Despite the rainy start, Hallo-weekend has begun. For many, the stress of putting together a costume for parties is temporarily more pressing than nailing a rapidly approaching job interview, and a great costume is nothing without a witty Instagram caption to go along with it.
However, costumes have also become a point of contention on college campuses, and in an attempt to help control the inevitable flurry of costume ideas, several universities have warned students of wearing costumes on Halloween that can be perceived as culturally-appropriating or otherwise offensive.
CBS News reported that the University of Florida is offering a 24/7 hotline offering guidance to students feeling attacked or threatened by the negative stereotypes of Halloween costumes. North Carolina State University released a statement to its students urging an inclusive Halloween through costume and party theme choices, and included this detailed infographic if students are unsure if their costumes are appropriate.
Administrators are not the only ones pushing costume regulations, however. According to The Tufts Daily, students from Tufts' four Greek councils created and sent a letter to all students warning against wearing insensitive and inappropriate costumes. The letter also included information regarding how to stop sexual assault and the general dangers of alcohol consumption. The administration then reminded students of the university’s Non-Discrimination Policy, adding that disciplinary actions and investigations are potential consequences of a violation.
Last fall, Yale University sent an email to its students encouraging “thoughtfulness and sensitivity” and asked students to “don a costume that respects your classmates” when choosing what to wear. Following faculty members’ questioning responses to the email and other lasting repercussions, this incident is fresh in the minds of administrators nationwide, and sparked other schools to follow suit this year.
Penn has not sent a warning of similar nature this year or in years past.
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