For the past 10 years, SHADES, a Binghamton University organization, has been dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for LGBTQIA+ students of color. This is accomplished through weekly meetings and a variety of fun events, such as their upcoming Vogue Ball.

The Vogue Ball is being held Friday, Oct. 14 in Old Union Hall, located in the University Union. The doors to the event open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the event can be purchased at the door, during a weekly SHADES meeting or at their table in the Glenn G. Bartle Library from noon to 4 p.m. this week.

Sheyla Santana Escoto, president of SHADES and a senior double-majoring in history and classical studies, described the event’s goals.

“The best way I can summarize the Vogue Ball for someone who has not heard of it would be — a safe space for all to enjoy a fun night of performances,” Santana Escoto wrote in an email. “Of course, there is definitely more to say about the Vogue Ball but as long as we are able to create a safe space for all, it will be a success!”

Beyond just simply creating a safe space, the Vogue Ball will feature some various performances that highlight the LGBTQIA+ community, both at BU and in the Greater Binghamton area.

“This annual Vogue Ball also aims to connect the local queer/drag community with the campus and student population with appearances from local performers,” Santana Escoto wrote in an email. “If you’re passionate about creating safe spaces for other students on campus, are looking to find students like you or simply need a break from your hectic schedule, you should definitely attend our annual Vogue Ball and get a deeper look into [BU’s] queer community!”

Besides their Vogue Ball event, Santana Escoto said SHADES is an all-around important organization for many BU students. Her personal experience with SHADES demonstrated to her the the value of the organization.

“I became interested in SHADES during my freshman year,” Santana Escoto wrote in an email. “I came from a very diverse area and wanted to find that sense of community again here on campus.”

SHADES has given Santana Escoto a sense of homeliness that she felt was lacking in other parts of the BU community.

“SHADES created a home for many other students and me and I knew that I had to be a part of that,” Santana Escoto wrote in an email. “I wanted other students to know that they have a home within BU where they could be themselves in.”

Going forward, SHADES will be hosting many more events in addition to their weekly club meetings. One such event is their hotly anticipated Sex Carnival.

“After the Vogue Ball, we are very excited to continue our weekly events and start preparing for our spring semester Sex Carnival,” Santana Escoto wrote in an email. “We are looking forward to reaching out to other student organizations and getting everything ready for our Sex Carnival in the future, so stay tuned and follow on Instagram to stay in touch!”

Make sure to check out the SHADES Vogue Ball for a night of fun and amazing performances that will bring the campus and local LGBTQIA+ communities together.