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A chance to heal, unify and enlighten ND

Alexa Arastoo | Friday, October 28, 2011

As Halloween comes up, punctuating our first week back at Our Lady’s University, the members of the Diversity Council wish to spread a message to the greater Notre Dame student body that serves to fulfill all three facets of Notre Dame’s newly displayed mission: “To heal, unify and enlighten.” This weekend, when celebrating in all of the festivities offered on and off campus, we ask that members of the student body think twice about how they dress themselves. Companies often sell costumes that caricaturize other groups based on ethnic stereotypes, without regard to how groups may want to represent themselves. To take any culture and simplify it to a headdress of feathers, or a sombrero, or whatever may seem “satirical” and humorous in the market, not only diminishes those who identify with that culture, but also the well-documented struggles that groups of people have been forced to face in the past and present. We know that celebrations are meant to be fun, but even without malicious intent, it takes a special care and compassion to think of others’ feelings above one’s own. Just because one may personally have friends or acquaintances that do not mind costumes depicting their ethnic heritage in a supposedly humorous fashion, that does not mean that the chance of insulting others while walking around campus is immediately diminished. We are a faith-based community that often refers to being a family, and in order to best exemplify the passion, compassion and familial atmosphere Notre Dame is known for, it is important to think of others when faced with a decision that holds the power of hurting others.

If anyone is at all interested in matters concerning diversity, multi-cultural living or ethnic club activities at Notre Dame, feel free to email diversnd@nd.edu with any questions.

On Behalf of the Diversity Council, submitted with the support of Multicultural Affair Committee Chair Nicholas Ochoa,

Alexa Arastoo


Lewis Hall

Oct. 27