Updated Wed, Oct 26, 2011 5:30 pm
Ohio University is known for its Halloween party – but this year students on campus are speaking out against costumes that many may find racist.
A small group of students known as Students Teaching About Racism in Society have developed a campaign to show students that dressing as a geisha or in black face could be construed as racist.
According to STARS, these aren’t just costumes, but they represent people’s cultures.
The campaign has been seen around campus, but it is now reaching further to other schools and online.
Multicultural Greek Council member Jennifer Reed first saw the campaign on Tumblr.com.
Reed also saw it posted by the University of California, and she was surprised by how far the campaign traveled.
When asked how she felt about the campaign Reed said, “I’m kind of on the fence. I dressed as Pocahontas, and I think it’s okay if you’re costume is a certain character, but it does make me mad when I see people with black face. I have never seen people put on white paint.”
In Athens, costume shops sell ninja and “bomber” costumes with accompanying mustaches and turbans.
STARS continues to work to spread awareness about dressing up someone else’s culture and STARS president Sarah Williams has even been asked to give an interview to CNN.
“The purpose was to educate and create dialogue, and it did,” said Williams.
STARS has been meeting with lawyers to maintain rights to the campaign but still hopes that other schools and organizations will continue to spread the word.