NU Issues Costume Guidelines

Blackface costumes in 2009 prompted outrage from community

Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010  |  Updated 9:42 PM CDT
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PHOTOS: Halloween Houses

Two Northwestern students who attended a Halloween party dressed in blackface have sparked a public outcry from the NU community.

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Dracula is ok. Horny pimp, not so much. And forget about racial get ups.

That's the word among Northwestern University students as they prepare for Halloween festivities this weekend.

The dean of students at the university is warning the student body against wearing racially or culturally insensitive Halloween costumes.

In an e-mail sent to the campus this week, Dean Burgwell Howard also discouraged "ghetto," ''pimps and hos" and "gangsta" parties at the university.

The warning comes after an incident last year in which two students attended a Halloween party in blackface.

One of the students involved in the incident reportedly dressed as Bob Marley, painting his entire body black and wearing a shirt with the word "Jamaica."

The second student dressed as a black woman with a tennis racket. In 2007, two Ph.D. students posted photos of themselves in blackface around Halloween.

Last year students said the lack of racial diversity on campus could have played into the incident.

"I'm a little naive," said fellow student Julia Haskins at the time. "[I] have to realize I'm in a place where some people might not understand that  something like black face is not appropriate."

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