The University of Florida is offering counseling to students that are offended and “troubled” by Halloween costumes that will be worn for this upcoming Halloween.
In a memo posted to the Gator Times on Monday, school officials said that they want students to dress in appropriate attire for Halloween because there may be costumes that some students may find offensive regarding race, gender, or religion.
The school is offering 24/7 counseling for students that are “troubled” by an incident.
The school urged their students to “think about your choices of costumes and themes,” and also that posts on social media could have a lasting impact on a person’s career and reputation.
The memo, titled “Halloween Costume Choices” writes:
“October brings fall weather and Halloween. If you choose to participate in Halloween activities, we encourage you to think about your choices of costumes and themes. Some Halloween costumes reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, or religions. Regardless of intent, these costumes can perpetuate negative stereotypes, causing harm and offense to groups of people. Also, keep in mind that social media posts can have a long-term impact on your personal and professional reputation. The University of Florida’s Division of Student Affairs Diversity and Social Justice Statement reminds us that UF fosters a community that values and respects diversity. An inclusive definition of diversity recognizes the variety of personal and social experiences that make individuals and communities different from one another.”
“As a community, we aspire to demonstrate integrity, respect, and compassion that strives to maintain an affirming campus climate for all members of our community. If you are troubled by an incident that does occur, please know that there are many resources available. Please take advantage of the 7 day a week presence of the U Matter, We Care program at the University of Florida by emailing [email protected]. Additionally, there is a 24/7 counselor in the Counseling and Wellness Center available to speak by phone at 352-392-1575. Lastly, the Bias Education and Response Team at the University of Florida is able to respond to any reported incidents of bias, to educate those that were involved, and to provide support by connecting those that were impacted to the appropriate services and resources. You may submit a bias incident report at you for being mindful of these values, and have a fun and safe Halloween.”
This memo comes only days after the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse hosted an event that attempts to help people determine if their costume is racist. Roughly 30 students showed up to the event that was advertised with posters asking “Is your costume racist?”