University reneges on promise to punish students wearing ‘offensive’ costumes

Administrators at Quinnipiac University warned students not to dress up for Halloween as culturally insensitive characters, including Mexicans, gangsters or “promiscuous nurses.”

But the private Connecticut university later backed off its claim that offending costumes could result in disciplinary action after The Daily Caller questioned them about their policy.

“Costumes that exaggerate, stereotype, generalize a particular ethnic culture [or] gender, [are] insensitive,” said Diane Ariza, chief diversity officer at Quinnipiac, in a statement to The Quinnipiac Chronicle.

Ariza went on to list off several costumes she would consider offensive, including Mexican, gangster, hooker and promiscuous nurse.

Such costumes have no place on campus, she said.

“It is as offensive as writing the ‘N-word’ on a blackboard or a chalkboard or a whiteboard in the dorms or in the residence halls,” she said.

Monique Drucker, associate vice president of student affairs, echoed her concerns. Students who wore insensitive costumes could face repercussions from the university, she said.

“If [students] are not in compliance with us or if they challenge the conversation in a way that would be inappropriate, then we would be thinking about bringing them through student conduct,” said Drucker.

The university dropped this threat after TheDC asked for an explanation about what kind of punishment offending students might face, however.

“A student will not face the university’s discipline process for simply wearing a Halloween costume considered inappropriate,” Lynne Bushnell, vice president for public affairs, told TheDC.

Still, Bushnell hopes that students will celebrate Halloween in an “inclusive” way.

The university works tirelessly to foster an environment that supports diversity and the inclusion of all identities,” she said. “We want to make sure our students keep these values in mind in their daily lives and as they celebrate Halloween.” (RELATED: Universities say Halloween costumes are offensive, of course)

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