Colleges offer students sensitivity ‘consultations’ on Halloween costumes

Colleges offer students sensitivity ‘consultations’ on Halloween costumes

My colleague Howard Portnoy probably thought he’d cornered the Halloween Campus Idiocy Whopper of the Day when he posted earlier on the instructional “flow chart” perpetrated this month by North Carolina State University*.

Little did we know that the trend is broader and more comprehensive than that.  The NC State “flow chart” provides decision-making tools, but it leaves students on their own at the all-important point of, well, decision.

Other universities have recognized that that’s a weak-hand policy.  Students shouldn’t be left to interpret costume-sensitivity guidance on their own.  That way lies a whole host of “-isms,” not to mention ruination and despair.

So at least two schools are offering costume consultations to their students.  SUNY-Geneseo and Wesleyan University have been putting out flyers with contact information for live, human consultants who will steer wary students through the rocky shoals of costume correctness.

As noted by Deion Kathawa at The College Fix, SUNY-Geneseo has five different points of contact.  But Wesleyan goes them one better, offering six.  That’s probably three to five times as many points of contact as are usually listed for any other campus activity or service.

(Via The College Fix)
(Via The College Fix)

We can guess that the consultants are available 24/7 to ensure that no costume-related offensiveness eventuates.

(The Wesleyan version - via The College Fix)
(The Wesleyan version – via The College Fix)

The flyers do give some criteria for evaluating costume correctness, even if turning to a consultant is implicitly considered the way to go.  Besides asking whether a costume mocks cultural or religious symbols, students are invited to assess whether it “trivializes human suffering, oppression, or marginalization such as portraying a person who is homeless, imprisoned, a person with disabilities, or a person with mental illness?”  (No fair channeling George Clooney in O Brother, Where Art Thou? apparently.)

Kathawa reminds us of some additional things it probably wouldn’t be a good idea for costumes to mock (such as Kanye West).  It may not be such a good idea, of course, to remind folks as Kathawa does about the “Caitlyn” Jenner costumes being offered by online retailers.  There are frat rats who might actually show up in that one.

(Image via The Wrap)
(Image via The Wrap)

But at SUNY-Geneseo, Wesleyan, and NC State, at least, they will have been warned.

 

* Motto: “They have a football team?”

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.

Comments

For your convenience, you may leave commments below using Disqus. If Disqus is not appearing for you, please disable AdBlock to leave a comment.