UF offering counseling to students offended by Halloween costumes

FOX 35 News at 10 p.m.

- The University of Florida is reminding students to think about their costumes and themes, and that what they post online can have a long-lasting impact on their life.

UF Sophomore, Nicole Allison and friends already have their Halloween costumes picked out.

Nicole Allison, a UF sophomore, said,  “Right now, I’m a lion, but I’m actually going to be Kim Possible for Halloween this year.”

Before the Fall festivities kick in, the University of Florida posted a reminder on a blog.

Basically saying, if you’re troubled or offended by an incident or costume, you can get real, counseling on campus.

Joel Rivera ,a UF Senior, said,  “I think that’s great. If a student feels uncomfortable, they should definitely seek counseling.”

Posted Monday, the blog post says some Halloween costumes reinforce stereotypes  of particular races, genders or religions, and can be offensive to groups of people; and adding that UF values and respects diversity.

Olivia Molina, a UF graduate student, said she saw a costume last year that went too far.

“It was about a little girl who was murdered. That was kind of her costume,” Molina said.  “No matter what, it’s never OK to take a costume that far to where someone can be offended.”

UF is also reminding students whatever you post online could impact your personal and professional reputation for a long time.

“I think that needs to be reiterated continuously,” Allison said.

If you are offended by a costume, you can get 24/7 counseling on campus at the Wellness Center.

The blog goes on to list resources available:

“Please take advantage of the 7 day a week presence of the U Matter, We Care program at the University of Florida by emailing umatter@ufl.edu. Additionally, there is a 24/7 counselor in the Counseling and Wellness Center available to speak by phone at 352-392-1575. Lastly, the Bias Education and Response Team at the University of Florida is able to respond to any reported incidents of bias, to educate those that were involved, and to provide support by connecting those that were impacted to the appropriate services and resources. You may submit a bias incident report at www.umatter.ufl.edu/stopbias.”

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