A welcome change from the classic Pause dances, the St. Olaf Sexual Assault Resource Network (SARN) held a Stoplight Dance in the Art Barn on Friday, April 19. The dance occured from 9 p.m.-12 a.m., providing a fun alternative to traditional weekend activities. This dance focused on inclusivity and facilitating attendees comfort, while also enjoying themselves. One way SARN achieved this was by offering bracelets that correlate to your relationship status. They stressed that these bracelets did not signify consent to dance with someone but were simply a fun reminder. Red signified “in a relationship or not interested,” yellow meant “it is complicated” and green meant “single.”
SARN made it clear that anyone who made other people feel unsafe would be kicked out and that they would not tolerate any form of harassment, bigotry, racism, sexism, transphobia or homophobia. Utilizing a wonderful space, SARN made this event feel safe and welcoming to all students.
Multiple student DJs played music throughout the night, playing unique and lively sets. The DJs included Sal Alvarez ’19, Leander Krawinkel ’21, Emma DePaulo Reid ’19, Anna Moen ’19, Emma Beahler ’19 and Sophia Spiegel ’19.
The art barn was an ideal venue for this event. Colorful lights were set up making for great ambiance and everyone danced along to the different sets.
SARN advocates attended the event, greeted people and danced themselves, adding another level of comfort for attendees of the dance.
After the controversy surrounding the recent Spring Concert, this event was a welcome safe space to have fun and dance with friends. Because of this, the dance brought in a decently large crowd throughout the night.
Along with reminding St. Olaf students that they can, and should, feel safe at all events on campus, it was a great reminder of the resources that SARN offers to survivors of sexual assault.
I think I speak for most students when I say that more events should take this dance as an example of how to make students feel safe at campus events.
All students deserve the opportunity to go out at night and feel safe in their environment.
In addition, it was a great reminder of how great of a venue the Art Barn can be for evening events. Hopefully, we will see more events hosted by SARN in the near future.