costumes

Does This Costume Make Me Look… Offensive?

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In fall of 2010, I was firmly sitting atop of the world. I had pledged one of the best houses on campus, my female peers were staring to notice me, and like every other freshman on campus that October, I was eagerly anticipating my first college Halloween party. When we got to the affair, the drinks were flowing and the music was pumping as sexy nurses mingled with vampires. Of all of the costumes we saw that night, a handful of them stood out. There was one guy dressed as pimp and another dressed in orange prison attire as a convict. These costumes would be commonplace for a Halloween party with the exception of one little detail; the guys in the costumes painted their faces black. Two weeks, one very uncomfortable campus rally attended by seemingly every black student on campus and tons of bad press later, my fraternity found itself on a seven month suspension.

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Anytime a party calls for a costume, there is always a possibility that someone is going to do something offensive. While culturally insensitive costumes aren’t exactly a new concept, it is kind of baffling why in 2014, given all of the very public and very embarrassing incidents we’ve seen, students continue to offend. Yet, whether it’s the 2012 Mexican Party hosted by the Penn State Chi Os, the self-titled “Racist Rager” put on by Duke’s Kappa Sigma chapter in 2013 or the CMT vs. BET soiree presented by the Phi Deltas and Phi Sigs earlier this year at McDaniel College, it would seem that cultural insensitivity is alive and well. Perhaps I give people too much credit.halloween2

Trying to get to the root of these issues is difficult as there are many “excuses” and “explanations” given. There is the tried and true “I wasn’t trying to be offensive”, which in a lot of cases, I tend to believe. Call me naive, but I like to think my fellow man wouldn’t intentionally participate in harmful behavior. The problem with this excuse however, is that it is usually given in order to absolve one of any responsibility for their actions. However regardless of intention, the damage is still done.

halloween3There is also the “I did it to give my costume a sense of realism”. I’m almost sure that is what Dancing With The Stars’ Julianne Hough was shooting for when she donned blackface to go along with the orange jumpsuit and bantu knots of her Crazy Eyes costume (from Orange is the New Black). This “attention to detail” is usually not warranted.

And let us not forget the “Come on dude, I’m just trying to joke around” crowd. You know them; they were the once who painted bullet wounds on their hoodies last year while holding a can of Arizona Ice Tea and a pack of Skittles. And thank goodness that we had these merry jokesters to help bring humor to the slaying of Trayvon Martin; I don’t know how I would’ve otherwise coped.

Halloween doesn’t have to be a time of ignorance, hurt feelings and university sanctions. With the smallest bit of commonsense, a lot of these mishaps can be avoided. Because I know how much this blog just loves a good list, I present: Tips For Not Offending People This Halloween.

halloween41. If your costume portrays a racial, ethnic, religious, LGBT or cultural stereotype, DON’T WEAR IT.

Have a happy Halloween y’all.

How To Do Halloween Right in College

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Well everyone, I am very happy to announce that the best month of the year has rolled in. Yes, with the arrival of October. Halloween is also on its way, and college students everywhere will soon be getting prepared for their own holiday adventures. Are you not sure about what to wear? Or how much holiday spirit to show? This list will walk you through all the do’s and don’ts of Halloween scares!

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DON’T buy a fancy, pre-made costume. Who in their right mind would spend money on an overpriced costume when there are so many awesome DIY Halloween costumes!? Believe me, the extra appeal probably isn’t worth the cost and the discomfort.

DO take the time to make your own costume. In the long run, making the costume will cost infinitely less than buying one, and it really won’t take too much time at all! Of course, if you need any ideas for costumes, just head over to 201 Halloween Costumes: Easy, Fast, Cheap!

DO decorate your dorm room/apartment for the holiday. It’ll make your room a little more unique, and holiday decorations always help to cheer up students!

DON’T go overboard. I can’t even begin to explain how weird it is to walk into someone’s room only to find that it’s been changed into a haunted house. I’ll tell you something, there’s absolutely no way I’d fall asleep with a Freddy Krueger manikin at the foot of my bed.

DO bake pumpkin donuts….they’re absolutely delicious. Or, for those of age, try one of these spiked apple cider cocktails!

DO make sure you spend time with your friends watching a lot of horror movies. Or, if you’re not into scary movies, at least try to watch Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin. These are fantastic holiday traditions, and it gives a great excuse to eat a lot of pumpkin flavored baked goods.

DON’T forget that many professors schedule exams during the week of Halloween. As much of a buzz kill as this can be, it’s still a fact of life. Just try not to forget about your grades.

Most importantly, have fun! Halloween is always a great holiday in college. Whatever you want to dress as, and however you want to decorate your dorm, don’t forget to go out and have a great night. For more ideas on recipes, costumes and decor, visit our Halloween Pin Board. Happy Halloween!

151 D.I.Y. Halloween Costumes: Easy, Fast, Cheap!

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It’s that time of year again: HALLOWEEN! If you’re anything like the typical college then I’m sure you’re on the lookout for fun and unique costumes on a budget. This year, we got our creative juices flowing and came up with 151 homemade costume ideas that you can easily throw together for the big Halloween party. We’ve provided directions for each idea, but strongly encourage you to think out of the box and use your own creativity to make these the best costumes ever!

Frosted Mini Wheat
Frosted Mini-Wheat

Use foam for this costume, cover it in brown felt, then use white spray paint to give it the “frosted” look.  Cut out the eyes and grin with black felt and hot glue to the brown felt. Glue an empty milk carton to a ball cap with some really thick looking white pipe cleaner coming out of the spout to look like milk is pouring out of the milk carton.
Load of Laundry

Take a tall laundry basket and cut a hole in the bottom that you can fit your body through.  Tie two pieces of string to the top of the basket to hold it up.  Fill the basket with laundry. Do not insert detergent.

Replacement Referee

Find a referee shirt, create one by applying black stripes to a white shirt, or vice-versa. Make sure you have a whistle around your neck. Final touch: paint your face like a clown. Touchdown!

Donald Trump

Wear a spiffy suit with a shiny tie, find an awfully unrealistic toupee like wig, and be a complete jerk to strangers. Talk as loud as you can with a deep voice. You will be surprised how much you look and sound like Donald Trump.

Dorito Taco

This costume is a great arts and crafts project!  You will need a lot of colorful foam (found at most arts and crafts stores) and a hot glue gun.  Start by cutting out a large red foam circle.  Then, cut strips of different colored foam and glue them on top of the circle.  When you are done gluing the foam strips, cut arm holes on each side of the circle.  Place your arm through the holes and wrap yourself up like a taco!

See all 151 costumes!