Opinion: Let's dress with respect this Halloween

Time and time again we gather together in moments of school pride to chant “We Are BC!” It’s a creed that promotes a common thread between us. It is a chant of community and a moment to be prideful.

Chanting “We Are BC!” is not enough during football or hockey games—we have to show that we are BC beyond Alumni Stadium and Conte Forum.

What better way to show that “We Are BC!” than by taking the pledge to “Dress with Respect” this Halloween?

We are a school with people from diverse backgrounds and diverse experiences. We are not a student body with the same race, the same ethnicity, the same religion or the same sexual orientation. These are differences to be respected.

However, in blissful ignorance we often choose Halloween costumes that unknowingly offend the members in our communities. I do not believe that these costumes are worn out of spite or hate for others but rather they are worn to push the envelope and to seem funny and ironic.

There is nothing wrong with pushing the envelope and trying to be edgy. What people often forget is that there is a strong line that divides edgy and insensitivity and when people push the envelope with their Halloween costume, they often cross that line.

But what accounts for offensive? When do we know that we crossed the line? Well here is a 5-step guide to help you decide whether your Halloween costume may offend others in our community.

1. What color make-up or body paint does it require you to wear?



2.  Are you representing a specific character or a nameless person?



3.   Is there a mask for that?












4.  If a picture of your costume was shown at a place of worship, would the parishioners or worshippers be offended?



5.  Are you the only person who finds your costume funny or clever?


There’s no picture here but usually it is a tell tale sign that perhaps your costume is not really funny or clever at all.


As a community, we owe it to each other to choose our costumes with others in mind.  Put a little more thought into your Halloween costumes. Have conversations with your friends or with student leaders to get different perspectives about where to draw the line.  This campaign after all, is not about dictating wrong and right—it’s about creating dialogue to ensure that we are treating each other with the respect that everyone deserves. After all, we are men and women for others and we are B.C. Let’s not forget that this Halloween.

Take the pledge. You know you want to.

For more information contact [email protected] or follow @dress_respectBC on Twitter.