DYSTOPIA–A group calling itself SOSIC (Students Overly Sensitive to Insensitive Costumes) staged a demonstration this afternoon to urge members of the Dystopia College community to avoid dressing in costumes that could be deemed offensive to others this Halloween.
Sophomore Dismal D. Meenor, one of the leaders of the group, said it opposes the wearing of “any costume that could be seen as derogatory, demeaning, or insensitive to another person or group.”
The group seems to have the support of a small but vocal minority of students.
Freshman Cocoon Ohmskooler, who is overly sensitive to everything, said she plans to hide in her room because Halloween “is just too traumatic,” but that she still thinks banning insensitive costumes is a good idea.
Student Joey DiMarco, who claims to have been sexually assaulted by aliens, said that seeing anyone dressed as an alien “scares me shitless.” (A couple of alien students who wished to remain anonymous said they approve of costumes, but will be dressing as humans for the holiday.) He said he also hates it when “stupid straight dudes try to do drag.” He added that the problem “isn’t so much that they try it, as that they suck so bad at it.”
Sophomore Privi Ledger said she thinks anyone dressing in drag is offensive to the gender being impersonated, and that “men in general are assholes,” with the exception of her boyfriend, Dutch exchange student Piet Paeper. “Well, on second thought, him too.”
Freshman Paul O. Standingwater, who is Native American, said that if he “sees one more asshole in a loincloth and feathers,” he “might have to take care of it” himself.
Dystopia Albatross starting quarterback Troyan Fubaa, who is African American, said he “don’t need to see no white people dressed up like black people.”
Sgt. Lorina Cielo of the Dystopia campus police said that if she sees “some damn gringo dressed up in a big-ass sombrero,” she will “Taser the fuck out of the little bastard.”
The college’s legal counsel, Fgn Gocha Na, said she has a similar warning for Asian-imitators, except that “my methods will make them suffer a lot longer than some stun-gun will.”
Andro Jeenus came dressed as the college mascot, Lucky the Albatross, accompanied by DiMarco’s service cat, Indie, to protest costumes that are “demeaning in any way to animals.” “Hsssssssss,” added Indie.
Asst. Prof. of History and faculty union organizer B.K. Tracker said he disapproves of costumes that “misrepresent historical figures.”
Other members of the campus community, however, said that either they don’t think the issue is worth worrying about or they believe SOSIC’s campaign is a misguided attempt to take the fun out of a harmless holiday that gives everyone a chance to let off a little steam.
“It is the holiday American stupid, and I do not give the fuck,” said sophomore Michel/Michelle Mabeau/Mabelle, a gender fluid French exchange student.
Freshman history major Lev. N. Pahst said he had been planning to dress as Asst. Prof. of Spanish Jesus H. Cristo, who chased him at gunpoint earlier in the semester, because “he’s pretty damn scary,” but had reluctantly given up on the idea for fear that Cielo would shoot him since Cristo is Latino.
Freshman Ian Somuchneed wanted to know, “How the hell am I supposed to get laid if I can’t dress up as somebody else?”
Sophomore Abdullah Ibrahim Mohammed Hakim Badr-Asim “Bad-Ass” Al-Abad said he was originally going to attend a party dressed as a sex slave but then realized that could be seen as insensitive to victims of human trafficking so he decided to go as a puppy–“you know, the leather kind, not the actual animal”–but Jeenus had talked him out of it. “I guess I’ll just have to go as a clown,” Al-Abad said.
“No! Dude, you can’t!” responded absolutely everyone present.
“What? Did I miss something while I was on that meditation retreat?” Al-Abad wanted to know.
Senior psychology major Si Kopat said he likes halloween but doesn’t care one way or the other about how people dress. “Some of us don’t need a costume to scare people,” he said, grinning wickedly.
Senior English major Rich Kidd, who is whiter than pure cocaine and nearly as expensive, said it “kinda pisses me off that nobody even tries to dress up as me. What’s wrong with white people anyway?”
A few students, however, voiced their anger at both misguided attempts at inoffensiveness and apathy about the holiday. Student Samantha Sabrina Eastwick, a coven leader for the student group African Lesbian Satanic Witches for Peace, said she is “fucking furious.” She said it is the only holiday that really represents her and her group, and “the damn haters are always trying to ruin it for us.”
Niall O’Katree, chief druid of Pagans United for the Restoration of Ritual Sacrifice (PURRS), said he and the members of his group agree wholeheartedly with Eastwick. He declined to say what kind of costumes his group will be wearing, for fear that revealing their disguises “would interfere with certain ritual practices involving captive trick-or-treaters” that the group has planned for the occasion.
Campus officials said they had mixed feelings about the holiday and the costumes that go along with it. Student Activities Director John “Happy Jack” Plumber said “every student for sure, and really faculty and staff too ought to get dressed up” for the holiday. “It’s just a lot of fun, and it’s good for relieving some midterm stress.” He said everybody should make an effort not to choose a costume that would offend a particular group, but that’s no reason not to wear a costume at all. “Really, it’s just an incentive to be even more creative,” he said. “And people also shouldn’t just go looking for something to be offended by when there’s clearly no offense intended,” he said.
Director of Mental Health Services Dr. Loba Ptomei said she is “torn” about “the whole costume thing.” On the one hand, she said, “Jack is right about the stress-relief aspect of it. A lot of students really get into the holiday and it helps them relax a little bit after the stress of midterm exams and other anxiety-inducing elements of college life.” But on the other hand, “some students really do get their feelings hurt, and there really are some dangers out there, offensive costumes being the least of them. She said risks of alcohol-related problems and sexual assault can be higher at Halloween festivities, and there are just some crazy people out there, like that senior psychology major whose name I can’t tell you.”
Campus police spokesperson Capt. Cranky Lawless said campus officers, assisted by Dystopia city police, will be “out in full force, possibly in costume,” to “deal with any incidents that might arise.” He added that citizens must comply fully with the instructions of a law officer even if the officer is in costume. Conversely, he says, everyone should be wary of non-officers who might be dressed as officers.
“Jesus,” said fifth-semester freshman Trig Ryder, president of Dystopians for Jesus, who acknowledged that he was not quite clear himself on whether he was uncharacteristically swearing or starting a prayer. Asked what he though Jesus himself would do in this situation, Ryder guessed, “Think we’re all full of shit, probably.”
T. Allen Culpepper