If you’re a University of Florida student who’s easily offended, you might want to steer clear of Halloween. But if you can’t resist a good party and still take offensive costumes personally, administration is offering counseling.
School officials released a memo Thursday alerting students to pick their Halloween costumes with caution. In other words, at least try to be politically correct, steer clear of black face and that heinous Kim Kardashian hostage costume. But if worst comes to worst, they will also be offering counseling for anyone who needs it.
“Some Halloween costumes reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, or religions,” the statement read. “Regardless of intent, these costumes can perpetuate negative stereotypes, causing harm and offense to groups of people.”
“UF fosters a community that values and respects diversity,” the statement continued, before warning students of the “long-term impact on your personal and professional reputation” if they ignore the advice, pick something offensive and photos of the costume wind up on social media.
Administrators added that the Bias Education and Response Team will also be there to “respond to any reported incident of bias,” providing support to anyone who is impacted by questionable Halloween costume decisions by connecting them with the “appropriate services and resources.” A counselor will be available 24/7 by phone at UF’s Counseling and Wellness Center.
The statement also reports that the team will be there to educate those who “were involved” in any incidents of bias. However, these same students are not expected to be disciplined.
“Depending on the circumstances, we might reach out to the person who was listed as wearing the costume and see what support or resources they might need as well,” spokeswoman Janine Sikes told Heat Street. “No one is required to talk to BERT. If the individuals involved desire further conversations with us or each other, we would help facilitate this.”
Ok so really, UF warned students to be conscious of their Halloween costume choices in hopes of steering them in a politically direct direction, but won’t punish those who choose to do otherwise anyway? And they’ll offer services to both offended students and those who were offensive, but they’re not mandatory? Our heads hurt.
What do you think about it? Sound off in the comments below.