Ahead of Halloween weekend 2015, multiple colleges and universities issued warnings to students hoping to get them to avoid wearing offensive costumes. National fraternity groups did their part too, advising to "wear costumes, not cultural appropriations."
These efforts were criticized by conservative columnists as political correctness. And in some cases, like at Yale University, administrators too bristled at the preemptive strikes against offensive costumes that had not yet been warned. Erika Christakis, an associate master of a Yale residential college, asked in an email: "I wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious … a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive?"
A New York Times article that ran on Oct. 31 found a division among students interviewed about what constituted an objectively offensive costume.
And it seems that division about what is offensive kept up on Halloween weekend, and played out on social media apps like Yeti.
Yeti is a cross between Yik Yak and Snapchat -- users post photos or videos that won't be up for more than 24 hours like Snapchat, but they can be anonymous and blast them out to their entire campus like Yik Yak, and users can upvote the posts.
On Friday, a Yeti post at Penn State University sparked a debate about whether one student's costume in particular was offensive. He was dressed as a "Jager bomber," a play on suicide bomber and Jager bombs, which are a shot of Jagermeister dropped into a glass of Red Bull. He dressed in stereotypical Middle Eastern garb.
Versions of this have floated around on the Internet for years, and plenty of non-students have done this costume as well. When Chris Smalling, a member of the Manchester United, dressed in an outfit like this in January 2014 he received a lot of criticism for what many saw as an offensive costume. At Halloween last year, people took notice that dressing as the terrorists in ISIS was a trend for some reason. People thought some of those were pretty bad too.
But Penn State students on Yeti couldn't agree whether the "Jager Bomber" was offensive and racist, or just in good fun.
The idea of dressing as a suicide bomber, or shifting it to be a member of the terrorist group ISIS, turned out to be somewhat common at multiple campuses.
An example from the University of Colorado Boulder:
Here's one from Central Michigan University:
And one spotted at Florida State University:
So what do you think?
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