I received a perplexing email last night from the president of the University of Chicago (as an alum I still get some emails):
… On the evening of October 14th, in a student residence hall room, a private party was held with a theme that parodied racial stereotypes based on assumptions about economically disadvantaged members of society. The premise of this party caused substantial offense and has generated vigorous discussion among students, faculty and staff across campus. Members of the Office of Undergraduate Student Housing and the Office of Minority Student Affairs have been working closely with all students involved in the incident.
The issues at stake, however, are larger than this one distressing episode and raise questions about the campus climate for minority students, faculty, and staff. The University has already begun to focus on these concerns and remains fully committed to exposing and addressing the factors that negatively affect the quality of life for some members of our community.
We have scheduled an all-University open conversation on this topic to be held on November 8th at 5:30 p.m. in Hutchinson Commons on the first floor of the Reynolds Club….
What on earth did these code phrases — “economically disadvantaged” — means? They dressed up as poor people? The Maroon had more: it was a “ghetto” themed party. The horrors! From my days there I recall seeing posters for drag events on a regular basis (and a web search quickly turned up such announcements). You can be offensive or weird… just as long as it’s the politically correct offensive or weird.