The University of Florida is spooked by the costumes students could potentially wear this Halloween. The school is deeply concerned that some of its aspiring young Einsteins might adorn themselves inappropriately, and is even more troubled by the reaction other students may have to these outfits.
“October brings fall weather and Halloween,” the college recently wrote in a blog titled “Halloween Costume Choices,” posted to its website. (Brilliant observation, but they forgot Indigenous People’s Day)! The U of F has let students know that if they are offended or scared by a Halloween costume, it has counselors standing by to help them overcome their trauma.
The blog wisely counsels: “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.” What about political ideologies? And colleges “know” their kids are going to engage in sexual activity, so many make free condoms available to prevent unwanted pregnancies. So, to prevent unwanted indignities this Halloween, why don’t they just pass out free blindfolds to their brittle boys and delicate debutantes?
The piece continues: “The University of Florida’s Division of Student Affairs Diversity and Social Justice Statement [UFDSADSJS] 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.” Yay!! Inclusive diversity is the best kind!! (Except we don’t want any Trump supporters, and we won’t let anyone speak on our campus if they don’t share our political beliefs).
This caring institution of higher learning’s website also affirms that: “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…by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, there is a 24/7 counselor in the Counseling and Wellness Center available to speak by phone at 352-932-1575. 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.”
Bias Education and Response Team (BERT)? Images of student counselors dressed as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles come to mind (would that be offensive to turtles or cartoon characters?), lurking in a nearby “safe space,” re-education pamphlets at the ready, poised to dash out at 1:30 in the morning to stabilize the campus upon the report of a sombrero sighting.
Now that is scary.