Scholarship News

Colleges Investigating Offensive Halloween Costumes


October 31, 2017 11:09 AM
by Susan Dutca-Lovell
Halloween Day hadn't even officially arrived and college students (and even faculty) sparked outrage over their offensive and racially derogatory costumes. One of the images that went viral over the weekend was that of a police officer from the University of Nevada at Reno, who was dressed as former Quarterback Colin Kaepernick - allegedly in blackface and wearing a sign that read Will Stand for Food.

Halloween Day hadn't even officially arrived and college students (and even faculty) sparked outrage over their offensive and "racially derogatory" costumes. One of the images that went viral over the weekend was that of a police officer from the University of Nevada at Reno, who was dressed as former Quarterback Colin Kaepernick - allegedly in blackface and wearing a sign that read "Will Stand for Food."

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At Dickinson College, another incident is being investigated after a "racially insensitive" photo showed a student dressed as Colin Kaepernick with someone nearby who appeared to be holding a gun. The college's Vice President, Joyce Bylander stated that although "it definitely doesn't belong on any college campus," "we must all understand that this action, however distasteful, is a form of free expression." In response to the incident, Bylander asked students to "answer speech with speech to find how individual choices can have a negative impact on other community members." Some students believe this course of action is better than suspension or probation.

One student at the College of Charleston was criticized for his costume of Freddie Gay in an orange jumpsuit, a black man who died in Baltimore back in 2015 while in police custody. The Snapchat caption read "ur going to jail tonight." A similar photo depicted a shirtless student with a racial slur written on their back, along with other drawings. College President Glenn McConnell issued a statement that said "this whole situation is very painful to many people" and that "in no way does this behavior reflect our College of Charleston core values, especially as it relates to diversity, community, and respect for the individual student." While the college's Black Student Union believes that students involved should be expelled, McConnell and the College's Division of Student Affairs and Department of Public Safety are conducting a full investigation and will take appropriate action if they "determine that the institution's student code of conduct or any other college policies have been violated."

In your opinion, should these, and similar costumes be allowed as an exercise of freedom of speech? Why or why not?

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Discuss

Share your thoughts and perhaps thousands of students will benefit from your unique insight on the subject!



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Kirra B.  on  11/8/2017 10:04:37 PM commented:

I think people are abusing their freedom of speech by wearing offensive costumes. Sure, you have the right to say whatever you want. Should you say it? How you use this precious right is a reflection on your character, and furthermore your intelligence. I think to many people say “Well, it’s a free contry. I can do whatever I want.” without looking at the consequences. Respect for others needs to be a fundamental part of every society, and it is not a part of ours as of now.

Kim M  on  11/7/2017 11:56:43 PM commented:

So we should lighten up when Colin Kaepernick's freedom of expression was worn as a joke. So it's alright for a Caucasian to throw her drink on men who refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance but it was their freedom of expression. further more black girls wear extensions for the look not to imitate Caucasian women's hair. Black and Arican American women have long hair too

Dennis S.  on  11/1/2017 6:14:57 PM commented:

These snowflake students can only end up as "sensitivity councillors" on the campus' of tomorrow. The joke is they will be pulling down 150k in salaries. See why a college education costs so much?

Anthony R  on  10/31/2017 10:47:32 PM commented:

If people get so offended by these costumes then maybe they shouldn't be in college. Grow up or get out.

Tom J.  on  10/31/2017 8:24:30 PM commented:

What about Russell Wilson dressing up as Pete Carroll? BTW the officer did not go black face he used makeup to put on a beard. Lighten up people.

Lori M  on  10/31/2017 6:44:23 PM commented:

Political correctness is destroying this country and the freedoms it stands for. I am not offended by such non-sense that is in this story. Those that are easily offended need to look inward and question why. I have long straight hair but I'm not offended when black women get hair extensions to imitate hair styles like mine. Imitation is the highest form of flattery

Julio G  on  10/31/2017 5:32:09 PM commented:

Note that this is no more than an opinion, but in the society we live today I personally believe these people should be able to wear their costumes as much as the player himself is able to kneel. I see not how students who exercise their amendments should be expelled simply due to a group of people disagreeing with what they choose to do with their right.

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