DURHAM, N.H. – Some universities are drawing attention to offensive costumes this Halloween season, using educational campaigns that challenge students to consider — or reconsider — their choices.
While no schools are prohibiting costumes, several are highlighting attire that might offend certain ethnic groups, such as a sombrero or Native American head dress or donning black face.
The University of Texas at Austin has issued a checklist that includes costumes with harmful themes, while Southern Utah University launched a poster campaign featuring students of color holding photos of people wearing costumes mocking their race or culture.
The campaigns have been welcomed by students of color at a time when incidents of racism are on the rise at campuses across the country. But critics say the campaigns amount to defacto prohibition on a growing list of costumes and scare students into avoiding Halloween all together.