Halloween can be scary, but it can also be... offensive?
The University of Florida wants students to know that counseling is available for students hoping to work past any offense taken from Halloween costumes.
“Some Halloween costumes reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, or religions. Regardless of intent, these costumes can perpetuate negative stereotypes, causing harm and offense to groups of people,” the school administration wrote in a blog post. “If you are troubled by an incident that does occur, please know that there are many resources available.”
On social media, many responded with humor or sarcasm.
But the university isn’t joking. Administrators want students to know that there is a 24-hour hotline available through its Counseling and Wellness Center should they need to talk. The school also has a Bias Education and Response Team to handle reports of any discriminatory incidents.
“If you choose to participate in Halloween activities, we encourage you to think about your choices of costumes and themes,” the school advised.
It thanked students for “being mindful of these values,” before concluding: “Have a fun and safe Halloween.”