Campus Free Speech

Bowdoin College Offers Safe Spaces, Counseling to Students Traumatized by Tiny Sombreros

Being upset is not the same thing as being in danger.



It was not enough to mandate diversity training and other sanctions for students who organized a culturally insensitive event at Bowdoin College—the college is also taking steps to provide counseling for anyone traumatized by the sight of a tiny sombrero. 

Bowdoin College is offering "safe spaces" for the victims of a recent tequila-themed birthday party in which "ethnic stereotyping" is alleged to have taken place, according to 

Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward covered the absurd outrage over the party, noting that a "Cold War" theme party hosted by the college's administration prompted no outcry:

The tequila party hosts, at least one of whom is Colombian, will be forced to attend "an educational program facilitated by a faculty member," attend "Active Bystander training," (in case you're wondering what that is, here you go), and "write a letter or paper on these experiences." They have also been forced to move out of their dorms and have been banned from major social events, The Bowdoin Orient notes in an editorial

Two of the attendees at the tequila party (who do not themselves seem to have been hat wearers or hosts, though the details are unclear) are representatives in the student government. On Saturday, they will face impeachment by their peers. 

… administrators have taken disciplinary action and publicly shamed students for throwing a party with silly hats. Were the hats in bad taste? Maybe. Could a dorm supervisor have pulled the kids aside and said "ixnay on the ombreros-say"? Maybe. Should these kids' friends have given them noogies? Maybe. But this simply shouldn't have risen to the level of adult attention in the first place. 

The manner in which Bowdoin is treating the perpetrators—if they can be called such—is shameful. But it's treatment of the so-called victims—the microaggressed—is similarly insane. Students have been provided with not one, but several opportunities to flee to the comfort of administratively-sanction safe spaces, according to National Review's Katherine Timpf

In an e-mail to National Review Online, sophomore Richard Arms states that there have been "3 school-wide emails from deans and our president, and there have been several 'safe-space' opportunities on campus for students to discuss how they were hurt and offended" by the party. What's more, the General Assembly of Bowdoin Student Government issued a "Statement of Solidarity to stand by all students who were affected by the 'tequila' party that occurred on 20 February 2016." 

We do everyone a grave disservice when we conflate offendness with safety. Being upset is not the same thing as being in danger, and students who can't tell the difference will be unprepared for life in the real world.

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  1. The Bowdoin Orient

    They better be changing their name, pronto!

    1. The heroic editors of The Orient inscrutably refuse to run comments on Bowdoin’s First Amendment meltdown.

      1. The Bowdoin Chink is not the issue here.

        Also, Princess, Chink is not the preferred nomenclature, please, Asian American.

  2. Bowdoin College is offering “safe spaces” for the victims of a recent tequila-themed birthday party in which “ethnic stereotyping” is alleged to have taken place…

    I picture students running, screaming and covering their heads, to the safe space like victims diving for shelter during a natural disaster. The poor kids, the lava of microaggression flowing at their feet, the volcanic ash of othering raining down on their heads.

    1. In the meantime I’m finishing up what I would assume to be is a lot of leftover tequila.

    2. SafeSpace mob will accidentally ID Pedro, the campus gardener, as an offensively-attired fratboy perpetuating racial and ethnic stereotypes – and beat Pedro to death with the poor bastard’s own leaf-blower, feeble two-cycle motor still running as it administers the blows.

      1. Not unless they can do it on social media.


    1. Really? I mean, she’s okay I guess.

      1. I have a thing for pippi-longstocking-redheads in sombreros

        1. Oddly specific but fair enough.

          1. I blame Heidi Sanchez, my first girlfriend

      2. Yes, I would.

      3. I’m sayin’, she’s got a grill like a cartoon witch. I wouldn’t, not with a stolen dick.

    2. I’m with Gilly on this one.

      1. Me, too, but the renaissance faire top is an odd match with the sombrero.

    3. Sombrero chick, Nancy Reagan, Mr. T, a disembodied uterus, psycho-cop, an incarcerated penis with a ball-and-chain, and then Trump a few times over?

      You have some competititon, Crusty.

    4. You didn’t need to say that, I just took it for granted. Young slender redhead with a pretty face…yeah.



    6. She looks like Scarlett Pomers. Now go image searching, and you’re welcome.

    7. She may be no Lobster Girl, but…

  4. Can scratch Bowdoin off my son’s potential college destination list. By the time he graduates we may be down to just flipping a coin between whichever 2 schools remain.

    1. FIRE publishes a guide that I intend to review once my boys are choosing schools.

    2. Self-education is usually a better route if you’re motivated, anyway. Bonus: You won’t be surrounded by know-nothing SJWs.

  5. “active bystander training”

    “is a program for students and teachers to learn how to interrupt harmful situations with a variety of safe intervention techniques. Student-led trainings help students and teachers have the competence and confidence to intervene in negative situations and create a safer environment in the school.”

    I have often said that the most dangerous words out of a millenial’s mouth is, “Not cool man”

    its like telling people how to get fucking punched. They don’t seem to understand that “peer shaming” doesn’t work on others simply because it works on *them*

    1. Well, if you are interrupting you aren’t a bystander any more, are you?

      Rule of thumb: don’t stick your nose in unless you are willing to see somebody’s nose get broken.

      1. What if the interrupting itself microagresses the intervenee?

        1. Then the whole kerfuffle goes off to the Campus Interdisciplinary Committee for resolution according to the latest 3D Victim Ranking Chart.

          1. “3D”?? What sort of cis-normative Newtonian oppressor are you? Invalidating and disrespecting those of us who identify with other dimensions! Well, I never…!

    2. But they reduced harmdoing by 20%!*

      * No reference to actual method of measurement or what they mean by “harmdoing”. **

      ** I click on these links so you don’t have to.

  6. “…In an e-mail to National Review Online, sophomore Richard Arms states that there have been “3 school-wide emails from deans and our president, and there have been several ‘safe-space’ opportunities on campus for students to discuss how they were hurt and offended”…”

    OK, I just want the crying-towel contract. They can whine all the please so long as they cover the $0.73/unit towel cost with mascara cleaning extra.
    Screw ’em.

    1. Oh, and thanks, Reason, for a non-Trump article.

  7. Lemee see….

    It was OK when this guy did it, actually in Mexico.

    1. When Mexico celebrated 200 years of independence, they chose to do so with chicks in sombrerosand guns!

      1. But yeah, I suppose some local college knows better about what’s offensive attire for celebrations and what-not.

      2. I have a couple of those Mausers and a shit-ton of ammo for them. Great guns.

      3. Oh I so want to attend a college party authentically dressed like that!

    2. That’s what kills me. Tequila is the Mexican equivalent of champagne for France, kolsch for Germany, or bourbon for the US. Plus, the modern sombrero was invented in Mexico. Are we now supposed to pretend two major symbols of Mexican culture don’t exist specifically because they are symbolic? Can I cry like a bitch if I offer somebody some *scotch and they say, “och, aye, a wee bit”?

      *I was going to refer to wearing a kilt to a scotch party, but nobody has scotch parties. Scotch doesn’t party. Scotch broods, and sometimes gloats or dwells, but it never parties.

      1. Unless you happen to be at a Highland Games celebration. At which drinking by competitors is discouraged – because of the danger. Unless you happen to wander up to the beverage vendor wearing your kilt. In which case he might just pull a bottle from underneath the counter and pour a stiff one for you … on the house. Because… kilt.

        I may be speaking from direct personal experience on this one. But you might just have to buy a couple of rounds to get the whole story out of me.

        1. Last year we went to a highland games near us in MD and while we were at my clan’s stall my sister-in-law asked the old lady there if she could have something to drink. She offered her beer, wine or whiskey, and she said, “No, thanks, I just need a drink of water.” “Oh, please, help yourself,” she said, pointing to a 10-gallon Igloo cooler. “We did put a little whiskey in it though, just to keep the bugs out.”


  8. Tick-tock… getting close to 4:30, Robert…

    1. And I got a couple for ya…

  9. [Drafts memo to HR, asking them to identify any Bowdoin grads within the last five years on our payroll for immediate termination.]

    1. Seriously? Some students just hunker down and get their degree, ignoring the nonsense the administrators send out.

      1. I’m not willing to take the chance. 😉

        And, of course, no, not seriously at all.

        If I’m interviewing anybody from one of these known hotbeds of idiocy, though, you can bet I’ll be looking for signs of acquired idiocy, though.

  10. “The tequila party hosts, at least one of whom is Colombian, will be forced to attend “an educational program facilitated by a faculty member,” attend “Active Bystander training,” (in case you’re wondering what that is, here you go), and “write a letter or paper on these experiences.”

    Here’s how I’d love for them to answer:

    No. Fuck you. Give me my money back, assholes.

    And when the dean refunds the money add, “Now, bend over. I’ll show you Active bystander training.”

    1. Or, go to the training, put in your earphones, and fire up a movie on your tablet.

      1. We had to take one of those bull shit sensitivity courses for the bank. Lemme tell ya, that teacher didn’t know what hit her. It was so fucking stupid we couldn’t help but challenge everything – with a joke of course. Truly a waste of time and for losers.

        1. We were having one of those awhile back. The CEO pulled me aside on the way in, rolled his eyes, and said “Let’s just get this over with so HR will shut up about it, OK?”

    2. I think the next reason weekly contest should be for an appropriate title to the paper the administration expects these students to write.

      1. I wrote a derp paper about Top Gun in a freshman “Reading Texts” class run by a total Marxist. It was a lot of Noam and hegemony. We, of course, understood it for the derpfest it was and just played along to get through it. Hence, my total “takedown” of Tom Cruise, Tony Scott and company.

    3. On the active bystander front… that gambit ain’t new. Back in the mid 80’s we had a run-in with this philosophy during intramural basketball season.

      There was a bit of a scuffle at one of the games – I happened to miss this one because of a late lab. A couple of guys got into it on the court and there was a bit of pushing and shoving all around. Well, all of the guys who were fighting got tossed from the league and banned from intramural sports forever. And anyone who left the bench – even guys who everyone agrees were only trying to restore the peace – got kicked out of the league and banned for the rest of the year.

      And my buddy Randy (now a chemistry professor, but at the time our ringer) who followed the rules and stayed seated on the floor at the bench area – he got tossed for the rest of the basketball season and reprimanded because “it’s not OK to just stand by and do nothing.” He was supposed to be an “active bystander”. Not just a bystander. ….. which we have already seen gets you banned from sports for a year. Soooo…. yeah. That was part of my education in the idiocy of the PC left.

      1. Ha. You’re damned if you and damned if you don’t with those POS. That’s why it’s better not to enable them. Don’t try and ‘make deals’ or ‘compromise’ because it’ll never be enough.

    4. It’s AMAZING how universities don’t think they should answer to students. I had a professor try to force me to sign a “contract” he wrote up that specified how we were NOT customers and we were not entitled to view him as a service provider that we were paying, despite the fact that that was exactly what he was. He wanted a delusion of being in control of his customers, rather than the other way around. I refused to sign it, told him why, and threatened to go to his boss if he tried to enforce his “mandatory” fake-contract. Because in actuality he IS a service provider and I WAS his customer, he let my refusal slide.

      1. Well, I answer to students for some things but not for others. Students don’t tell me what curriculum to teach, how they are graded/evaluated, or what is in the syllabus. They are not allowed to do stuff in class that disrupts other students, who are also paying customers, or whatever they want to call themselves. I do not teach a different curriculum than what is in the course description, and I stick to what I told them at the beginning of the semester as far as grading is concerned. This is pretty standard stuff; your professor must have been badly traumatized as a child or something. A contract is just weird. That’s what the syllabus is, you hand it out the first day and if students don’t like the terms, they drop the class.

  11. I think these babies are lying..They want attention,and a reason to feel special.I call bullshit of these snowflakes.

    1. On,crap

  12. “…there have been several ‘safe-space’ opportunities on campus for students to discuss how they were hurt and offended”

    Maybe, just once, I would like to hear one of these lunatics discuss exactly how they were hurt or offended. I say maybe because I fear it might cause me to lose my mind.

    1. Their lying I tell,ya.Bunch of pussies wanting attention.

  13. “(Active Training)…is a program for students and teachers to learn how to interrupt harmful situations with a variety of safe intervention techniques. Student-led trainings help students and teachers have the competence and confidence to intervene in negative situations and create a safer environment in the school.”


    This has comedy sketch written all over it.

    1. Can we practice the Banana this time?

    2. All of that read like a description of a cqb training course.

  14. Why is it that so many colleges are in a race to see who could provide a worse education than Trump University?

    1. It’s a trend,Hillary and Bernie are tying to be worse that Trump.The just don’t know it.

  15. “Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from. Which is why the Matrix was redesigned to this: the peak of your civilization.” ?Agent Smith

  16. Those offended need to be deported, obviously such a low IQ is here by mistake.

    1. Low IQ Bowdoin students? Unlikely.

  17. Why is it that the people who are on the lookout for any little thing to be offended at don’t realize how racist the idea of safe spaces is?? It’s literally saying people of racial groups can’t handle seeing people in wearing their own ethnic attire, and we need to protect the poor, inferior peoples from seeing such things, for their own good!!

  18. When will the shark ever be jumped on this nonsense?

    1. Oh great…. Now we gotta go make a safe space for sharks! Nice job, Gilbert….

    2. Not until the people pushing it get punished, rather than rewarded.

      As far as I can tell, one (1) SJW has been punished for this crap – Melissa Click.

      SJW on SJW intersectionality slap fights don’t count. Because even though an SJW loses those, another SJW wins.

  19. As a person of privilege, I feel I should protest this rabid culture-shaming that denigrates our long tradition of adopting stereotypes of other cultures. Instead I’m just going to throw a Bowdoin College Diversity Office themed party where everybody is encouraged to wear diapers and drinks will be served in baby bottles. Active Bystanders will be on hand to make sure the toilet remains unclogged in the designated Safe Space.

  20. Active bystander training, eh? So, Bowdoin College will by offering CQB training and CCW registration assistance for students? Sweet.

    1. No, it will offer them standing aids. (Trigger warning.)

  21. Dios mio!

    Public funding? The (themed) party is a matter of freedom of association/speech; add a stripper and it definitely is. (… Has anyone offered a safe space to men who saw a sexy naked woman, yet?)

    I’d like to see whether a court deems this reasonable.

  22. I went to college not far from Bowdoin and was there for some great parties. When you are in the middle of Maine for an endless winter, parties and heavy drinking are pretty much the only way to stay sane. I often think back to those days in the 80’s and wonder how the SJWs would react to our antics. Now I know.

    I bet maybe 10% of the kids on campus give 2 shits about the Sombrero party. Half actively hate the busy-bodies and assholes in the Administration who are making this happen. The rest don’t care.

    1. Oh, and the BBC banned liquor on campus about 15 years ago.

  23. They’ve got a pretty good radio station at Bowdoin. I especially like to listen to it at the end of a semester. Student djs will work the studio for twenty four hours straight. They get pretty loopy towards the end. And the music isn’t bad either.

  24. The good news is that when these commies finally grab pitchforks and come for my shit, they will be easily repelled with a few well-placed microaggressions.

  25. “Being upset is not the same thing as being in danger, and students who can’t tell the difference will be unprepared for life in the real world.”… Not the one they’re working to create.

  26. I’m from Georgia. I went to college in Boston. While I was there, I witnessed a few redneck-themed parties. And by “witnessed”, I mean that I got together with friends from the south and threw those parties. We hung out in pickups, drank cheap beer and Jack, and generally dressed like Joe Dirt.

    I’m not sure whether I should have been thrown out of school or if I might have achieved the hallowed status of “Victim” after being traumatized by the horrible microagressions from having my culture stereotyped.

    1. Nope, “redneck” is not a protected group (while “poor” would count, naturally “white” overcomes all that and makes you “privileged”, no matter how poorly “rednecks” really are treated by those in actual power throughout mass culture and especially on the Progressive side).

      You get reeducated, Kulak.

  27. Being upset is not the same thing as being in danger, and students who can’t tell the difference will be unprepared for life in the real world. get jobs at OSHA where they will declare microagressions to be workplace hazards.

  28. I guess we can assume than none of them are fans of the Tampa Bay Bucs.

  29. I bet these students would curl up and die if someone threw a birthday party with the pointy hats because they thought they were the KKK.

  30. They chose a private Liberal Arts College, and they’re getting what they chose.


  31. Dude this makes no sense at all man, None whatsoever.

  32. Employers just encourage more of this behavior by hiring graduates of the University.

    They could stop this in an instant if they wanted

  33. The Ministry of Truth always catches up with hate crimes, thought crimes, and other various crimes that will come to pass in the future.
    Your brain will now be encoded with a Thought Police chip to ensure your compliance.
    This is mandatory.

  34. Not being allowed to openly display my tiny hat preference in public is a microaggresion against me.

  35. That parents actually spend 50 k to send their snowflakes to this idiocracy is telling.

    I went to a prep school on scholarship from Minnesota in 1972…great school, good couple years but I smelled the bullshit then and moved to Montana and started cutting timber, and glad that I did.

  36. Our society at large has created these benighted souls; when every authority started offering and accepting responsibility for “counseling” for ever mishap and person who died for whatever reason, when memorials are held and set up for every loss, when they started offering graduation ceremonies beginning in preschool, when everyone went home with a trophy for doing anything or nothing, when everyone is accommodated for their perceived “status” and largely manufactured and exaggerated victimization this generation was set up to be the way they are: snowflakes in the extreme. And they want it now and in perpetuity. Just wait till this bullshit proceeds to the employment world, the legislative arena, and the judiciary.

    It is not so much or laws that dictate what we do, as much as our social norms and what we accept that creates the world we live in.

  37. And to think this was the college of Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, hero of the Battle of Gettysburg! I bet he’s rollin’ in the grave right now!

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