Culture /

Australia Nightclub Bans 'Staring' Without Verbal Consent, New 'Safety Officers' Will Enforce Policy

Club-owners say they want to 'develop and nurture a culture of consent'

A dance club in Sydney, Australia, has instituted a new “safe space” policy, which bans staring at club-goers without their explicit consent.

Club 77’s “zero-tolerance policy” will be enforced by safety officers the club has hired, who will be adorned with pink “hi-visibility” vests.

“Creating a safe space goes beyond implementing practices to deal with incidents after they have happened,” the club posted on its Instagram page. “We also also [sic] have an obligation to educate new club-goers and help them understand what is considered unacceptable behavior inside the venue and on the dance floor.”

The club’s management says it is okay to interact with strangers, but that engagement “MUST begin with verbal consent.” Club 77 says that unwanted attention — including a simple stare from afar — is considered harassment.

Any patrons accused of violating the club’s new policy will be removed from the venue and the club’s staff will call the police.

Dan Gorrel, one of the club’s co-owners, has confirmed that no one has yet been kicked out of the club for staring, but said they wanted to establish ground rules for guests.

Reactions to the updated policy guidelines have been mixed.

One social media user wrote: “Amazing!! Positive party culture all the way!”

Another wrote: “Backing this 100 per cent.”

Another person commented: “This is cringey and embarrassing. Why would anyone want to go hang out with such delicate, little crybabies? Why not just hand out blindfolds to everybody so nobody feels unsafe? I think it would be hilarious if people would start hanging out in front of the club, on public land, and just stare at it. Drinks, music, mockery, uncomfortable staring.”

And a separate detractor to the policy posted: “Guess everyone will just have to walk around looking at either the floor or ceiling or have some ‘staring’ NAZI throw you out.”

Club 77, which is open seven days a week until 4 a.m., said it wants to develop and nurture a culture of consent, and encourages feedback from patrons on its updated harassment policy.

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