The week leading up to Halloween can be quite a stressful time for those that don't have a costume picked out yet. Thankfully, universities across both the United States and Canada have basically ruled out all of your options. Since any costume you were probably considering is probably too offensive and "un-PC" for your school's liking.
Brock University in Ontario Canada, has set up a website detailing its Halloween Costume Vetting Protocol, "with a comprehensive list of offensive costumes. For example, the University bans any costume involving a geisha, thobe or thawb (an ankle-length Arab garment, usually with long sleeves), Day of the Dead make-up, feathered war bonnets (Native American dresses), and any Caitlyn Jenner costume etc".
University of Florida has established a hotline for students offended by Halloween costumes. This begs the question: Does there need to be counseling for people who are offended by "stereotypical costumes"? Let's take a step back and examine this issue.
One of my favorite HBO shows is The Sopranos. I admit this show reinforces stereotypes on Italians, portraying all of them as grease-ball mobsters. However as an Italian myself, I don't think I need to seek counseling after watching the show. After all, I understand that it is TV show meant to entertain, not be 100% factually correct. Of course it is not true that all Italians living in America have mob-connections or wear "wife-beater" tank tops at dinner. It seems a little dramatic to have counseling available for stereotypical costumes. As a 20 year old college student, I consider myself an independent and free-thinking adult. And speaking as such, college students need to grow up and learn that they won't be coddled for the rest of their lives and protected by everything that might potentially offend them. It is impossible to go through life without facing any adversity and offensive ideas.
In no way am I supporting or defending those who decide to dress in racist costumes for the sake of being racist. But I guarantee that this kind of out-right racism would be overcome and defeated if their actions were focused on instead of an innocent couple dressing as a cowboy and Native American.
Halloween is supposed to be a fun time for those who choose to participate. So why do certain public colleges and private colleges (that have unlimited power), seem to be willing to eradicate that fun?
This sounds a lot like George Orwell's 1984. And as Paul Johnson asserted in his April Forbes article, "there isn't a university campus on either side of the Atlantic that's not in danger of censorship." It seems to me that Orwell and Johnson's worlds are on the verge of colliding.