I am ashamed of my alma mater:
University of Florida offers counseling for students troubled by 'offensive' Halloween costumes
- UF said a counselor would be available 24/7 to help 'impacted' students
- College also said it would 'educate those who were involved'
- But UF spokesman said no student would be disciplined over a costume
- University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse similarly planned a seminar this week titled 'Is Your Costume Racist?'
The University of Florida is offering counseling services for students who are offended by costumes this Halloween.
A memo released by UF on Monday encouraged students to think about their 'choices of costumes and themes'.
'Some Halloween costumes reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, or religions,' the statement read.
'Regardless of intent, these costumes can perpetuate negative stereotypes, causing harm and offense to groups of people.'
This memo released by UF on Monday encouraged students to think about their 'choices of costumes and themes' and warned they could ruin their 'reputation'
'UF fosters a community that values and respects diversity.'
The university also warned students that their costumes may be seen on social media posts that could have a 'long-term impact on your personal and professional reputation.'
UF added that the Bias Education and Response Team is on hand to 'respond to any reported incident of bias'.
The team will provide support to 'those that were impacted' by connecting them with the 'appropriate services and resources', including a counselor available 24/7 by phone at UF's Counseling and Wellness Center, according to the statement.
UF added that the team will also 'educate those who were involved' in any reported incidents of bias.
But students who are reported for wearing 'offensive' costumes will not face disciplinary measures, according to spokeswoman Janine Sikes.
'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,' she told Heat Street.
Sikes said that when BERT receives a report about a costume, it will initially reach out to the person who complained so that it can offer them support.
'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,' she added.
UF's Division of Student Affairs has no guidelines regarding which costumes have been eemed offensive, bias or appropriative, Sikes said.
She added that UF's Halloween advisory does not violate students' right to free speech.
UF isn't the only school asking students to think twice before deciding what they want to be for Halloween this year.
The University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse planned a seminar this week titled 'Is Your Costume Racist?', according to the American Mirror.
A number of colleges likewise made headlines last year when they began posting notices advising students on what costumes may not be appropriate for the holiday.
Students attending Wesleyan University as well as campuses in the State University of New York and the University of Massachusetts systems all reported seeing such flyers.
One leaflet asked the question 'is your costume offensive?' and had a checklist of potentially harming criteria such as whether the costume mocked religious symbols or sought to represent an entire culture.
'Does this costume trivialize human suffering from oppression, and marginalization such as portraying a person who is homeless, imprisoned, a person with disabilities or a person with mental illness?' another question on the poster read.
University of Florida offers counseling for students offended by Halloween costumes | Daily Mail Online