INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – With Halloween quickly approaching, the season of social gatherings with candy, scary movies, and costumes is here. Unfortunately, some of those costumes can cross the line between creative and insensitive. As Noble Gentlemen of Sig Tau, we need to be mindful of the costumes that we choose to wear and the events we attend.
Brothers, please be attentive of what you wear this Halloween season. What might seem harmless to you may be offensive and hurtful to others. Please avoid costumes or themes that rely on stereotyping a certain group, encourage offensive dress, or that “makes fun” of a particular culture, race, group, or gender.
Cultural appropriation is the act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture. You can still appreciate another culture without trying to imitate it or emulate it as a costume on Halloween.
Ask yourself, “Would I want a photo of me in this costume or next to someone in this costume to end up on the internet for my family, professors, employer and future spouse to see? Would I want to explain that photo to a prospective employer or the media? Would I be willing to wear this costume around a group of people who identify with the culture I am trying to imitate?” Remember, if you are questioning the offensive nature of a potential costume, it’s always better to abstain and choose a different costume.
If someone shows up to an event in something inappropriate, send them home and do not let them enter your event. Do not take on the liability of their costume. The liability for you or your chapter is not worth the potential consequences.
Remember, it is simply not up to you to decide if something is offensive to others; be thoughtful and considerate.
As a final reminder, please make sure all of your events or those hosted by your members are held to our standard. Know that the media, your campus, or Headquarters can still take action should something occur.
Contact Ben Nelson, Assistant Director of Education & Wellness at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have about hosting safe, successful events, or choosing appropriate costumes.
ABOUT SIGMA TAU GAMMA FRATERNITY
Founded at the University of Central Missouri on June 28, 1920, the organization will commemorate its 100th Anniversary in 2020. With a presence on 87 campuses in 31 states, our membership includes 3,000 undergraduate men and 61,000 living alumni. The Headquarters, which is home to the Fraternity, Foundation, and WPN Housing Company, is located in Indianapolis, Indiana, 12 miles from the center of downtown. Visit http://sigtau.org for additional information.