Stereotype party not discrimination

By Michael Bloom

This letter is in response to the article about the student senate’s resolution of restricting “stereotyped” themed parties (“Student senate discusses 2 resolutions,” Oct. 11). In that article, one of the senators was quoted about her belief that a party in which people are encouraged to dress up as white trash or a Nazi officer is an act of “discrimination” and has no place on our campus. I would like to clarify to the senator and other people who are similarly confused as to what the meaning of “discrimination” really is. Discrimination is the unfair treatment or exclusion of a group of people based on prejudice. Neither element of the definition is present in this situation. No group is being told it cannot participate in the party due to its standing in that group.

Dressing up as a stereotype might be a distasteful act that has the potential to offend many, but to outlaw such behavior on the grounds of “discrimination” would be to fraudulently expand the scope of the word. If all acts that could conceivably offend someone are subject to being banned by the University then, by all means, ban a stereotype party. If the only grounds to ban such a party are “discrimination,” however, the students must retain their right to dress up as they wish, regardless of whether such action is in good taste.

Michael Bloom

First-year law student