Students at Sheffield university have been advised to steer clear of sombreros and other fancy dress costumes that could be seen as ‘sexist, racist, ableist or transphobic’.
The University of Sheffield Students’ Union issued new guidelines on costumes this year which included banning sombreros as they can be deemed offensive and inappropriate.
The guidelines have been promoted in a series of posters on the campus, with one poster, which shows a sombrero, stating: ‘My culture is not your costume’.
A spokesperson for Sheffield University’s SU said: “The ‘My culture is not your costume’ campaign aims to encourage students to question the common practice of cultural appropriation in Hallowe’en costumes and celebrations….This campaign does not enforce a ‘ban’, but intends to raise awareness of the issue among the student body”.
The crackdown comes as the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) warns students to ‘check your costume’ with the slogan: “Don’t let Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia and Ableism be the real Horror this Hallowe’en”.
In a statement published on Monday, the NUS said: “In recent years, we’ve seen offensive costumes being sold, including costumes that appropriate race and culture, perpetuate sexist stereotypes and make light of the experiences of Trans people and those with disabilities.”
Last year the student union at Kent University sparked controversy by issuing Halloween costume guidelines.