lil Nas X, Madonna [and] Lady Gaga,” Smith said. 

The Silent Disco is one of the many fun events held during Queerfest, an annual spring celebration of the LGBTQ+ community on campus. Hunsicker spoke on how Queerfest unites LGBTQ+ Colgate students by giving them the opportunity to mingle with one another.

“My favorite part about Queerfest is how it brings together our campus’s LGBTQ+ community,” Hunsicker said. “It creates spaces for groups to intermingle and meet one another for sometimes the first time. From Greek life to the Colgate Raider Pep Band, this is the one week out of the year that LGBTQ+ students are able to traverse more than just their normal social spaces to interact as one large, powerful queer community.” 

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