Annual show held without professional
THE SANTA CLARA
May 15, 2014
University officials rejected an appeal to allow Jonathan Hunyh, an unaffiliated performer, to participate in this year’s drag show.
Hunyh, a 21-year-old student attending the Marinello School of Beauty in Santa Clara, was originally set to perform as a drag queen and work as a makeup artist for the Drag Show 2k14, which will be held this Friday by the Santa Clara Community Action Program.
Hunyh, whose stage name is “Navaeh Fierce,” has three years of experience in both performing drag and applying cosmetics for other performers.
“The way we saw it was that we were bringing an expert,” said Lucas Hill, the drag show organizer and coordinator of Gay and Straight People for the Education of Diversity. “This year, none of the students that signed up really have any experience (in drag).”
Since the university deems the show an “expressive activity,” the drag show’s organizers were required to submit an Expressive Activity Management Form to Jeanne Rosenberger, the vice provost for student life at Santa Clara. The form outlined the show’s educational components, goals of the event and Hunyh’s expertise.
In an email to the organizers, Rosenberger did not approve their request for the university to publish any educational videos on gender on any of their social media outlets. She also stated that individuals unaffiliated with the university could not perform at the event. This includes Hunyh, who is not a Santa Clara student.
The drag show organizers appealed the decision May 5, but received a response from Rosenberger the next day stating that their appeal had been denied.
Rosenberger cited the introduction of the “Expressive Activity Regulations” of the Santa Clara University 2013-2014 Student Handbook. The handbook states that free expression is given only to university affiliates, which include students, faculty, organizations, departments and offices.
She said that the rules for on-campus drag shows have been in place since 2005 and “provide the opportunity for SCCAP to host the event, while maintaining a balance between the University’s Jesuit, Catholic identity. At the heart of SCCAP’s request to host this event annually, is the student’s contention that the educational event is put on by students for students.”
Rosenberger did provide the event organizers the option of inviting Santa Clara alumni as drag show volunteers.
To Hill, Rosenberger’s statement remains unclear.
“This school brings guest speakers and performers all the time. (Officials make) a distinction because our event is (deemed) an ‘expressive activity,’” Hill said.
Rosenberger was unavailable for comment.
Hunyh never received a formal explanation from the university as to why this decision was made.
“Just because we are LGBTQ does not mean that we should be treated differently.”
“Just because we are LGBTQ does not mean that we should be treated differently,” Hunyh said. “We should educate the community on the nature of drag.”
Despite that the university will not permit Hunyh to perform, Drag Show 2k14 will still be held in Locatelli Activity Center from nine p.m. to 12 a.m. tomorrow.
The show will be composed entirely of Santa Clara students. Though attendants are encouraged to dress in drag, there is no requirement to do so.
According to Hill, last year’s drag show required that all attendees bring ACCESS cards for entrance.
This rule barred the student performers’ families from attending the event. With Drag Show 2k14, however, individuals unaffiliated with Santa Clara can register 24 hours in advance to attend the event.
Still, Hill said, “We want more.”
Contact Eduardo Cuevas at firstname.lastname@example.org .