by Amber Randall
The University of Texas at Austin issued a list of guidelines to warn students about wearing costumes that might have a “negative impact” on other students, according to reports.
The updated guidelines, issued by Sorority and Fraternity Life on campus, cautions students from throwing parties or wearing costumes that could “appropriate another culture or experience,” reports the College Fix.
According to an Office of the Dean of Students spokesperson, the guidelines are available year round on the school’s website and were passed out to all student organizations that throw “thematic social events.”
The checklist urges students to question whether the themes of their Halloween parties and costumes are merely stereotyping or oversimplifying different cultures. Students should question whether their party themes are educational and represent their organization’s values.
“If we are unconcerned about the potential for negative reactions, and choose not to take these considerations seriously, we are fully prepared to deal with the consequences,” the pamphlet reads.
The checklist also lists “harmful themes or costumes” that students and organizations should avoid, such as “pimps and hoes,” “cowboys and Indians,” “south of the border/fiesta,” and “ghetto fabulous/urban/g’d up.”
The guidelines suggest more appropriates themes for parties, like “comic book heroes and villains” or an alphabet theme were everyone dresses up as a letter.
“Ask yourself: Am I comfortable in this costume? Is this an outfit I feel represents my own values? Ask yourself: What’s the joke? Why would someone laugh at my costume/who are they laughing at?” the guidelines urges students to ask themselves when choosing a costume.
The University of Florida announced they had 24/7 “bias response” for students offended or troubled by their peers’ Halloween costumes in early October. (RELATED: University of Florida Urges Students To Report Politically Incorrect Halloween Costumes As BIAS INCIDENTS)
“Some Halloween costumes reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, or religions. Regardless of intent, these costumes can perpetuate negative stereotypes, causing harm and offense to groups of people,” the announcement read.
A counselor from the college’s Counseling and Wellness Center would be available to talk with students triggered by costumes, the letter said.
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