DS View: Costumes

Although Halloween can be a fun and enjoyable time for students, it also can be offensive if done wrong.


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Last week, staff from the University of Minnesota —  including the vice president, the office of equality and diversity and the dean of students — released an email to their student body that eventually made its way to UND. The email urged students to be considerate of others and try not to be offensive when picking out Halloween costumes.

The message was particularly focused on encouraging students not to wear costumes that would “inappropriately perpetuate racial, cultural and gender stereotypes.”

After reading the email, many staff here at UND agreed with the message and are hoping that students here also are considerate of others when deciding what to wear on Halloween weekend. We, The Dakota Student editorial board, agree with the overall message of the U of M email.

We think Halloween is a time that can be particularly fun for college students across the country. It gives us all a chance to dress however we want. Although there are practically limitless options of costumes that are scary, smart, sexy or funny, there is a certain point where a costume can become something more than a chance to be creative.

Sometimes it can be hard to determine which costumes are funny and clever and which ones are just plain offensive. Many students may be indifferent to costumes that may be considered offensive by some.

Other students might think that a costume is tasteless but aren’t upset enough about it for it to really bother them. However, it is important for us to consider that for some students, seeing your offensive costume could ruin their night.

Even if we don’t intend for a costume to be offensive or inappropriate, it still can be. When deciding what you wear, ask yourself whether or not there is anyone who might see your costume and be offended by it.

If the answer is yes, then there are plenty of options you can choose from that won’t be offensive or tasteless.

Being insensitive to the group or person who is the butt of a costume joke is bad enough, but wearing a questionable costume will reflect poorly on the wearer more than anything else — and not only if your employer sees photos of your offensive costume on Facebook.

Acceptance is becoming more widely accepted. Acting foolishly on Halloween is a good way to get a lot of people to think less of you quickly.