By Cheyenne Graden; The Whetstone
Creative Attributions President Corey Johnson thought he was solving a problem during his organization’s second annual Fashion Show during Homecoming Week.
Johnson needed to find sandbags to keep the drapes from falling down on the models.
“I was told by someone in facilities to use the sandbags that were by the security tent,” Johnson said. “As soon as I moved them, Walt (Beaupre, head of security) demanded that I put them back in the security tent.”
Johnson decided to ask someone else to move the sandbags because he was afraid his exchange with Beaupre might escalate and he did not want to argue with him on the day of his event.
That wasn’t all.
Johnson said Beaupre also came down twice to the basement of Parker Library – where models were changing clothes – with another security guard and five other voluntary guards
“I did walk down to the lower level of the Parker Library on two separate occasions,” Beaupre said. “The first time I went with the security staff working the event to give them an overview of the responsibilities for the security officer working that post.”
Kabrea Tyler, one of the models in the Fashion Show, was downstairs in the library when security came down.
“I was getting fitted for my outfit for a scene, among other girls, and security just walked in.” Tyler said. “Walt said he was taking the volunteer security guards on a tour of the area.”
“We were in the same areas, hallway and large opened room,” Beaupre said, “and there were both male and female models and students.”
At a Nov. 7 town hall meeting, Beaupre told students and staff there were male and female models changing in the same room.
“Models, both male and female were congregating in the common areas of the hallway and the large open area of the lower level of the library, adjacent to the IT office,” Beaupre said.
Johnson said the models were comfortable changing in front of each other – not necessarily in front of security guards.
Beaupre said he saw no one undressed or undressing.
“They were just socializing,” he said.
Tyler saw it differently.
“They were down there for a good minute because they were waiting to get Corey’s attention.” she said. “I don’t know if security noticed models were changing but you could definitely hear the models talking and you could see their facial expressions. They were all wondering why security was down there.”
During Beaupre’s second visit, Johnson said Beaupre warned him he might shut the event down because of the music’s “offensive” language.
Beaupre denied this at the town hall meeting, before three other students raised their hands to support Johnson’s version.
“I don’t recall ever saying that,” Beaupre said. “I know that in the past I would advise the DJ to make certain that they play music that is not offensive.”
Some models said they saw some of the volunteer security guards recording them performing.
“I was not aware of any security staff doing any recording,” Beaupre said.
All volunteer security guards are either active-duty military, corrections officers, or police officers, Beaupre said.
“They are all experienced and have had background checks.”
Johnson and other students in attendance said the event was still a success – despite the rainy weather.
“The weather ended up amplifying the carnival theme of the show because they had to do the show under a tent to keep the stage and models dry,” senior Monshea Newsome-Murray said.
Newsome-Murray said she loved the outfits and diversity of body types.
“The performers that the organization hired fit well into the carnival theme and the crowd responded well to them,” she said. “The show was a success and was my favorite event to attend this year for homecoming.”
Sophomore Cheyenne Stevenson also enjoyed the fashion show.
“The Creative Attributions fashion show was well put together. Everyone involved did a great job.” Stevenson said.