Written by the President’s Council on Diversity & Inclusiveness
The President’s Council for Diversity and Inclusiveness selects a theme each year and asks the campus and larger community to participate in the theme. This year’s theme is “Becoming Allies and Advocates.” Every one of us may have relative privilege in some areas of our life and we experience relative marginalization in other areas. We will spend this year learning to recognize our relative privilege when we have it – and learning to use that privilege to stand with, stand up for or support those who may be experiencing marginalization. This is what being an ally is all about.
As Halloween draws near, we start to think about the fun, the costumes and the candy that goes with this holiday. Halloween at USD and in the community is certainly a time of celebration and creativity. It is also a time to be mindful of the University’s value on inclusive excellence and creating spaces where everyone can feel valued, respected and accepted. The President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusiveness reminds everyone that USD has strongly held ideals related to diversity and inclusiveness, and we ask that everyone be treated with respect and dignity in this Halloween season — through behavior, activities, language and costumes.
We ask all members of the USD community to think of the rights and beliefs of others as you choose and create your costumes this year. Be mindful of whether a costume — or the behaviors associated with it – conveys respect of cultures, groups, religions, people, etc.
Unfortunately, a trip to the Halloween aisle of your local store will reveal a variety of insensitive costumes such as: “The Mexican,” with sarape, sombrero, a big mustache and guitar; The “Native American Princess” with fringed dress and feathers; “The Chic Sheik,” with robe, beard and sandals; “The Black Face Mask”; or portrayals of victims of disasters, domestic violence, community violence and war. All of these costumes are hurtful and have no place in a community that strives to be inclusive and respectful.
We all just want to have fun on Halloween and being mindful of costumes and behaviors simply ensures that we are not unkind, insensitive or hurtful to other people in the process. Inclusive excellence must be practiced 365 days a year; so, on Halloween this year, be safe, be joyful, be imaginative and show that USD Coyotes value inclusive excellence!
The President’s Council on Diversity & Inclusiveness