Halloween on college campuses can be very scary with all of the rules forbidding pretty much anything and everything so as not to offend. You have to wonder how UT came up with 29 offensive costume items that could get you in big trouble. Halloween has become more about what could offend and not a night of freedom to offend…They’re all Fun Suckers!
Leave your cowboy boots and Hawaiian leis at home this Halloween unless you want to hear from University of Texas-Austin administrators.
Sorority and Fraternity Life, part of the Office of the Dean of Students, issued its updated “costume and theme resource guide” last week, instructing UT Greeks to avoid Halloween party costumes and themes that may “appropriate another culture or experience.”
It’s one of many school-sponsored guides or checklists recently given to the nation’s college students, particularly members of fraternities and sororities, telling them what they can and can’t wear in the runup to Halloween.
Though schools generally don’t list penalties for wearing a costume considered offensive, a Greek official at Pennsylvania’s Gettysburg College went so far as to warn fellow Greeks their chapters could be shut down if they wear the wrong costumes.
Don’t think about ‘sensationalizing’ transgender celebrities
The UT-Austin document informs students right away that their costume and theme choices will be scrutinized year-round, not just for Halloween.
It advises them to keep themed social events “safe, appropriate, and fun,” and to avoid offending other subcultures by obeying a 29-point checklist.
The guide encourages students to avoid “exotic” or “unique” themes, especially those which may reference a “living culture” or “current subculture.” It suggests that “sensationalizing” transgender celebrities such as Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner will be frowned upon.
“Have we consulted with ‘experts?’ Is it educational?” the guide advises students in the event they decide to portray a culture. Such “experts” include “community leaders or faculty.”
Students should also be careful to avoid “utilizing generic store-bought costumes” that may not be fully “authentic” if the theme is cultural, the guide says. It suggests hosting a “non-social event” if students want to “educate” each other about a culture.
It lists 11 separate “harmful” themes, including any “generalized representation” of Asian culture or “Indigenous” cultures, such as “Cowboys and Indians,” as well as “tropical” or “fiesta.”
Read more: The College Fix