A letter circulated among members of fraternities and sororities at Tufts University warns that school officials have promised campus police investigations for anyone “wearing an offensive costume” this Halloween season.
In the letter obtained by The College Fix, Tufts dean of student affairs Mary Pat McMahon criticizes students who don objectionable Halloween garb for making “others in our community feel threatened or unsafe” and for conduct “that is offensive or discriminatory.”
McMahon promises “disciplinary sanctions” for the crime of “wearing an offensive costume,” the letter says. She does not detail the punishments, but says they “could run a wide gamut depending on what is brought to our attention and the impact of these actions on others.”
The undated letter containing McMahon’s stern Halloween warning includes much more.
“Greek Brothers and Sisters have worn costumes that appropriate cultures and reproduce stereotypes on race, gender, sexuality, immigrant or socioeconomic status,” the letter also states.
“It is our mission to promote spaces that allow members of the Tufts community to have fun without feeling as though any part of their identity is being misrepresented or targeted.”
After describing the “consequences for wearing an offensive costume,” the letter urges fraternity and sorority members to rat each other for “wearing an inappropriate and offensive costume” by using a form called — in its 12-word entirety: “Incidents of Bias, Intolerance, Discrimination and/or Hate: Reporting Form (Anonymous Option).”
A single year of tuition, fees and room and board at Tufts costs $65,996.
The police department at the very expensive liberal arts college in the suburbs of Boston employs 58 people.
“The Tufts University Police Department receives its authority from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” the department’s webpages explain.
“Generally, Tufts Police officers are authorized to make arrests for criminal offenses in or upon lands or structures owned, used, or occupied by the university, or in places where university business is conducted. This authority extends beyond the confines of the various campuses as determined by the acquisition of local special police status or deputy sheriffs’ authority or by previous court decisions.”
Tufts University spokesman Patrick Collins told The College Fix that “Tufts University does not have a ‘Halloween costume policy.'”
“The letter was written by students, for students, to encourage a thoughtful and considerate celebration of Halloween within our diverse and inclusive community and to stress the importance of alcohol safety and sexual consent,” Collins explained.
The Tufts spokesman added that, in fact, the state-sanctioned Tufts police department with full authorization to arrest people can — “in certain circumstances” — provide disciplinary sanctions” against “students whose actions are discriminatory.”
The official Tufts University student handbook pronounces grandiloquently about free expression among students. “Without freedom of expression, community members cannot fully share their knowledge or test ideas on the anvil of open debate and criticism,” the handbook enthuses.
Tufts is, of course, most famous because students who enthusiastically endorse the censorship of speech they don’t like emailed sophomore Jake Goldberg earlier this year to say “fuck you,” “fuck off” and “eat my ass” after he proposed a resolution calling for free and untrammeled campus speech. (RELATED: Fancypants College Fascists Call Student ‘Scum,’ ‘F**khead’ Over His FREE SPEECH RESOLUTION)
Goldberg had urged administrators and students at the fancypants school to reject ambiguous rules outlawing “hurtful words,” “acts of intolerance and hate,” “innuendos of a sexual nature” and the like.
Other students at Tufts who support restrictions on “hurtful words” and other free speech have responded to Goldberg’s resolution by taking to social media to call him an “ignorant fuckhead,” “meninist scum” and “a stain on the face of this campus.”
Goldberg told The College Fix that Tufts officials “have fundamentally inverted the meaning of tolerance.”
“Many of my friends have felt compelled to alter their costume plans out of fear of administrative retaliation,” he added.
Tufts is also famous because a small group of its comfortable, protected students very briefly sustained a hunger strike on behalf of 20 janitors laid off by the administration. The students involved ended the stunt out of concerns for their own health. The custodians remained laid off. (RELATED: Fancypants College Students End Brief Hunger Strike, Get Back To Being Rich And Well-Fed)