Pennsylvania college nags students over Halloween costumes

The University of Pittsburgh advertised guides that instruct students to avoid 'offensive or inappropriate' Halloween costumes.

The school stated the holiday 'should be fun, exciting, and respectful for everyone.'

The University of Pittsburgh advertised guides that instruct students to avoid “offensive or inappropriate” Halloween costumes.

The note, shared by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, linked to two articles on how to plan an inclusive costume.

“Inclusive Halloween Costumes,” published by York University’s (YU) Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion, provided a list of questions students could ask themselves to determine if a costume is offensive.

Questions included asking if the costume “perpetuate[s] a stereotype or stigma,” “include[s] a replication of a garment” of a religion, ”depict[s] a historical time period” where the fashion could be discriminatory, or “represent[s] elements of a culture…that is being commoditized for consumption.”

[RELATED: WATCH: George Washington asks students about 'offensive' Halloween costumes]

If you answered yes to any of the questions 1 – 4, it is likely that your costume has the potential to cause harm to the members of the cultural, racial and religious groups of which your costume is depicting,” the article read. 

“Protecting and upholding the human rights and dignities of all individuals is a shared responsibility and choosing a costume that is offensive, hurtful or potentially harassing and/or discriminatory in nature goes against York’s values of inclusion.” 

YU told Campus Reform that their “values include a commitment to innovative approaches that embrace our diversity” and that they “are proud to offer our community these helpful tips to ensure we are creating the most respectful, equitable, and inclusive university community possible” during Halloween.

The other article, “What’s Your Costume?: Appropriation In Halloween Costumes,” was published by Dickinson College’s Office of Equity and Inclusivity Blog in 2016.

Costumes that perpetuate “racial stereotypes,” are “victims or perpetrators of a crime,” or “trea[t] any identity characteristic as a costume,” should be avoided, according to the article. 

“Identities are not costumes, and cannot be taken off at the end of the night,” the article reads. “A person of color cannot change the color of their skin to avoid racial discrimination the way a white person can wipe off their blackface at the end of the night."

“A LGBTQ+ individual cannot change their gender and sexual identity to prevent acts of homophobia and transphobia the way a cisgender heterosexual individual who dresses as a trans woman for Halloween can," the article continues.

UPitt stated that Halloween “should be fun, exciting, and respectful of everyone.”

[RELATED: Students target frats for ‘cultural appropriation’]

Students have been targeted for wearing seemingly innocuous pieces of attire at colleges for years.

In 2018, two California Polytechnic State University- San Luis Obispo students were accused of cultural appropriation for braiding their hair.

The University of Maryland warned students to avoid “cultural appropriation” during Halloween 2019.

Campus Reform contacted every institution named above for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.