It’s times like this that I come to my keyboard and have so much to say. On Friday night, we had our annual President’s Gala on campus (which is basically a glorified homecoming). When we got there, it was great until the DJ showed up and then the strobe lights went crazy to the point where I actually had to leave.
I don’t think I’d be as upset as I am if this hadn’t happened once before. Last spring, we had our spring concert, and as soon as Khalid came on, the flashing lights were so out of control, it couldn’t even stay in the room. I sent a perfectly nice (but assertive) email to the Student Activities email account. All the email was asking for was, for future reference, could they please put a warning on the flyers and in the emails? It would be considerate to students with epilepsy and other conditions if they just put a warning so that people know what to expect when they attend and/or buy tickets to an event. The head of student activities replied and told me that I should have let someone know in advance. Which, I guess, is a decent excuse. They could have taken responsibility for it, but I was okay with that. I figured it would be fixed for next time.
Nope! I left last night’s Gala early as the DJ came on and flashed crazy strobe lights in everyone’s faces. Another event with no warning. Lighting for effect is to be expected, but intense strobe lights should either be disallowed or, at least, students should be warned.
As soon as it started, I got uncomfortable enough to leave. My roommate was upset and immediately went up to a faculty member to talk to them. They said the same thing: your friend should have notified us because we didn’t know. Which seems backwards. Why do people want to do damage control rather than preventative measures?
I know for a fact that if I had a seizure on that dance floor, they would buckle down on the warnings, calm the lights, and start caring a lot more about the safety of students with epilepsy. I just don’t understand why, by the second conversation, STILL no one cares enough to make a change. The worst part is, my first seizure back during sophomore year happened ON CAMPUS, in the dining hall. The whole dining staff was there, public safety, and a representative from the school came with me to the hospital. We even saw the president on the way out. And you’re claiming nobody knows?
I know there are other students on campus that have been affected by epilepsy that aren’t comfortable sharing that information. I wish it weren’t that way, but it makes sense.
*UPDATE* I wrote this on Friday when I was angry, so it’s a little much, but I mean it all, so I’m leaving it that way. I did hear back from Student Activities who told me that after last year’s spring concert, they altered their contract to prevent strobe lights at their events. I don’t know if I believe that.
Have a great rest of your week!!!!!