Members of Tufts University’s Greek system have been told they could face “serious disciplinary sanctions”–including a possible investigation by the campus police–for wearing Halloween costumes that offend peers or make the campus community “feel threatened or unsafe.”
The warning was part of a letter to the presidents of fraternities and sororities on campus signed by various Greek Life council leaders, who asked the chapter presidents to relay the message to their members.
The letter stated in part that “Greek Brothers and Sisters have worn costumes that appropriate cultures and reproduce stereotypes on race, gender, sexuality, immigrant or socioeconomic status. Outfits relating to tragedy, controversy, or acts of violence are also inappropriate. . . . It is our mission to promote spaces that allow members of the Tufts community to have fun without feeling as though any part of their identity is being misrepresented or targeted.”
The letter went on to warn “there are consequences for wearing an offensive costume.”
It states: “Mary Pat McMahon, the Dean of Student Affairs, described the consequences as follows: ‘The range of response for students whose actions make others in our community feel threatened or unsafe, or who direct conduct towards others that is offensive or discriminatory, includes [Office of Equal Opportunity] and/or [Tufts University Police Department] investigation and then disciplinary sanctions from our office that could run a wide gamut depending on what is brought to our attention and the impact of these actions on others. Any complaints will result in full investigation by University officials and could result in serious disciplinary sanctions through Judicial Affairs.’”