Unis give guides on what students should not wear for Halloween
Native American headdresses, a Mexican sombrero, a geisha outfit or any form of blackface have been listed as among "unacceptable" costumes. Source: Shutterstock.

Halloween is just around the corner, and while many students across the US are getting creative on their costumes, several colleges are preparing to avoid unsavoury incidences throughout the busy period.

Taking early precaution, the colleges are proactively warning students against wearing costumes that are deemed offensive with the use of guides, checklists and workshops. They are even threatening investigations and actions against errant students. Some are also offering counselling.

The move, according to the Fox News, came in light of a wider crackdown on outfits that were not politically correct, noting costumes ranging from creepy clowns to Caitlyn Jenner that have more than eyebrows.

Native American headdresses, a Mexican sombrero, a geisha outfit or any form of blackface have been listed as among “unacceptable” costumes in the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota’s “Costume or Culture Appropriation” flier.

“Cultural appropriation is defined as ‘the act of taking intellectual and cultural expressions from a culture that is not your own, without showing that you understand or respect the culture,’” the flier read.


The students were also told to avoid costumes with “a long history of prejudice, hate, discrimination, colonialism, and slavery” and “an important and/or sacred element into fashion.”

Apart from offering 24/7 counselling last year around Haloween, the University of Florida cautioned students against wearing costumes that touched on minority groups.

“Some Halloween costumes reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, or religions,” the administration said. “Regardless of intent, these costumes can perpetuate negative stereotypes, causing harm and offence to groups of people.”

A newsletter put out by the Student Affairs Diversity Council at the University of Utah, tells students to avoid Halloween costumes if it is labelled “tribal” or “traditional,” or if it includes dreads, locks, afros, cornrows or a headdress.

While clothes that “make fun of Donald Trump” are okay with Ohio State University’s student magazine, white students were warned not to dress as Prince, or wear “traditional headwear from other cultures.”

However, other universities did not accept costumes that depicted the president.

A Notre Dame Residence hall was holding a Disney-themed dance, but students were advised not to come as Moana, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Mulan or The Princess and the Frog.

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