I previously honored the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with the distinction of least fun college ever, but Tufts University's Halloween costume crackdown is providing serious competition.
Leaders of Tufts' Greek community sent an email to fraternities warning their members not to wear "inappropriate, offensive, or appropriative costumes," or costumes that appropriate cultures or "reproduce stereotypes on race, gender, sexuality, immigrant, or socioeconomic status." Also forbidden: "Outfits relating to tragedy, controversy, or acts of violence."
Well, that disqualifies just about every possible Halloween costume I can think of. Aren't even traditional costumes like vampire/zombie/skeleton "related to acts of violence"?
Tufts is trying to spin the letter as something "written by students, for students, to encourage a thoughtful and considerate celebration of Halloween." A spokesperson told The College Fix that "Tufts University does not have a 'Halloween costume policy."
Tell that to the Greek kids who are concerned—reasonably so, in my view—that the university plans to call the cops on students who wear politically incorrect Halloween costumes:
There are consequences for wearing an offensive costume. Mary Pat McMahon, the Dean of Student Affairs, described the consequences as follows: "The range of response for students whose actions make others in our community feel threatened or unsafe, or who direct conduct towards others that is offensive or discriminatory, includes OEO and/or TUPD investigation and then disciplinary sanctions from our office that could run a wide gamut depending on what is brought to our attention and the impact of these actions on others. Any complaints will result in full investigation by University officials and could result in serious disciplinary sanctions through Judicial Affairs." We encourage all students that feel like they have encountered someone who is wearing an inappropriate and offensive costume to please file a report by filling out the following link…
Nope, no Halloween costume policy to see here. Students can be investigated—perhaps by the police—for the crime of cultural appropriation, but no, this is not a policy. It's just what happens.
At this point, we might as well cancel the holiday. College administrators have killed it.