A “ghetto-themed” party hosted last Saturday in Connecticut by Fairfield University students at an off-campus beach house is under investigation. Students attended the party sporting baggy pants, gold chains, cornrows, and costume baby bumps.
Few details have been shared by Fairfield University officials, but the administration and diversity office are looking into the reports on the “culturally insensitive party.”
As reported by the Connecticut Post, some students have voiced their disappointment in their fellow peers. Student Joe Harding tells CTPost, “The fact that there was even an idea to dress as ‘ghetto’ is an intrinsically perverted issue. When a party has a theme, the participants are expected to wear a costume. In this case, the partygoers chose to wear clothing and accessories that portrayed their conceptualizations of what it means to be ghetto… Ghetto is not a term of endearment.”
However, other students responded by mocking these concerns. Huffpost Black Voices reported conversations between students on Facebook regarding the issue. One student posted, "I wore a hot dog costume to this party and now feel that my actions have caused emotional harm to all of the hot dog community. Specifically I would like to apologize to Mr. Oscar Meyer as I did not mean to portray your weiner in a negative fashion."
University President Jeffery P. von Arx addressed a letter to the university community in response to the incident stating that the theme of the party, “perpetuated racial stereotypes that have no place in our community and only serve to offend and devalue people… To some within our community, this incident is symptomatic of conditions on campus that inhibit our many positive efforts to build a more inclusive, respectful, and safer community.” He announces a student forum planned for later this week to discuss the events of the incident.