2018 Pride Party Will Not Offer Tickets to Under 18s

UPDATE: Since publication, Matthew Mottola has informed Observer the Queer* Department is “more than happy to refund [an] invalid ticket.”

The 2018 Queer* Department’s Pride Party will not allow attendees under the age of 18. Matthew Mottola, ANUSA Queer* Officer, told Observer this was done for cost management but it was a “difficult decision.”

“It was done to cut costs,” Mottola told Observer, “Specifically, fencing and security costs.” He also said that age restrictions were “suggested by ANU admin and ANUSA as a way to mitigate risk”. Mottola claimed underage attendance was restricted for “similar reasons” as at Big Night Out and the O-Week Friday Night Party. Big Night Out, however, allowed underaged individuals to attend.

Mottola acknowledged but downplayed the effect this would have. “One of my own Deputy Queer* Officers is underage,” said Mottola, “However, with only 0.4% of the 1,524 members of ANU Queer* Department’s Facebook group being under 18, it was an acceptable justification to us as organisers.” The Queer* Department Facebook group is autonomous – open only to those who identify as queer*. According to advertising, however, Pride Party is open to “friends and allies”.

Pride Party will take place on May 10 and opened ticket sales last night. Age restrictions are not clearly listed on the ticketing page, and are at the bottom of the ticket purchasing page. Ticket provider QPay does not require purchasers to disclose their date of birth prior to purchase. At time of publication, there is currently no clear refund method for invalid purchases. Mottola noted that the Queer* Department will “naturally update the page with reminders” to inform underage members of their ineligibility to purchase tickets.

“There are many other ways for people under 18 to enjoy the work of the Queer* Department,” Mottola said. He noted that Pride Week is open to underage students and that “it is certainly our intention to keep it that way.

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