Yale Gets New Pro-Halloween College Head After Last One Fired for Costume Controversy

Sep 19, 2016 by

By Emily Zanotti –

Yale students are bracing for another Halloween-related controversy after the new head of Silliman College took a stance in favor of the creepy holiday.

“I’m a huge Halloween aficionado,” new Head of College Lori Santos told the Yale Daily News, telling the paper “with a smile” that she’s already started to plan what she considers to be a “lit” slate of festivities.

She’ll have to contend with a college full of students ill-at-ease over the holiday, particularly in light of last year’s “costume controversy,” which ended with the resignation of former Head of College Nicholas Christakis. Christakis’s wife, Erika, a Yale lecturer, fanned the social justice flames in 2015 when she sent out an email criticizing students that were protesting potentially “culturally appropriative” costumes, and telling celebrating students to “stand up” for their right to decide what was offensive.

“I wonder,” Erika Christakis wrote, “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?”

Silliman students took their case to their Head of College, claiming that the email made them feel unsafe, and even publicly berated Nicholas Christakis calling him, “disgusting” and demanding an apology for his wife’s email.

Santos says she’s sensitive to Silliman students’ concerns (and their fragile constitutions), and just wants students to “have some fun”—a feat she hopes to accomplish with a haunted house (students have yet to comment on whether this is culturally appropriative of real-world historical markers, or the culture of the undead).

Students so far say she has a “great vibe,” but they’re still a little shy about celebrating Halloween. Fortunately, Yale again plans on issuing “costume guidelines,” as do most of the country’s other colleges and universities. Fortunately for students looking to tread the dangerous waters of campus social justice, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education also provides handy guidelines to your free speech (and costume-wearing) rights on campus.

Source: Yale Gets New Pro-Halloween College Head After Last One Fired for Costume Controversy |Heat Street

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