The Gustavian Weekly

Victoria DeVille hosts Drag Bingo Night: Campus Activities Board invites Minneapolis queen to campus - The Gustavian Weekly

By Samantha Raghu - Staff Writer | September 18, 2020 | Variety

As Gusties persist through the hardships faced due to social distancing and limited interaction, Gustavus’ Campus Activities Board (CAB) continues to strengthen community solidarity through socially-distanced, interactive events.
In collaboration with the Gustie Greeters, CAB arranged the Drag Bingo Night event on Sep. 11, 2020 hosted by Minneapolis-based drag performer Victoria DeVille.
Senior CAB Co-President Katie Ashpole illustrated the ways in which CAB meticulously planned the event in accordance with the COVID-19 guidelines.
“Originally it was going to be held in Eckman Mall. But because it was raining, we decided to move the event to Alumni Hall, where a maximum number of students can participate while being socially distanced,” Ashpole said.
Ashpole explained that in order to ensure the safety of everyone that attends, the CAB crew measured the Alumni space, marking areas spaced six feet apart with an “X.” Hand sanitizers were handed out to each participant, and each individual was required to wear a mask.
Junior CAB Concert Executive Luke Yang explainsedthat the event had a full house of 104 students, all of whom were ready to have fun.
Yang listed off various prizes that a handful of lucky winners walked away with, including spikeball sets, hydroflasks, a hammock and multiple different gift cards.
Not only was Drag Bingo an opportunity for a fun get-together, but it was also the first campus event that many first-year Gusties got to partake in.
First-year Emily Mullan provided more insight into how the event resonated with her.
“A lot of the jokes [DeVille] [made] and the atmosphere [in general] was very different from high school. It reminded me that this [college] is happening and that I am an adult,” Mullan said.
Yang and Ashpole also elaborated on the incentive behind having a Drag Bingo event, which stems from wanting to host more events inclusive to LGBTQ+ members on campus.
“As CAB, we held a lot of events over the years, and we wanted to host more events that were inclusive to everyone on campus,” Ashpole said.
Some of the most memorable moments from Drag Bingo came from the glamorous Victoria DeVille, who used versatility and humor to create an inclusive environment.
“What really stood out to me was how [DeVille] articulated herself. Some of the topics she discussed, you know how it’s important to support and vote for your queer brothers and sisters, definitely made everyone feel very welcome and at ease,” Yang said.
“She was very relaxed and easy to go with the flow. She did a really good job at just making jokes,” Ashpole said.
Ashpole also explained that DeVille was truly gifted in speaking authentically to her audience, rather than solely relying on scripted material.
Drag Bingo was a successful first example of how Gustavus is able to hold meaningful and fun events while adhering to COVID guidelines of social distancing.

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