By The Editorial Board
In only a few days, people will begin to fill the streets donning their last-minute DIY costumes to celebrate a weekend full of fun festivities. Halloween should be something exciting to celebrate, but it’s important to remain respectful and thoughtful.
When selecting costumes, it should go without saying that you shouldn’t dress as something overtly offensive or insensitive — this means not dressing as serial killers or donning blackface. If you have to question whether your costume is OK, then it probably isn’t.
For some people, it may be difficult to determine when it is OK to dress up as certain characters, celebrities or historical figures. To help determine this, ask yourself if it is appreciation or appropriation.
Cultural appreciation is when someone admires another culture without attempting to claim the culture as their own. Cultural appropriation is when someone takes something that is representative of a certain group of individuals and doesn’t attribute it to them. Keep this in mind when deciding what to wear this weekend.
Don’t compare your look to anyone else’s; instead, appreciate everyone’s costume. Whether it is intended to be funny or scandalous is up to the wearer. There should be no judgment about another person’s choice of attire. If they are comfortable wearing it, let them be. If you aren’t comfortable in your costume, try to find something that makes you feel confident, not something that you feel obligated to wear.
It is also important to remember that costumes do not equal consent. A striking 50% of sexual assaults in college occur in August, September, October or November. Halloween isn’t an opportunity to go ballistic; when it comes down to it, it’s just another day.
Make wise choices. Halloween is meant to be fun, not to excuse poor behavior.
If going out and partying isn’t for you, other plans can be just as fun for your Halloween night. It’s completely fine to stay in and watch a scary movie with friends, go to a local haunted house or just hang out.
If you choose to go out, be safe. Watch out for your friends, establish a buddy system and don’t drunken drive. If you arrive with a group of people, make sure everyone knows how they are getting back safely.
With everything going on in the world, remember to be careful when taking candy or beverages from someone.
Although there are many things to be wary of during Halloween, don’t let them stop you from having fun if you celebrate. If you don’t, then enjoy your normal Monday.