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Spectrum's sixth annual Drag Ball takes place Saturday

Lauren Hennen

Issue date: 11/20/09 Section: News
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This year's Drag Ball will take place tomorrow at 8 p.m in Carlton Commons. Admission is $5 per person, and will benefit the Trevor Hotline.
This year's Drag Ball will take place tomorrow at 8 p.m in Carlton Commons. Admission is $5 per person, and will benefit the Trevor Hotline.
[Click to enlarge]
A participant from 2005's Drag Ball struts her stuff on the runway for charity.
A participant from 2005's Drag Ball struts her stuff on the runway for charity.
[Click to enlarge]
This Saturday, Spectrum will host its sixth annual Drag Ball at Carlton Commons. The event, which starts at 8:00, will feature performances by a number of Case students, with awards given for the best performances.

Participating contestants will take the stage on Saturday night, dancing, modeling, and lip-syncing for the crowd. Audience members have the opportunity to donate money during their favorite acts, and audience picks in the categories of best modeling, drag queen singing performance, and drag king singing performance will be determined by which acts garner the most donations. Winners of the audience pick will be awarded prizes, along with those contestants chosen as winners for each category by the judges.

Unlike in years past, Spectrum will be charging five dollars at the door for admission to the event. This money will be pooled with audience member donations and given to charity. Luke Nantz, a second-year student and co-president of Spectrum along with senior Chris Jennewein, said that the choice to charge for admission was made to emphasize the philanthropic nature of the event.

"One of the central ideas we had in planning this event was to really reestablish the charity aspect of it. We want this to be a pay it forward situation," said Nantz. "In addition to creating positive change on campus, we want to also create positive change off-campus."

Though Drag Ball has always been a charity fundraiser, Spectrum hopes to increase its giving this year through the increased revenue from admission sales. Half of the money raised through Drag Ball will be given to the chosen charity of the group that brings the largest number of contestants and audience members to the event. The other half of the money will be given to Trevor Helpline, a crisis and suicide prevention phone-line for members of the LGBT community.

"We really want to reach out to people who may not be comfortable in drag," said Nantz. "There may be people on campus who want to show their support, but not necessarily as contestants, and we want to include them too."

Drag Ball is co-sponsored by the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women, the Share the Vision Committee, the Office of Housing, Residence Life and Greek Life, Residence Hall Association, Interfraternity Congress, and Panhellenic Council.

In addition to the support that these organizations have given Drag Ball, Nantz said that campus fraternities and sororities have been a big part of Drag Ball's success in years past.

"A central element of the event is really the Greek involvement. The fraternities and sororities send a lot of contestants and supporters, which makes it really fun," said Nantz. "We get a lot of people saying, 'Wow, it's really cool that these fraternity guys feel comfortable dressing up in drag.'"

Since its inception at Case, Spectrum's Drag Ball has routinely attracted crowds of 400 to 600 people. As Spectrum's largest event, Nantz says that they hope Drag Ball helps to raise awareness of and support for the LGBT community on campus. While Nantz says that he believes Case is fairly progressive with in terms of its acceptance and support of its LGBT community on campus, he and other members of Spectrum hope that events like Drag Ball can help to eliminate some of the prejudiced ideas and speech that still exist on campus.

"There's definitely a hush-hush mentality with respect to politically incorrect statements on campus," he said. "People are very aware that they should be saying politically correct things, but behind closed doors, there are pockets of people who let their guard down and when they do, they have really hurtful things to say."

Though Nantz feels that there is still room for the campus community to become more accepting of LGBT individuals, he says that he has been impressed with the support Spectrum has received this year.

"In the planning of Drag Ball, so many organizations have come out as allies, and the administration has taken enormous steps to support the LGBT community," said Nantz. "There's a movement forward at Case. That gives us hope."

With Drag Ball right around the corner, Nantz hopes that the event can contribute to this movement.

"Our goal is that a person walks into Drag Ball and there are going to all sorts of crazy things going on, but at the end of the day we hope they walk out knowing that it's cool to support gay people and it can be fun. Together, I think we can all do something really good," he said.
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In This Issue

News

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  • Class inspires students to start CSEC
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  • Eyewitness: Editor-in-chief for a day
  • Have you heard about Grupo de Capoeira?
  • Spectrum's sixth annual Drag Ball takes place Saturday
  • The college student's guide to credit cards - Part 3
  • USG creates transparency committee to improve communication
  • USG Brief

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  • Five thoughts on the '09 season
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  • Men win Veale Classic
  • Spartan Spotlight: Erin Hollinger
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Fun Page

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Opinion

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  • Editorial: CWRU athletics' accomplishments praiseworthy
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  • The gap year: volunteering
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Focus

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Cross Country

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Football

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  • Football Gameday: Case vs. Trine

Sex and Dating

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Soccer

  • Crooks UAA's Coach of the Year
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