Halloween is just around the corner and the University of Florida wants students to know they need to be careful with their costume choices.
The school is even offering counseling to those who may be offended by costumes this season.
In a memo posted to the Gator Times on Monday, school officials say they want students to dress appropriately for Halloween, saying some costumes may reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, or even religions.
They simply want students to think about their "choice of costumes and themes."
The post also warned that costumes could be seen on social media, which could have a "long-term impact on your personal and professional reputation."
If students feel "impacted" by offensive costumes, the school has a counseling service, available 24/7, by phone, at the University of Florida's Counseling and Wellness Center, according to the statement.
The memo does stress that students who are reported wearing "offensive" costumes will not get in trouble, they will simply reach out to see if the student needs any support or resources as well.
The Memo, titled "Halloween Costume Choices" says:
October brings fall weather and Halloween. If you choose to participate in Halloween activities, we encourage you to think about your choices of costumes and themes. 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. Also, keep in mind that social media posts can have a long-term impact on your personal and professional reputation. The University of Florida’s Division of Student Affairs Diversity and Social Justice Statement reminds us that UF fosters a community that values and respects diversity. An inclusive definition of diversity recognizes the variety of personal and social experiences that make individuals and communities different from one another.
As a community, we aspire to demonstrate integrity, respect, and compassion that strives to maintain an affirming campus climate for all members of our community. If you are troubled by an incident that does occur, please know that there are many resources available. Please take advantage of the 7 day a week presence of the U Matter, We Care program at the University of Florida by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, 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.Thank you for being mindful of these values, and have a fun and safe Halloween
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