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Oct 25, 2013 08:23 AM EDT

No ‘Cowboy’ ‘White Trash’ ‘Indian’ Halloween Costumes At Colorado University

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Halloween is the time of the year when people go berserk with their costume choices, wearing the weirdest and spookiest costumes to scare and have fun with family and friends. But the University of Colorado (CU) officials are in the process of giving a different and unique Halloween experience to its students this year.

With only a week away from Halloween 2013, students at the University have been asked to practice caution while selecting the costume as it might upset or show minorities in a negative light.

They have been told to not to wear 'offensive' costumes that portray 'white trash' (poor white people, especially in the rural South of the US) 'cowboys', 'Indians', 'geisha' or a 'squaw' (indigenous woman).' In accessories, the students have been asked to avoid sporting a sombrero.

 "If you are planning to celebrate Halloween by dressing up in a costume, consider the impact your costume decision may have on others in the CU community," Dean of Students Christian Gonzales said in a message to students.

"The CU-Boulder community has in the past witnessed and been impacted by people who dressed in costumes that included blackface/serapes........... "Additionally, some students have also hosted offensively-themed parties that reinforce negative representations of cultures as being associated with poverty ('ghetto' or 'white trash/hillbilly'), or with crime or sex work.

"The goal of CU-Boulder this Halloween and every day is to create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone," Gonzales said. "While everyone has the freedom to be expressive, we also encourage you to celebrate that you are a part of a vibrant, diverse CU community that strives toward respecting others."

Along with the costumes, students will not be allowed to host parties with hateful themes including 'ghetto,' 'hillbilly' 'crime' or 'sex work.'

The above mentioned instructions are part of a poster campaign at CU called, 'We're a culture, not a costume,' that originated at the Ohio University.

At CU, the Center for Multicultural Affairs started distributing and hanging posters across the campus Tuesday to inform students that certain costume choices can degrade and isolate their fellow classmates, teachers and university staff.

"It's really a campaign to raise awareness and to create a better sense of community for all of our students and how to have a respectful and inclusive community for all students here at CU," Randy McCrillis, the Center for Multicultural Affairs director told Daily Camera.

The minority population among CU's freshman class increased by 12 percent, while the overall strength increased by 7 percent in the academic year. Sophomore Robert DeMata said that Halloween is a good time to remind students to respect the campus diversity.

"As the presence of underrepresented students becomes more prevalent on campus, it's important to realize they have a lot to contribute and that where they come from might be different from a traditional college student on campus," DeMata said. "Certainly they can and will be offended by these blatant displays of ignorance."

Kevin Patterson, a fifth-year student studying political science and ethnic studies, said that this campaign is necessary at CU because students have been previously spotted in culturally insensitive costumes.

For those of you who find no fun in college fests, Realty Today has a list of the spookiest theme parks where you can hang out with friends.

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