UC Irvine’s Office of Student Affairs sent a stern warning out to students not to wear offensive Halloween costumers, especially ones that are “particularly offensive to our intellectual and emotional sensibilities.”
The letter, signed by Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Thomas A. Parham and the Presidents of the Associated Students organizations, reminds students that Halloween can often “[serve] as a catalyst for disappointment, offensive speech, anger, hurt, emotional pain and group tensions. These are usually instigated by individuals or groups making decisions to plan and host theme parties where culturally different groups and women are portrayed in stereotypical, biased, degrading or unflattering ways.”
“Recent and past experiences have taught us that these incidents are particularly offensive to our intellectual and emotional sensibilities by appropriating cultural traditions and causing substantial discomfort and pain,” the letter continues. “They also stand in sharp contrast to the principles of community that our campus embraces.”
This letter isn’t the first time UC Irvine has warned students about offensive Halloween costumes. In an October 2015 email with similar phrasing, obtained by Red Alert Politics, Parham warned students that, “recent and past experiences have taught us that these incidents are particularly offensive to our intellectual and emotional sensibilities by appropriating cultural traditions and causing substantial discomfort and pain.”
A fourth year student at UC Irvine, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from UC Irvine administrators, told Red Alert Politics, “This type of rhetoric that administration force feeds students, supports identity politics and hypersensitivity. The administration has no right to push its own political agenda and dictate how students should live their life. I have never seen any kind of malicious or hateful ‘themes’ that have been suggested in the email. If this type of thinking is force fed down our university students throat by administration, our country will fall behind as a world leader because there will be no dissenting opinions and diversity of thought.”
Add UC Irvine to the long list of colleges coddling their students and sucking the fun out of Halloween.