College gives sombreros to students, punishes students for wearing sombreros

Last semester featured some memorable moments in Social Justice Warrior history at college campuses. There was the great Oberlin fried chicken protest, and of course the yoga class that was banned because of “cultural genocide”. Now a new semester has begun, and not surprisingly the race is on among college administrations to prove themselves the most progressive. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has has sprinted out of the gate:

On Thursday morning, chancellor Beverly Kopper of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater sent out a public message condemning two students for posting a picture of themselves on Snapchat wearing blackface. Thing is, the students were simply sharing their skincare ritual, which included a dark-colored face mask.

Kopper’s misinterpretation was amplified by the passion of her condemnation:

"Last night a disturbing racist post that was made to social media was brought to my attention. This post was hurtful and destructive to our campus community. While social media can certainly bring about positive change, it can also be a place that deeply hurts and harms others."

But Bowdoin College isn’t going down without a fight.

Two weeks ago, some students threw a birthday party for a friend. The email invitation read: “the theme is tequila, so do with that what you may. We’re not saying it’s a fiesta, but we’re also not not saying that :).” The invitation — sent by a student of Colombian descent, which may or may not be relevant here — advertised games, music, cups and “other things that are conducive to a fun night.”

Those “other things” included the miniature sombreros, several inches in diameter. And when photos of attendees wearing those mini-sombreros showed up on social media, students and administrators went ballistic. College administrators sent multiple schoolwide emails notifying the students about an “investigation” into a possible “act of ethnic stereotyping.” Partygoers ultimately were reprimanded or placed on “social probation,” and the hosts have been kicked out of their dorm, according to friends.

So yes, the Bowdoin administration is working long and hard to tell students that they are not allowed to make their own choices about what to wear at parties, and is definitely not pointing out that anyone offended by a sombrero at a party can simply choose to not attend that party.

Then came this:

A Bowdoin alumna read my column today about Bowdoin undergraduates who’ve been disciplined for wearing sombreros, and she decided to email me about last year’s on-campus reunions. She said that the school provided a photo booth replete various hats, mustaches and other props conducive to taking silly celebratory photos.

Guess what was among those items: sombreros!

Not only did Bowdoin provide sombreros, but the school actually posted, on Facebook, pictures of people donning them for the photo booth. Here are a few embedded photos from Bowdoin’s public Facebook page. At least one of them appears to show undergraduates working at a reunion event and wearing the same school-provided sombreros.

Wasn’t there once a time when people at elite academic institutions were expected to be smart?

That’s a full-sized hat, not the 2-3" diameter kind you mentioned in the first story. The little ones are mocking the culture, the full-sized ones are acknowledging it in a humorous but still respectful way. So the moral of it is: Remember to always be respectful when you’ve been drinking tequila.

I have a dream that one day my children will be judged not by the size of their hats, but by the content of those hats.

I stopped reading after the sombreros. You might want to keep your rants shorter or include a TL;DR summary.

In response, yes, some people in the world are idiots. Some are teachers and administrators, some are students. Welcome to the world of higher education.

Okay, let’s look at what the OP claimed:

So those sombreros were not given out by the college. And there’s no independent verification that what the “friends” say happened actually occurred; there’s not even a quote from the alleged students who threw the alleged party about the alleged consequences of their alleged actions. It’s all hearsay.

So those sombreros were not “given” to students, they were provided as props to alumni; students were presumably not part of the event as it was a reunion.

So basically your thread title is either a lie or a deliberate mischaracterization of what went on and the entire premise of your thread is made up bullshit, not to mention the content being a matching amount of bullshit.

You’re even worse at playing the “liberal hypocrisy” card than Bricker is, ITR Champion.

IIRC you claim to have some deeply held personal beliefs that I would have thought precluded you from engaging in the type of thing you did here, or do I have you confused with some other poster? :dubious:

Ummm…it’s a “tequila” party…what ARE you supposed to wear? A kilt?

Ferchrissakes, let’s all just go to college naked.

The name “tequila” suggests to me that the party will involve the drinking of tequila. Does it mean something different to you? It IS that liquor made from a type of agave, right? Is there a wearable form of tequila with which i was previously unfamiliar?

Whenever I drink too much tequila, what I end up wearing is puke.

And occasionally a tutu. But on me it’s more of a threethree.

Why a sombrero, I ask? Why not the traditional hearwear of one of the… surely it must be dozens, at least… other countries around the world that are primary exporters of tequila?

For the record, the two other claims he made in the OP aren’t true either.

The students at Oberlin were complaining about the new food services company and generally poor quality of the food it was serving. The students provided several examples of different meals they feel were poorly prepared but some internet sources chose to focus on fried chicken. You know, for no apparent reason.

And the yoga class was cancelled. It wasn’t banned. As far as I know, nobody has the authority to ban a college class.

Thanks for making my day :slight_smile:

I once knew a girl where tequila would make her clothes fall off. I guess that’s close enough?

I’m not going to tolerate this kind of stereotyping of Scotsmen. Now, could someone help me pay the parking fee? It’s a whole dollar now!

I second the motion, I agree this is much ado about nothing. problem solved

That would probably be cultural appropriation from some jungle tribe where they go naked all the time.
The latest news from the student newspaper is that thus far, one host of the party has been punished by “social probation until March 2017, completing Active Bystander Training, moving out of Stowe Hall and being banned from Ivies-related events and Spring Gala.” Others have been placed on Social Probation merely for the sin of attending the party, and now two members of the student government are facing impeachment proceedings, also solely because they attended the party. Now it seems that the impeachment hearing has been postponed. Perhaps the media attention given to the case has had some effect.

Now I have the urge to wear a sombrero to next year’s Kawanza celebration as a form of protest…

But wait, that is too long from now…St Patty’s day should do…

And What The Ever Living Fuck is “Active Bystander Training”?

So, ITR Champion, i guess you are going to carry on without addressing the various inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have been pointed out regarding your OP? Well, at least you’re predictable.

Like the proverbial blind squirrel, you actually do find a nut once in a while. I agree that the university administration in this case has mishandled the situation, and that this is a good example of an over-reaction to a minor and pretty harmless act of cultural appropriation.

The problem is that when, in all of your meandering and yet also curiously selective efforts to identify political and social and cultural malfeasance, you actually do happen to find a nut, your next step is to hold it up and announce that it’s actually not just a nut, but a whole acorn tree. Even when you’re right about the basic issue, you can’t seem to resist the urge to mischaracterize the incident, or draw unwarranted and excessively broad conclusions from it. I’m not sure if this tendency is the product of poor analysis, dishonesty, or something else; i only know that it’s a pretty standard feature of your contributions.

And, as you’ve demonstrated in this thread, and in quite a few others, when people actually point out what might charitably be called your imprecision, your tendency is to abandon the thread, or to march on with your fingers in your ears and pretend that no-one said anything.

Ahhh… the ole non apology apology.

Keep it classy.


Believe me, if i intended some sort of apology, you’d know it. If you detected any sense of apology there, i submit that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

If a person makes a point that has some basic validity, but is dishonest or inaccurate or makes selective use of evidence in doing so, then it’s not an apology to agree with the valid point while also pointing out the problems. If you were previously incapable of comprehending that distinction, i am glad to have had the opportunity to educate you.

Sorry, mhendo, and Snowboarder but maybe you should lighten up a bit?
It’s your objections which are wrong. The OP is correct: this whole story is about stupidity, and weapons-grade political correctness .

Your objection seems to be that the “sombreros were not given to students, they were provided as props to alumni” . What difference does it make? Whether they were students or alumni–they were at an official event sponsored by the university.
And your other objection seem to be that “it’s all based on hearsay”. But there have already been official judicial proceedings with evidence presented and punishments imposed.

The OP started out humorously; but it is genuinely scary to see how a university can be so draconian.

These are modern day McCarthyists-- desperately hunting for un-American activity.And when they find it, determining guilt by association.