College Administrators Have This One Simple Trick for Telling If Your Halloween Costume Is Offensive

Is it a costume? Then yes, it's offensive.



It's that time of the year again: time for joyless college administrators and their student collaborators to explain why basically every Halloween costume is off-limits.

Wesleyan University published an "Offensive Costume Checklist" intended to discourage students from "mocking cultural or religious symbols," "attempting to represent an entire culture or ethnicity," or "trivializing human suffering" with their choice of costume, according to The College Fix. Of course, it would be difficult to find a spooky costume that doesn't trivialize human suffering—vampires drink people's blood, zombies eat people, ghosts are literally dead people—but I guess that's probably the point.

Similarly, Valdosta State University's Housing and Residence Life department sent an email to students warning them that "some costumes can be more harmful than playful, and impact the community in negative ways," according to Campus Reform.:

Valdosta also wants students to avoid "reinforcing prejudices and fears," and so cautions them against "wearing costumes that make light of domestic violence, sexual assault, sex work, or matters concerning the LGBTQ community" (out, presumably, would be any outfit advertised as "sexy" or "slutty").

Yes, we wouldn't want anyone wearing Halloween costumes that reinforce fear! That would just be awful.

Universities can, I suppose, inundate their students will silly pleas for hypersensitivity. But they have no right to punish students for wearing whatever the hell they want. Unfortunately, administrators frequently forget this lesson; consider the University of California-Los Angeles' recent decision to suspend a fraternity and sorority that hosted a Kanye West-themed party, clearly violating their First Amendment rights in the process.

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  1. Robby, your Buzzfeed style article titles always make me smile. Even if they might be unintentional.

    1. I suspect he’s trolling the commentariat. Especially Warty.

      1. He’s playing with fire here. He keeps poking Warty and who knows what horrors may result.

      2. But he’s providing alt-text…

      3. I suspect he’s trolling the commentariat.

        That was my thought as well.

        Well played, Soave. Well played.

    2. I had one simple trick once. Boy, was she unintelligent.

  2. time for joyless college administrators and their student collaborators to explain why basically every Halloween costume is off-limits not OK.

    Let’s keep up that Rico Suave style, Robbie.

    Oh, also, nice alt text!

    /mini bitchslap

    1. I added some alt-text, just for you.

      1. *snickers*

        1. *three musketeers*

          1. *payday*

            1. “mounds”

              1. Heheh…mounds

                1. Is “Almond Joy” a Chinese hooker?


        Ya got me, Rico!

      3. I should have chosen …


      4. Double well played, Soave.

  3. “wearing costumes that make light of domestic violence, sexual assault, sex work, or matters concerning the LGBTQ community”

    So much for my plans to dress as a transgender hooker with a black eye and a bloody crotch.

  4. “”Offensive Costume Checklist” =

    – “mocking cultural or religious symbols,”
    – “attempting to represent an entire culture or ethnicity,”
    – “trivializing human suffering”

    Ok, those ARE most of the best ones. But what else is good?

    – Cross-Dressing as transgender-mockery?
    Celebrating the accomplishment of Great White Hunters?
    – Representing popular figures from the world of Sports?

    (as to the latter, i eagerly await creative Lamar Odom costumes)

    1. Khloe Kardashian’s ex husband?

    2. The only thing that it is acceptable to mock is the cisgenderheterowhitepatriarcy

  5. Needs moar sexy _fill_in_the_blank costumed gals.

    1. +1 sexy tranny

  6. Valdosta also wants students to avoid “reinforcing prejudices and fears,”

    That Eastern Europeans tend to be vampires?

    1. That German scientist try to create life by looting graveyards?

  7. If I’m ever afflicted with children, I’m threatening to write them out of the will if they even consider applying to Oberlin, Swarthmore, Tufts, or Wesleyan, etc.

    1. by the time they’re ready for college, you will be far better off with a list of acceptable schools as the other options will have grown far too large.

      1. What do you mean by the time they are ready for college???????

    2. Tell them to learn a trade. I should have become an electrician.

      1. I was estimating a change order one day and realized that the guy who was sitting at the exterior door of our office to prevent people from accidently wandering into the jobsite was literally making more by the hour than I was. It made me regret paying off my student loans.

  8. “”matters concerning the LGBTQ community””

    I love that they are so specific about the other sources of potential offense, and then just toss in this blanket-recommendation, “For the love of god, don’t do anything gay-ish or there’ll be hell to pay, those people are offended by the mere *mention*…just don’t… please”

    Frankly the only sane response to this sort of adult-diaper-wearing nonsense is to find some way to COMBINE every potentially dimension into one supreme costume-Weapon of Mass Offending.

    i’m thinking George Washington

    1. Fuck that.

      Go as a cisgenter hetero white male protestant who’s selling a small black boy into sexual slavery to men only, because women just shouldn’t be allowed to own property or speak to other men. And who’s packing a hidden handgun, just to stay safe. While wearing fur, constantly talking on a China-made iPhone, and driving a wood-burning car. That you didn’t pay any taxes for. With some hit-and-run DUI victims on the front.


      What did I miss?

  9. Well, thanks, Wesleyan, for making me feel quite happy about my decision never to give them a cent beyond what I paid in tuition.
    And I thought shit was ridiculous 15-20 years ago. It’s too bad. I still think it is a good school in a lot of ways. But they decided to market themselves as a place to go do activism as much as academics, and now look what happens.

    1. In my 25 in the workforce, I’ve never met a Wesleyan grad with a management job.

      1. Hi, nice to meet you.

        It’s actually (or was when I was there) a pretty rigorous academic school in the right departments. It has good graduate programs in science and math and economics (as well as music and film, but those aren’t going to lead to a lot of management jobs). I knew quite a few people who were hired by big banking and investment firms on graduation.

        Of course, it also has quite large grievance studies and victimology departments. But for a school of its size (less than 3000 undergrad) it does pretty well.

  10. I’ve realized that Halloween is the only holiday that is actually better as an adult than it was as a child. Thanksgiving becomes a nightmare of travel and family squabbling. Christmas is expensive and the excitement of unbridled materialism has passed. Valentine’s Day, terrible.

    But Halloween has actually improved. Instead of trick-or-treating, there’s parties. Instead of costumes, there’s sexy costumes. Instead of candy, there’s beer…but there’s still candy. It’s

    1. Halloween definitely improves the most, but New Year’s is also a lot better at 25 than it was at 5.

      1. In my experience, the peak of New Years awesomeness was at a bout age 30. It’s been all down hill from there.

        1. after 30, odds are making it to the new year come down. No hangover but not as much fun, either.

          1. Yeah, my office is always open on December 31, so even making it until midnight has been a struggle the last couple years.

    2. Halloween peaked for me in my teenage years. I’m sick of it now.

      I used to have a lot of fun scaring the shit out of kids trick-or-treating. But now even kids are a bunch of cynical bastards (or mom and dad are with them), so that’s ruined.

    3. …don’t leave us hanging!

      1. Squirrels apparently stole that last bit of my comment. Conclude it however you like.

    4. Thanksgiving is my favorite. A holiday that revolves around food? yes, please. Also my family gets along pretty well.

      1. I felt that way until I moved and started having to fly for Thanksgiving.

      2. I love Thanksgiving.

        My family does the same thing every. single. year. My folks bring a turkey, extra stuffing, and a relish tray. My favorite aunt brings a ham, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, and green beans with cheese. My grandma used to make the mashed potatoes, gravy, and rolls–but those have been divvied up among the rest of her kids since she’s a bit infirm to be doing it. And everyone brings a pie.

        We eat “dinner” at 1:00, graze all afternoon, and eventually folks get to the point where they’re not overstuffed and make sandwiches of leftovers for the evening. I have a food baby all day.

        1. We used to do pretty much that. But eventually grandparents all die and my cousins start having all these kids and in-laws and stuff, so it gets hard.

          1. Yeah, we’re edging up on that ourselves.

            If I want to keep having the traditional type of Thanksgivings we’ve been having, I’m going to have to start taking up more slack. :/

            But I’m such a slacker…

    5. the excitement of unbridled materialism has passed.

      I must not have gotten the memo.

  11. Halloween as “celebrated” by the masses – either by consuming a ton of sugar or booze – is kind of offensive to pagans. So stop.

    1. ^ This. The whole thing is a deliberate insult to Wiccans.

  12. Why does no one care about those of us who are offended by stupid rules and guidelines like this?

    1. That’s just your injured white privilege speaking. You’re not allowed to be offended


    1. I’ll watch that.

  14. Where are the animated gifs at?

  15. I suppose it is still allowed to wear spooky Hillary or Donald or Chimpy Mcbush costumes.
    How long before proggies joint the list of those who must not be mocked?

    1. I suppose it is still allowed to wear spooky Hillary or Donald or Chimpy Mcbush costumes.

      Edited, for your continued attendance at Wesleyan.

  16. That’s it, I’m dressing as a gay mexican vampire.

  17. Big surprise – put socialist bureaucrats in charge of stuff and they turn out to be…

    …idiot socialist bureaucrats. And bureaucrats, remember, are little more than jerks with low IQs who wield power.

    If nothing else, this (yet again) proves how flimsy and stupid the prog society is.

    It’s a brittle house of cards that if one thing gets mismanaged it all falls apart.

    That’s why the sb’s seek to crush out any “subversive” act, and the freedom of speech to go with it. And a “subversive act” may be wearing a ridiculous costume or using a strange word.

    If they don’t smash every single little ant, the extremely brittle society they’ve “constructed” will shatter.

  18. My wife is dressing as Aunt Jemima and I am putting a white sheet shaped like a KKK robe. Then we walk around Bourbon Street with a noose around her neck and me holding the other end.

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