UnshackleNU to Protest Dance Marathon for Mass Incarceration of Students
EVANSTON — UnshackleNU announced today that its members will be protesting this year’s Dance Marathon for its “mass incarceration of students on an unprecedented scale.”
“Dance Marathon’s policy of handing down 30-hour mandatory minimum dancing sentences is a classic example of the negative consequences when “zero-tolerance” policies go too far,” club president Leslie Cobb said.
Cobb also cited the particular harm this mass incarceration has on minority groups. “Greeks make up a disproportionate number of dancers each and every year, and the number only keeps growing. DM mass incarceration tears Greek members away from their promising young lives all too often, and this needs to stop,” she said.
Some former dancers have revealed the particularly decrepit conditions inside “the tent,” as it’s popularly called on the inside, such as severe overcrowding and even sleep deprivation through unceasing loud music.
“After the first few hours, I thought I could get through my time no sweat. But soon enough, I was tired, hungry, and actual sweat started dripping from the ceiling. That’s when I started to see what my stay in the tent truly had in store,” one ex-dancer said on condition of anonymity.
At the end of her statement, Cobb stressed the impact a stay in DM has on dancers even after the 30 hours passes.
“The DM recidivism rate is over 40%. Once you’re in the system, it’s nearly impossible to truly escape. You can always change your profile picture, but the consequences of ‘BRB dancing for 30 hours’ never quite goes away.”