Since Flunk Day’s “Wild Wild Flunk” theme was unveiled, there have been concerns among students and faculty regarding potential offensive cultural appropriation on the campus holiday.
The issue was first brought up in the Faculty Diversity Committee and later was discussed by Student Senate.
“The concern we had was students dressing in certain derogatory costumes or doing things that we all know is a little incorrect,” senior and Faculty Diversity Committee member Jamal Nelson said. “Also reaching back into our own history – regarding the Siwash as went out in the Campus Life email – we didn’t want to replicate in any way, shape or form a ridiculous costume that would offend any race or culture.”
The committee’s first course of action was to email Assistant Director of Student Activities Travis Greenlee, who attended a meeting with the committee to brainstorm ways to prevent this type of activity from occurring on Flunk Day.
“He already had some ideas of what he was going to do, and I was glad that they [the planners] were willing to do that. We came up with some new ideas as well,” Nelson said.
Some of those methods include information in campus-wide emails and discussions in campus suites with RAs and residents to make sure it is well known what theme-related costumes, props and behaviors are not condoned.
The next step, according to Nelson, is to come up with a standing policy for campus events that would deal with costumes or a theme. This is his own idea he has brought to the committee and Campus Life.
In the meantime, the Diversity Committee is continuing to spread their message about the theme in hopes students make appropriate choices on Flunk Day.
“There’s so little time with Flunk Day being tomorrow,” Nelson said.