When Czarli Rex, junior art graphic design and English major, started living the Bondage Discipline and Sadomasochism (BDSM) lifestyle about 15 years ago, she didn’t have many solid supporters.
So Rex took the initiative to provide awareness about and support for those who engage in BDSM and similar activities. She is currently seeking to establish a group called Safe Consensual Alternative Lifestyle Education and support (S.C.A.L.E.S.) as a Recognized Student Organization.
“When I came back here, I found out that there was a pretty large group of people that were looking for education and support,” Rex said.
The group has been interested in gaining RSO status since spring 2011. Rex and the other members were denied RSO status last year, but they continue to push towards their goal.
“We haven’t filed anything yet, but we’ve got our petition, our mission statement and our officers. We’re just looking for an adviser,” Rex said.
According to ESU’s website, groups looking to gain RSO status must complete a mock constitution and petition for recognition forms.
At the moment, Rex says there are several members committed to promoting the general concept of the group and raising awareness for those that don’t necessarily know about the BDSM culture.
“We’re a weekly discussion group and we get about 10 to 15 people every week, and I would say we have double that. Maybe 30 to 35 members total,” Rex said.
One of the instrumental participants of S.C.A.L.E.S. is Jade Querner, sophomore art major and vice president of the group.
“Last year I had heard (about) it and somebody didn’t really explain it very well. It was really underground and people were really cautious about talking about it,” Querner said.
Querner also said that the group aims to be inoffensive and put any stereotypes that people may have about BDSM to rest.
“They did a very nice job of not really putting any bias or judgment and making sure no feelings were hurt, so I really wanted to be a bigger part of it this year,” Querner said.
In addition, Querner and Rex said that the group’s main focus is to educate those that do not know about BDSM or have the wrong idea and misconceptions about the culture.
“It’s definitely broadened my view on this way of living,” Querner said. “Before I went to any of the meetings, my knowledge about any of the BDSM stuff was based off of the media and they didn’t really do a good job with it.”
As of now, the group meets at 1 p.m. every Saturday in room 109D at the William Allen White Library. The group is also involved in a social media website, Fetlife.com, dedicated to awareness and providing information to the public about BDSM or any other fetishes.
If you are interested in joining S.C.A.L.E.S., or have any questions, Rex says to feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.