Despite the costume controversy that marked Penn President Amy Gutmann's Halloween party last year, there will be no official censorship policy implemented for tonight's annual soiree.
Gutmann came under criticism last year for posing with 2007 Penn alumnus Saad Saadi, who was dressed as a suicide bomber.
The photograph of Gutmann as Glinda the Good Witch with Saadi, a former Daily Pennsylvanian photographer, circulated online, where it was picked up by international newspapers and blogs.
Still, last year's PR gaff does not seem to have affected the planning behind tonight's party.
"I expect that Penn students will use good judgment and come out for a good time," Gutmann said. "I look forward to seeing everyone there."
A professional photographer will be at the party to take pictures of students who want to pose with the president. These photos will be posted online soon after the event.
Gutmann would not say whether she would deny a photo to a student in a potentially offensive costume, or the extent to which students would be allowed to use their own cameras to photograph with her.
The party, a yearly tradition since Gutmann's arrival in 2004, will be held at Wynn Commons.
This move marks a change from the former location at her Walnut Street home, because "it's just become really crowded, and we want to make sure that everyone has a chance to enjoy the event in a centrally located place on campus," she said.
Gutmann would not say whether the change in the party's location and any potential changes in photographic tradition are related to last year's events.
After a whirlwind of press coverage and a series of public apologies and explanations from all parties involved, the incident eventually blew over.
To that end, students have mixed ideas about whether anyone will try anything inappropriate at the party but generally agree that there probably won't be a repeat of last year's proportions.
"I think people will try, but I don't think those people who try will be recognized," College senior Ashley Thomas said.
She added that, because of the University's desire for good PR to go along with its capital campaign, Gutmann will probably be extra cautious.
"She'll probably be a lot more hesitant with photos," Wharton and College sophomore Sunny Saxena said. "It's silly but I think it would be necessary - the University wants to avoid bad press."
He doesn't anticipate anyone trying to make a scene, but College sophomore Mike Tague said he wouldn't be terribly surprised if one ensued.
"Somebody is going to get drunk and decide it's a good idea," he said, but he added that there would probably be extra caution surrounding the photo opportunities to prevent any catastrophe.Comments powered by Disqus
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