Public university condemns cowboy hats, sombreros, sexy costumes as 'offensive' Halloween attire

Katherine Timpf
Reporter

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  • University of Colorado Boulder also deemed 'white trash' and 'overly sexual' costumes as 'offensive'
  • Cowboy costumes deemed 'crude' because they do not accurately represent Westerners
  • No "Geisha" or "Squaw" costumes
  • A CU spokesman said cowboy costumes are "crude" because they do not accurately represent "people who live in the West."

    The dean of the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) sent a letter to students condemning "offensive" Halloween costumes including cowboys, Indians, "white trash" and anything that involves a student wearing a sombrero.

    "If you are planning to celebrate Halloween by dressing up in a costume, consider the impact your costume decision may have on others in the CU community," states the letter, signed by Dean of Students Christina Gonzales.

    "When you dress up as a cowboy and you have your Sheriff badge on and a big cowboy hat, that's not a representation of a cowboy... that's kind of a crude stereotype."   

    "For example, the CU-Boulder community has in the past witnessed and been impacted by people who dressed in costumes that included... sombreros/serapes; people have also chosen costumes that portray particular cultural identities as overly sexualized, such as geishas, "squaws," or stereotypical, such as cowboys and Indians," it continues.

    CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard told Campus Reform on Wednesday that as someone from a ranch family, he considers traditional cowboy costumes "crude."

    "My people are ranch people from Montana," he said."When you dress up as a cowboy, and you have your sheriff badge on and a big cowboy hat, that's not a representation of a cowboy, that's not a representation of people who work on a ranch that's not a representation of people who live in the West, that's kind of a crude stereotype."

    The letter also condemns any costumes that "reinforce negative representations of cultures as being associated with poverty," including "white trash" or "hillbilly costumes," or those associated with "crime or sex work."

    "If you're a hillbilly or white trash or ghetto something, your crude, kind of insensitive intentions aren't really that funny," Hilliard said.

    Hilliard added that although the school does condemn such costumes, students would not be formally punished for wearing them.

    A similar letter was sent out to students at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities earlier this month.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter @kctimpf

    Katherine Timpf

    Katherine Timpf

    Reporter

    Katherine Timpf is a columnist at Campus Reform. Previously, Timpf worked as a reporter, web editor, and radio personality at The Washington Times. She was also an anchor for NASA's alternative radio station, Third Rock Radio.

    Timpf has appeared on national television news shows, including  America Live with Megyn Kelly and Fox and Friends, and her stories have been featured on several national news outlets, including the Drudge Report. She has been an op ed contributor to publications including the Orange County Register and Investor's Business Daily.

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