Colleges Urge Students To Pass On Sombreros And Blackface On Halloween
It baffles us that they actually need this reminder every year.
October 29, 2017 at 12:22 pm
Over the past few years, a number of colleges and universities across the country have made headlines after their students hosted Halloween or themed parties that were blatantly racist and offensive. This year, colleges are saying to students what we might consider pretty obvious. Administrators are urging students to skip blackface, Native American headdresses and sombreros while looking for a costume for Halloween, per the Associated Press.
Administrators are becoming increasingly concerned about these costumes becoming national news and the center of conversations about race and culture on their campuses. To be clear, administrators are not prohibiting any costumes, but instead are using letters, campus forums and advertising campaigns to encourage students to choose costumes that are not offensive to their fellow classmates of color.
Because obviously y'all need a reminder every year to not be horrible human beings.
According to the AP, University of Texas at Austin issued a flyer to students to encourage them to think about how a costume may or may not align with an organization's values and consider whether it's "reflective of a certain racial group, gender, and/or economic class." The flyer also includes a list of harmful themes or costumes, including any painting or tinting of skin, stereotypes of Asian culture, cowboys and Indians or south of the border parties.
The flyer seems appropriate considering in 2012, the university's Alpha Tau Omega wanted to host a Fiesta-themed party with a "border to cross."
The AP reports that Southern Utah University launched an advertising campaign on campus about offensive costumes and outfits for Halloween. The university put up dozens of billboards and shared information on social media with the message, "My Culture is Not a Costume," with minority students holding images of other people dressed in offensive costumes. These messages and campaigns have continued to spread to other colleges and universities.
“We launched it during this time because … Halloween is when we start to see a lot of those offensive costumes,” said Maria Martinez, Southern Utah’s director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, who says she got the idea from Ohio University. “Students wanted to send a reminder because they do feel disrespected when someone shows up in a costume that represents their culture, particularly when it’s an inaccurate stereotype.”
AP reports that some students say they've started to reconsider their costume choices after seeing the billboards and flyers. Others, however, think administrators are being a little dramatic, because some people just never learn.