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College Drag Show postponed because of threats

The first Drag Show since the start of the pandemic at Lycoming College had to be postponed after two threats were made.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — A student-organized Drag Show at Lycoming College had to be canceled this past weekend. 

A pair of threats left students and the campus community in shock.

"Students apart of the LGBTQ+ community have had to deal with homophobia of some form on campus before, but we have never had to deal with threats of violence, so that is very scary for a lot of students," said Kaitlynn Mangrum, the incoming president of the Lycoming Gender & Sexuality Alliance.

Ten days prior to the event, a student reported hearing other students talk about shooting up the Drag Show. 

The school planned to go on with the on-campus event after speaking with police. 

However, just an hour before the show on Saturday, someone wearing a mask in the nearby Recreation Center began making alarming comments about the event.

"We did not have enough time to do an adequate assessment of the risk that was associated with those comments, and so we took the prudent step and decided to reschedule the drag show and not hold it that evening," said Kent Trachte, the president at Lycoming College.

Both the school and the Williamsport Bureau of Police are investigating the matter. 

The person wearing the mask has not yet been identified. 

"We are hoping to have it this semester. If we are not able to due to just the time constraint of there just being two weeks left, then we are definitely going to be having it next year," said Mangrum.

"Lycoming College sees this event as being about freedom of expression, and we are really working to develop a culture here that is inclusive," added Trachte.

On Sunday, the school community showed up to support those affected by the threats. 

Flags and signs of support were posted around the campus quad.

"All the student organizations have been reaching out and checking in on us. We have had a lot of faculty who have donated to the Trevor Project in our name since we weren't able to hold the event, and that is what the event was fundraising for," Mangrum said.

If the Drag Show is rescheduled, Williamsport Police will add extra patrol units near the college on the day of the event.

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