Halloween is less than a week away. It is a tradition with a complicated history at Chico as Tracy, Mary, and our guest Holly explored in our most recent podcast. The responsibility of faculty around events like Halloween is not always clear. I usually took some time, especially when dealing with first-year students to share some of the same messages the Diversity and Inclusion office has emphasized. I felt it was a public service to talk to students about the implications of their actions and the impact they had on the reputation of the institution and their peers. Less than a year ago a prominent administrator at Yale resigned following backlash over her position on Halloween costumes, especially as they relate to race proving just how difficult these issues can be to address.
Nevertheless, I would encourage you to share your insights with your students. There is an ethical part of this conversation when it comes to treating each other with respect, but there is a practical one too. With the ubiquitous nature of photos and videos, it is a reasonable to think that embarrassing costumes and behavior might very well be archived for future employers, parents, or partners. Our students represent the institution, but they also represent themselves. Be safe and respectful out there, and encourage your students to do the same.
Dr. Sara Cooper has provided additional Book in Common Material. Check out this section of the CELT page for regular synopsis updates, discussion questions, and other resources.
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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our second episode of the Fall is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I explore Chico traditions just in time for Halloween! Link to it on soundcloud, itunes, overcast, or follow the podcast on facebook.