South Louisiana Community College (SLCC) commends the Lafayette Parish Library for shining a light on diversity and inclusion within our community, particularly over the last few weeks. The College, like the Library, is committed to civil discourse and conversation on all issues.
In addition, the College’s top priority is the safety of its students, faculty, staff, and visitors to its campuses.
In the days leading up to the Drag Queen Storytime event, law enforcement has made the College aware of individual and organizational plans to protest at a scale that is beyond the College’s capacity to manage. The College also has fielded calls in this regard. Law enforcement indicated that at least one national organization intends to have a presence at the event.
SLCC’s maximum capacity for this event is 300 people. However, the College is aware that over 1600 individuals have signed petitions about the event, and hundreds attended last month’s discussions at the Lafayette City-Parish Council. Similar to the Library’s original interest in moving the event, the College finds itself with significant anticipated overflow and has growing concerns for heightened safety implications.
With SLCC’s limited security force and pursuant to Louisiana Community and Technical College System Policy #4.005, the College is unable to expand that presence as there can be “…no direct cost to the System.” In addition, the College has a responsibility to students taking classes Saturday to provide a setting conducive to learning, which could be severely disrupted by such a large crowd.
Based upon the information provided by law enforcement, the ongoing and increasing concerns regarding safety and security, and the limited capacity of the College to manage a potential event of this magnitude, the Drag Queen Storytime event cannot move forward at SLCC.