Taxpayer-funded officials at the University of Florida are urging students who feel offended or triggered by Halloween costumes to report the costumes to the public school’s “Bias Education and Response Team.”
“Some Halloween costumes reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, or religions,” an unsigned Oct. 10 dispatch from the University of Florida administration informs students. “Regardless of intent, these costumes can perpetuate negative stereotypes, causing harm and offense to groups of people.”
After striking terror in students by suggesting that Halloween-related social media posts could ruin their reputations into perpetuity, the memo “reminds” students that “UF fosters a community that values and respects diversity.”
“If you are troubled by an incident that does occur,” the missive advises, “there is a 24/7 counselor in the Counseling and Wellness Center available to speak by phone at 352-392-1575.”
“Lastly, the ‘Bias Education and Response Team’ at the University of Florida is able to respond to any reported incidents of bias, to educate those that were involved, and to provide support by connecting those that were impacted to the appropriate services and resources. You may submit a bias incident report at www.umatter.ufl.edu/stopbias.”
The University of Florida’s “Bias Education and Response Team” is composed of 10 people including the assistant dean of students, Anthony DeSantis, and the director of the Institute of Black Culture, Vee Smith.
“The purpose of the Bias Education and Response Team (BERT) is to provide impacted parties of bias incidents opportunities to be heard and supported; understand and respond to situations that effect the University of Florida; educate and inform the community; and create awareness of ignorance and intolerance,” the taxpayer-funded team’s webpage declares.
The University of Florida offers exactly zero guidance concerning what costumes might require ‘Bias Team’ intervention, school spokeswoman Janine Sikes admitted to Heat Street.
Sykes also swore that the public school has no interest in trampling students’ free expression rights.
“Depending on the circumstances, we might reach out to the person who was listed as wearing the costume and see what support or resources they might need as well,” Sykes confidently told Heat Street. “No one is required to talk to BERT. If the individuals involved desire further conversations with us or each other, we would help facilitate this.”
Back in 2012 — and also in 2011 — the University of Florida made national news because some white students decided it would be a good idea to dress up for Halloween in blackface. The white students dressed as rappers and football players.