A nightclub in Australia is taking a series of new steps in an effort to strengthen its culture of consent.
Sydney's Club 77 is expanding its zero-tolerance harassment policy to ban unwanted staring, according to a statement issued by the venue.
"As a nightclub, we encourage you to interact with strangers, however any engagement MUST begin with verbal consent," reads a post shared on Club 77's Instagram page. "This also applies if you are, for example, staring at someone from afar. If the attention you are giving someone is unwanted, that is considered harassment."
Elsewhere in the statement, Club 77 states the venue is not solely a place for "pick up," and reiterates that giving fellow club-goers any unwanted attention is in violation of the harassment policy.
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The venue has maintained they are keeping their ear to the ground for customer feedback, and critics of the policy have been vocal in sharing their belief that the rules may undermine the potential for any social interaction at all outside of one's immediate contacts.
Club 77 has explained that to better enforce the policy, they are appointing one security guard nightly to function as the "Safety Officer." Wearing a pink hi-vis vest, the officer will be accessible to concert-goers and respond to complaints as they arise, according to the club. Consequences of violation include removal from the grounds and police may also be notified.
Club 77 has long been a staple of the Sydney nightlife scene and has been operating for over 25 years.