Fahad Ali reports on the latest queer news on campus

The University of Sydney Pride Festival is coming our way: a spectacular, week-long burst of energy and colour on campus to celebrate our queer community. It’s on from 16th to the 20th of September, and here are some of the highlights.

On Sunday the 15th, join us at 12:30 on Eastern Ave for the first Queer March! It’s own little (less corporate and more exciting) Mardi Gras. We’ll parade our colours down Carillon Avenue, followed by celebrations in Camperdown Memorial Rest Park.

The Queer Honi Launch Party will kick off at the Verge Gallery at 6:00 pm on Tuesday the 17th. Celebrate the launch of the annual queer edition of Honi Soit, Australia’s oldest student newspaper—the most fabulous edition of the year. At 10:00 pm on Friday, SHADES will be holding ‘Super Queer-os’ at Zanzibar in Newtown, celebrating the end of Pride Festival and the superheroes of the queer community.

Beyond Pride Festival, look out for the University of Sydney Union’s Glitter Gala on October 10th. It’s a celebration of the queer community on campus, and includes a three-course dinner with drinks, and tickets are available from the Access Desk (Level 1, Manning House).

Parties are pretty great, which is why between the SRC’s Queer Department, the USU’s Queer Coordinator program, and SHADES, we’re holding so many! But when you’re out having a good time, make sure you’re aware of your rights, especially if you’re using illicit substances.

It is illegal for police to conduct a strip search without a warrant or reasonable suspicion. Sniffer dogs only warrant a search if they sit down next to you—it is not enough for them to simply sniff you. They cannot conduct a cavity search. It must be conducted in private, and they must tell you their name, command, and the reason for the search.
If someone is having an overdose, call 000 and you will not get in trouble. Ambos and medics will not call the police or report you. They’re there to save lives, so be up front and honest. People have died because emergency wasn’t called in fear of being caught out. Remember, call an ambulance and you will not get in trouble.

Police brutality, illegal searches, and misconduct are common, especially at large queer events. ACON’s Rover team works to help make sure that people are staying safe at parties, and legal observers from the Inner City Legal Centre (ICLC) make sure that police are acting by the book. If you suspect police misconduct, contact the ACONAnti-Violence Project or the ICLC and they’ll provide you with advice and support.

The SRC supports the full legalisation of all drugs. Drug use can be safe, as long as you’re informed and know what you’re doing. If you need any information, get in touch with the queer officers and we’ll be happy to direct you to the resources you need.

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