Clemson University Apologizes for Serving Mexican Food

Peter Hasson, Campus Reform, October 9, 2015

Clemson Dining’s “Maximum Mexican” night, has become a student favorite over the last several years, and this year was no different, at first.

Everything was going great. Students were loving the food and festivities. Except for two students, who took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the school’s decision to host such a “#CUlturallyInsensitive” event.

While a few on Twitter were offended, the overwhelming preponderance of students registered absolutely no reaction at all. The one student who did respond to the Twitter complaints wrote, “I’m offended that you’re offended. #CUfiestafiasco.”

Clemson senior Austin Pendergist told Campus Reform he felt the post-event uproar was “ridiculous.”

“This is something that Clemson Dining has done for years without any sort of backlash. People love the cultural nights in the dining halls,” Pendergist said. “What’s next? Are they going to take away all potato based food as to not offend students from Irish decent? Remove the stir fry station so Asian-American students don’t feel as if they are being misrepresented? When does it end?”

The university, however, took a different position. Dr. Doug Hallenbeck, Clemson University’s Senior Associate Vice President of Student Affairs apologized for the event’s “flattened cultural view of Mexican culture.”

“It is the mission of University Housing & Dining to create supportive and challenging environments that enrich and nourish lives. We failed to live out our mission yesterday, and we sincerely apologize,” Hallenbeck said.

Dr. Hallenbeck went on to promise that the university “will continue to work closely with [its] food service provider to create dining programs that align with Clemson University’s core values.”

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One student tweeted a picture of cafeteria workers wearing sombreros with the caption “Our culture isn’t a costume and we will not be mocked!”

The event, which Pendergist said consisted of “a couple balloons, sombreros, and some tacos,” is one of many culturally themed events put on by the Clemson Dining Services throughout the year. {snip}

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