A cultural appropriation workshop that took place last week at the University of Southern Indiana sought to teach students that “cultures” are not “costumes.”
Administrators put on a workshop last week about insensitive Halloween costumes, according to documents obtained by the College Fix. According to an attendee, the workshop included two “educational” videos about the harmful effects of culturally-insensitive Halloween costumes.
Four handouts were provided to students that explained what constituted an insensitive costume. “It is the taking of intellectual property, knowledge, and cultural expressions from someone else’s culture without asking permission,” one handout reads.
The handout claims cultural appropriation happens when “hipsters wear headdresses to music festivals,” “people dress up as ‘Pocahotties’ and ‘Sexy Indian Princesses’ for Halloween,” “fashion designers make money off sacred regalia or ceremonial items,” and when “celebrities dress in red face.”
Another handout included a flowchart that was designed to help students understand if their costume could be considered culturally insensitive. “Are you about to use a symbol/object not from your culture?” the flowchart begins.
Another handout encourages students to “create costumes, not stereotypes.”
One student who attended the workshop reported to the College Fix that the workshop’s instructors more or less suggested that students were quite limited in what they could wear on Halloween.
“They literally had everything provided for us, and showed us things we could dress up as, and the clothes pretty much matched the costumes and all we had to do was put it together,” the student explained.