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ASU's The Underground Foundation pulls support from upcoming Joeseph Jaymes show

Students watch the Underground Foundation performance in the Tempe Secret Garden on Thursday, August 25. 

Students watch the Underground Foundation performance in the Tempe Secret Garden on Thursday, August 25. 

The Underground Foundation at ASU pulled its support for an upcoming Joeseph Jaymes album release show out of concerns that the upcoming show would undermine the organization’s safe space policy.

TUF strives to use events to “bring people with similar interests in arts and music together to collaborate and have fun together,” according to its current president Troy Penny.

TUF’s design chair Becca Litwiller said although the club’s focus is on local arts and music, its “highest priority is safety.”

“We felt that some people would feel unsafe and not included,” she said. “So we decided to not take any chances and to just remove ourselves from the situation.”

Litwiller said the club became aware of an incident from last year on social media involving members of Joeseph Jaymes using homophobic and racist slurs. She said the posts were “inappropriate and would make people feel threatened and unsafe.”

Litwiller said the organization abides by a safe space policy as outlined on its website to ensure anyone who goes to its events feels safe and included.

“We don’t want to break that policy,” she said. “It’s really important that we follow it as strictly as possible."

The house show itself will still go on without TUF’s support, said Joeseph Jaymes frontman Andrew Hosley. It marks the release of the band’s newest album “Banned Vuren.”

Hosley said the incident from last year initially began as an argument on Facebook that went too far.

“Some antagonistic posts were sent our way about a show that we played at PPC Earthship,” he said. “Someone on Facebook got involved and called (them) a homophobic slur. They started going off on me, saying ‘you condone this type of behavior’ — which I don’t.”

Hosley said his response was “blind to a lot of the social changes” and wasn’t meant to be out of racist or homophobic sentiment.

“I blindly and stupidly typed up a whole bunch of slurs just for offensive sake,” he said. “I followed with a statement saying that ‘these are just words and they hold no power. They affect you if you want to be affected by them.’”

Hosley said the post soon spread around the scene and resulted in Joeseph Jaymes getting banned from venues, along with distancing from fellow musicians.

He said he was “not surprised” that TUF withdrew its support for the band’s album release show, but acknowledged that the incident was a learning experience.

“I’m now learning through all of this, and I’m realizing that there’s a lot of pain that gets held in words ... that I may not understand and should be a little bit more sensitive to that.”

The Underground Foundation’s next planned event will be a tour kick-off for Pro-Teens on Sept. 28.

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