Canadian universities take steps to discourage, ban offensive Halloween costumes

October 24, 2016

Several Canadian universities and their student associations have developed protocols in an effort to prevent students from wearing offensive costumes at Halloween, reports the Montreal Gazette. The Brock University Students’ Union has warned students that they may be barred from student-run events if they wear certain traditional religious and cultural items. The union reportedly developed its costume rules two years ago after a group of students dressed in blackface. The Gazette reports that the move is part of a growing trend among North American campuses to restrict what Halloween costumes students can wear. University of Windsor Professor and freedom of expression expert Richard Moon says that while universities need to encourage open discourse, they may also enforce standards of civility similar to those enforced in other spaces where people are expected to live and work. Montreal Gazette | UBC