College Students Win Prize For Halloween Outfits . . . And Mandatory Diversity Training

imagesI recently wrote about the growing controversy over Halloween costumes on campuses and beyond over allegations of cultural appropriation.  Various colleges have cracked down on costumes deemed inappropriate or insulting or culturally appropriating. There is little consideration of the free speech concerns over such regulations or the differing views of cultural appropriations theories.  There is little question that many of these costumes are insulting and inappropriate.  The question is the role of universities in policing good taste and punishing those students who fail to meet often ambiguous standards.  The latest such controversy of students facing discipline can be found at the College of Charleston where members of the softball team cross the line of the Halloween etiquette.

According to WCSC-5, three students dressed up as “Hispanics with mustaches and cowboy hats” and two others as Border Patrol agents.  They ended up winning the second prize in a costume contest . . . and a trip to a disciplinary proceeding to training on “diversity and inclusion.”

The group was called “2nd place goes to . . . Team Hispanics and Border Patrol.

The college took action after a photo was posted on social media.




College of Charleston President Steve Osborne issued the following statement:

“Yesterday, some members of the College of Charleston softball team wore Halloween costumes on campus that were racially and culturally insensitive. This poor decision-making by some of our student-athletes causes harm on our campus and in the greater community. This incident does not reflect our university’s core values of diversity, community and respect for the individual. I am severely disappointed in these student-athletes and that something like this has, once again, happened at our university.

The softball team has written an apology to Athletics Director Matt Roberts and me, which is attached so that our entire campus community can read it. I accept their apology, but now comes the hard part: where we put action to words and make meaningful change. In line with that, the softball team will be undergoing diversity and inclusion training beginning next week.

Despite multiple messages from members of the administration and student affairs to the student body cautioning against offensive costumes or party décor, we still find ourselves in a place of hurt today. Clearly, we have failed to properly educate and impart on some of our students the importance of thinking before they act in order to make decisions that do no harm.”

The problem such “education” is that the colleges and universities often leave the standard undefined.  For example, students at Michigan State University this week were given warnings that a costume of a giant taco was not offensive but becomes offensive if the student puts on a sombrero.

There is little question that these costumes were deeply offensive.  I have no problem with the university calling in such students and expressing their dissatisfaction and disapproval. However, the question remains on our authority to punish or order mandatory training of students for expression in their private lives and associations.  If we possess such authority, how far does it extend?  Such expressions can have a mix of social and political elements.  They can also occur off campus or on social media.

Should colleges and universities police such matters with disciplinary measures.

46 thoughts on “College Students Win Prize For Halloween Outfits . . . And Mandatory Diversity Training”

  1. Use of humor to deal with social controversy is VERY American. Halloween is a time-honored chance to role-play and skewer people who are taking themselves too seriously.
    Only the alienated, self-righteous types have anything to fear from Halloween. Considering how violently people in past centuries dealt with disagreement, we’re making great progress.

  2. If I dress as a strait white guy, am I a racist, a misogynist, a homophobe or a sexist?

    1. you know what the racists say independent bob

      “your skin is your uniform”

      leftists appear to agree

  3. Funnily enough, the College of Charleston is NOT offended by their cheating professor Rachel McKinnon, a male who appropriates womanhood and competes in women’s cycling. He recently won a women’s world championship title and has done nothing but bleat, crow, gloat and brag ever since, comparing to Nazis anyone who points out that it is unfair for males to compete in women’s sports. Ironically, McKinnon teaches ethics, or so I am told. Numerous people have complained to the college about his appalling behavior yet not a peep in response from the College of Charleston.

    More on this fine “woman” can be found at this ridiculous yet more-truthful-than-most site, which pulls no punches:

  4. Diversity is glorious…but making it ‘mandatory’ is the quickest way to turn people into homogeneous dolts

  5. I’m still trying to understand why this is considered so offensive. It’s a costume. People used to dress up as hobos for Halloween. Is that insensitive to homeless people? Is dressing in a headdress offensive to native Americans? Is a man dressing up as a woman insensitive to women? People have dressed up as caricatures of the presiding president, is that offensive to the president? People can have their own opinions about what is and isn’t in bad taste, but I think everyone needs to stop taking themselves so seriously.

  6. OK, so JT says, “There is little consideration of the free speech concerns over such regulations or the differing views of cultural appropriations theories. There is little question that many of these costumes are insulting and inappropriate. ”

    Huh??? What do you mean that there is LITTLE QUESTION? There is a whole lot of question. This is how the PC nonsense spreads. Just presuming stuff. Just presuming something is insulting. Just presuming something is inappropriate.

    Why is blackface considered “insulting”, while your average Gay Pride Parade marcher with a horse tail stuck out of his rear end queer-a$$ attire is not considered “insulting.”

    We need to be talking about specifics.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

      1. mespo – excellent point. However, they are college kids and they probably did not give them a lawyer. They just railroaded them through the procedure.

      2. Well, not in today’s PC culture. Putting a cross in a bottle of urine is OK, but dressing up like Al Jolson in blackface, and singing “Mammy” is a sin worthy of social ostrich-ization. You know, where you have to bury your head in the sand.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

    1. You can add to that list transvestites. How dare they dress up as something they aren’t! Actors “en costume” must also be severely reprimanded – now that’s PC gone completely off the deep end.

  7. I want to see 1st place. What was clever enough to beat these kids? Who says today’s students have no sense of humor? Nicely done, boys.

    BTW, they already showed diversity.

    1. Softball team! I’m thinking they be ladies, but you may be right and the university is diverse enough they are boys.

      1. macktheripper – you are correct! I went right to left on the picture and looking again I think all but the but the girl on the far left banded themselves. Looking again it is obvious that the one on the far right has never shaved. 😉 Way to go, girls!!!! And I still want to see 1st place. This is even better. They cross-dressed and cross-raced, Good on them.

  8. Are women insulted when men dress up like women? Are body builders insulted when kids dress up like super-hero’s with six pack abs? If everybody is insulted by what everybody else does then it’s a wash. It all offsets itself. Nobody needs to concern themselves with it.

  9. These universities have become teachers of weakness, pity, self loathing, and emotional fragility, thus training our youth to be weak, pitiful and fragile. This may end up being possibly the “worst” generation and certainly not a generation meant to lead the country or our world. Sad.

  10. A generation ago, the student affairs apparat wasn’t altogether inane. Now it is.

  11. Kay, it is clear that you never learned basic accounting principles.

    Regarding education versus indoctrination, the latter is uncritical acceptance. I suppose that applies to the beginning instruction in the sciences; I never doubted my chemistry instructors, for example. But I was well enough educated to finally, in my retirement, become rather critical of various formulations in physics.

  12. The college grants them an award then sanctions them. Doesn’t make for a very good case against the students. But then again it isn’t a matter of justice is it?

    The students should not show up for the hearing and see what happens to them.

    This is really just about virtue signaling faculty members and their useful idiot student government trying to cover their asses while at the same time trying to trumpet how virtuous they are among their cohorts.

    If compelled to attend the training they should show up in the same costume they wore for Halloween.

    1. My Mom’s parents immigrated from Italy…she and her siblings were all born here in the U.S.
      There was a large wave of Italian-American immigants in my area, and many others, in the late-19th to -early 20th centuries.
      That Alka-Seltzer commercial would crack me up when I was a kid.
      And many, probably most, of those immigrants were still alive, and thought that the commercial was hilarious.
      Virtually all of them still had heavily accented English.
      The actor’s Italian accent was bad, but outside of that lack of realism, the commercial was a riot.
      The ad was supposedly pulled because of some “ethnic sensitivities”….not sure if that’s an Urban Legend or not, but political correctness has been around for a long time…even way back then.

          1. I think that’s the episode where the real mugger’s lawyer pays off Archie to make up a story that the mob mugged him.
            A “representative” is sent to correct him.

  13. No! I am sick of the colleges and universities and their ‘cultural sensitivity’. Why don’t they just do the job the feds give them money to do and turn out students with the ability to earn a living. Afterthought, if those students need cultural and diversity training, maybe they should just not go to those universities and colleges. They are big kids now. Too old to parent. Especially by stuffy old school personnel. Those students are paying a lot of money for their education. So maybe educators should just educate and not legislate.

    1. Colleges and universities do not receive money from “the feds” for instruction. Public ones are state supported, in part.

        1. Contract is between the student and the lending agency, not the academic institution.

          1. The lending agency though is providing monies to the institution. Student loans drives colleges and universities. So I don’t think I buy that argument. I got student loans to pay for my education, and the college I went to got the federal money that I applied for. Someone reaps the benefits for student loans. I think it is the colleges and universities. Had it not been for the college I went to I wouldn’t have known how to apply for federal benefits. And it took me years….. But…I paid. every. cent. back…….

            1. You pay tuition, funds obtained from whatever source, to pay for your share of your college education.

              Do not muddle up the simple accounting.

          2. Grants and loans are cross subsidies to the institution and the student, with the distribution of benefit dependent on characteristics of supply and demand.

      1. GI BILL is where the feds pay tons of money to colleges and universities

        Sallie Mae is where feds guarantee student loans

        duh come on david wake up man, you’re off the ball the past few days

    1. “I take no offense whatsoever in these costumes”.-DB Benson
      You’re not trying hard enough😉, DBB….if you really worked at it, you could be offended.

        1. I forgot that you live in the Siberia of Washington State.
          Do what you need to survive in your climate….you can always decide to be offended😦later by those costumes.

          1. Yes, you go on thinking that about Washington state. There are too many people here as it is.

            1. DB Benson,..
              I was referring to Pullman as the Siberia of the state, not the entire state.
              I know the vast majority of the population in the state is over the Cascades on the west side. Seattle area.
              But when the time comes, political prisoners from that area can be relocated and isolated in more sparsely populated areas like yours.

              1. DB Benson,..
                I’ve been to Pullman in the winter😧; I have reason to believe it.😄

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