A group of college students who wore miniature sombreros on their heads at a tequila-themed party will face official discipline, and the college is offering counseling to anyone “injured and affected” by the party, the Independent is reporting.
In what is being hailed as an example of almost laughably overzealous political correctness enforcement, several students at Bowdoin College, a small liberal-arts school in Maine, are facing discipline — up to and including “impeachment” — for hosting and attending the party.
— Wayfarer ’99 (@wayfarer_99) March 5, 2016
According to the Bowdoin College student newspaper, the Bowdoin Orient, the offensive sombrero party took place on February 20. An emailed invitation to the party seemed to not-very-subtly dance around the fact that the tequila party would have a Mexican theme.
“[W]e’re not saying it’s a fiesta, but we’re also not not saying that 🙂 (we’re not saying that)”
A student who attended the party said that some of the partiers wore very small — as in, inches across — sombreros. That student, in turn, told the school newspaper.
— Ira Goldman (@KDbyProxy) March 4, 2016
Word of the sombrero party reached Bowdoin officials, who then began disciplinary proceedings.
At a meeting of the Bowdoin Student Government (BSG) the Wednesday following the sombrero party, several students with Mexican ancestry expressed “frustration and exhaustion” at the party. BSG Vice President for Student Government Affairs Michelle Kruk said the sombrero party was just the latest in a series of racist incidents at Bowdoin.
“As a senior who has seen multiple racist incidents at this college, I’m at the point now where I’m really, really tired.”
In fact, the sombrero party was the third incident at the small college in 16 months to raise accusations of racial and cultural insensitivity at the school. In October 2015, members of the Bowdoin sailing team held a “Gangsta party,” where attendees dressed in the stereotypical attire of urban, African-American youth. Before that, in the Bowdoin lacrosse team held a “Cracksgiving” party, where students dressed as Native Americans.
For student Bill De La Rosa, the sombrero party was the last straw.
“What happened last weekend completely distorted what I stand for, what I embody and what I fight for. That was wrong, especially in light of what happened last semester.”
Already, Bowdoin College has begun handing out discipline to some of the students who attended the sombrero party. One student who hosted the party has been placed on “social probation” until March 2017, has been forced to move out of her dorm room, has been banned from Bowdoin’s Spring Gala, and must participate in an educational program and “Active Bystander Training.”
Other attendees have faced lesser disciplinary actions. Two attendees who stand to lose the most are Clare McInerney and Duncan Cannon, both members of the BSG. Articles of Impeachment have already been drawn against them, and they may very well lose their seats in the student government.
Meanwhile, the college is offering counseling and “safe spaces” for students who were harmed by the sombrero party.
The Bowdoin incident is the latest in a string of incidents from the past several months of political correctness seemingly run amok on North America’s college and university campuses. At Yale, a faculty member was forced to resign for suggesting that students should be allowed to wear “culturally insensitive” Halloween costumes, according to this Inquisitr report. At Oberlin College in Ohio, students asked the dining halls to remove sushi, calling it “culturally insensitive.” And at the University of Ottawa, several students objected to free on-campus yoga classes, saying that teaching yoga amounted to “cultural appropriation.”
Do you think students who hold a tequila-themed sombrero party deserve to be punished? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image via Shutterstock/Julia Sudnitskaya]