Sierra plans ban on braids, 'offensive' costumes in contest

Sierra College’s student government is considering a resolution that would place a wholesale ban on several types of Halloween costumes for the school’s annual costume contest.

The resolution was proposed to the school’s student government by what is known as the “Beyond Diversity Club” in conjunction with the “Feminist Action Club,” both of which are lobbying for restrictions on costumes that depict certain ethnicities or cultures.

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“Costumes should not depict a race, ethnicity, or a culture as a costume,” the proposed resolution states, listing possible examples that would violate such an edict, like “Native American Regalia” or a “Dashiki.”

The resolution, which would apply strictly to the school’s annual costume contest and not necessarily the campus as a whole, then advises against certain types of “hairstyles” that “have historically and continuously been a part of a race/culture,” such as “corn rows,” a “braid,” or a “locks hairstyle.”

Finally, the resolution prohibits students from wearing “spiritually or religiously significant items,” like “Native American headdresses,” a “Bindi” or a “Hijab,” but does not explicitly mention any Christian religious items.

Notably, it also includes two footnotes addressed to individuals who belong to any of the groups mentioned in the document, saying, "The examples listed above solely pertain to participants that are using as form of costume/mockery [sic]."

[RELATED: ‘Is your costume racist?’ UW asks students]

Sue Michaels, Sierra College’s manager of marketing and public relations, informed Campus Reform that the resolution was discussed at the Student Senate’s Thursday meeting, but was passed down to a sub-committee for further consideration.

Faculty advisors for both the Beyond Diversity Club and the Feminist Action Club did not respond to requests for comment from Campus Reform.

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