NIU issues 'Conscientious Costumes' guide for Halloween

Northern Illinois University is urging students to “think carefully about the impact of costumes” this Halloween.

An article in Northern Illinois University Today, which was sent out in a campus wide email by the Dean of Students, encourages students to avoid costumes that “mock the sexual orientation, gender identity, cultures, ethnicities, and races of others.”

The article calls the effort “Conscientious Costumes,” and says costumes that “reinforce negative and inaccurate stereotypes about any group” are “not considered fun” and “do not contribute to a genuine understanding or [sic] individual persons and cultures.”

[RELATED: College costume crackdown ramps up as Halloween draws near]

“Many Halloween stores this year are selling costumes packaged for couples who would dress as both the 1970s version of Bruce Jenner as well as the Vanity Fair cover photo of Caitlin Jenner,” the article says. “While those outfits might make some laugh, members of the transgender community are unlikely to find their identity as an appropriate basis for a Halloween costume.”

The article also includes a quote from Zachery Cramer, an NIU junior and a hospitality management major, who denounces students wearing fairy or girly costumes and claiming their costume “is gay.”

“Gay does not equal feminine,” Cramer says.

“Halloween is supposed to be fun, especially for us college students, but for some odd reason NIU needs to discourage ‘offensive’ costumes,” Connor Zook, a junior at NIU, told Campus Reform. “They even go as far to say you need to avoid unintentionally offending someone, which I believe is where the problem lies.”

[RELATED: Halloween hypocrisy: Why can’t everyone be offended?]

“I think students don’t know what will be considered ‘offensive’ anymore, and that leaves them with few costume options,” he added, pointing out that “if [students] wear the wrong costume they will be labeled a bigot, homophobe, sexist, racist, or any other of the many leftist platitudes [sic].”

The article includes various pictures of students holding white boards denouncing particular costumes. One picture includes a student holding a whiteboard that says, “dressing as ‘sexy’ (nurse, police officer, or firefighter) DOESN’T do those occupations JUSTICE!”

Zook believes that his school’s administration should stay away from the Halloween costume debate and encourage students to have fun on Halloween.

“Obviously there will be students that will go out of their way to be offensive, but let students deal with that by calling them out,” he said. “It’s not the university’s job to virtue signal to students and essentially call them terrible people for trying to enjoy a holiday.”

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