DU warns against Halloween costumes "making fun" of people -- administrators included

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The University of Colorado is not the only school to take a scary interest in what its students will be wearing for Halloween.

Although CU's memo urging students to avoid "inaccurate and hurtful portrayals of other people's cultures" -- including any hillbilly or ghetto outfits -- has been roundly mocked across the country, that response did not discourage the University of Denver from getting into the politically correct game.

So put away that coonskin cap: If Denver Boone, the school's longtime mascot, isn't "inclusive" enough to remain a symbol of the university, it's a cinch that a Boone costume won't be welcome at DU tonight.

Here's the wardrobe word from Patricia S. Helton, associate provost for Student Life, in a letter sent to DU students on October 29:

Dear members of the University of Denver student community:

With the end of October drawing near, many within our community will be celebrating Halloween and incorporating this theme into their activities. These celebrations provide opportunities for students to socialize as well as make a positive contribution to our community.

Halloween can also be a time when the normal thoughtfulness and sensitivity of DU students can be forgotten and some poor decisions are made. So, if you are planning to dress up for Halloween, or will be attending any social gatherings planned for this weekend, we encourage you to think on these questions before deciding upon your costume choice:

Are you wearing a funny costume? Is the humor based on "making fun" of real people, human traits or cultures?

Are you wearing a historical costume? If this costume is meant to be historical, does it further misinformation or historical and cultural inaccuracies?

Are you wearing a 'cultural' costume? Does this costume reduce cultural differences to jokes or stereotypes?

Could someone take offense with your costume and why?

The University of Denver is a great university dedicated to the public good, and one of the core values we all share is inclusivity. While students have the right to express themselves, we hope that you actively avoid circumstances that threaten our sense of community or disrespect, alienate or ridicule segments of our population based on race, nationality, religious belief or gender expression.

We encourage you and your friends to show you DU Spirit!

In Pioneer Spirit,

Patricia S. Helton, PhD Associate Provost for Student Life

What's a more appropriate appropriate costume to wear at DU tonight? How about going as a big bag of money? After all, DU never turns down a dollar....

Boulder students could do a lot worse than a geisha or white trash outfit this Halloween season. How about dressing as Ward Churchill? Or Chip the gangsta mascot? Don't miss "More politically incorrect costumes for CU's list."

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