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A Word of Warning · Original Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
A Letter Of Caution On Halloween
From: Miss Smith-Waite, Dean of Student Affairs
To: Students and Faculty of Tuff University
Re: Appropriate behavior during Halloween

I believe we all as members of the greater university community, can take a united stance against offensive Halloween costumes this year.

What sets Halloween apart from other weekends on this campus is the fact that there are multiple costume parties being held. The choice of costumes have an effect on everyone around them whether they realize it or not. We, of course, all wish to help prevent inappropriate, offensive and appropriative costumes.

We can accomplish this by being intentional when choosing party themes and party costumes, thus being a role model for the community. Be aware of the impact your costume might have on others, and be cognizant of any statements—including, but not limited to, cultural or violent messages—your outfit may make, intentional or not.

In the past, certain individuals have worn costumes that appropriate cultures and promote stereotypes on race, gender, sexuality, immigrant or socioeconomic status. Outfits relating to tragedy, controversy, or acts of violence are also inappropriate. In a collective effort to provide an environment for everyone to enjoy themselves, we need to set a precedent that people’s customs cannot and will not be our costumes. As you will agree, the values illustrated by such costumes do not align with the values of TU. It is our mission to promote spaces which allow members of the TU community to have fun without feeling as any part of their identity is being misrepresented or targeted.

A full list of disapproved costumes would be difficult to reproduce here, but any costume with the following words in the description is quite likely inappropriate: sexy, zombie, vampire, any ethnic stereotype, any job in which men and women are not equally represented, any political or entertainment figures, characters in video games, comic books, movies, historical individuals, corporate trademarks, food items, or makeup of any kind. In addition, attempting to circumvent these rules and attend parties wearing no costume at all shall not be tolerated. Clothing is mandatory at all activities.

There are consequences for wearing an offensive costume. Students whose actions make others in our community feel threatened or unsafe, or who direct conduct towards others that is offensive or discriminatory, could run a wide gamut of penalties depending on what is brought to our attention and the impact of these actions on others. Any complaints will result in full investigation by University officials and could result in serious disciplinary sanctions. We encourage all students that feel like they have encountered someone who is wearing an inappropriate and offensive costume to please contact the campus police, and an appropriate response will be taken.

Have a safe Halloween!

Miss Smith-Waite, Dean of Student Affairs

In a rather odd bit of news tonight, the Dean of Student Affairs at Tuff University was arrested today as she walked through the parking lot to her car. Some students who spotted her called the campus police, who detained her under the charge of ‘Dressing in a humorless bureaucrat costume.’ We attempted to contact the university president for comment, but he was attending the Caveman Party at the Tri-Delta while costumed as Tarzan, and all he said to our reporter was, “Ugg. You cute.” Then his wife came along, clubbed him over the head, and dragged him away.

Have a fun time tonight, kids. And remember. Party responsibly.

Credit: Cribbed something fierce from Jake Goldberg’s article on Tufts University’s Halloween letter to the Greek system.

« Prev   16   Next »
#1 · 2
· · >>georg
You madman... You absolute madman...
#2 ·
· · >>georg
Second on my slate! Got a smile out of me, but that's about all I can say. Cutting social commentary is cutting?
#3 · 1
· · >>georg
...I'm honestly torn here.

This was a pretty great joke, if one-note. And while I applaud you acknowledging your inspiration, I can't help but feel that cribbing that hard is a bit disingenuous? Perhaps that's unfair, because if you hadn't mentioned it I wouldn't have guessed at all, but... I dunno.

So, I laughed... but I think I'm going to have to abstain, because I'm not sure I can rank this one fairly. Am I not giving you enough credit? Probably. But I don't think I can decide exactly how much I should be giving you. Sorry.

It's not you, it's me. :P
#4 ·
· · >>georg
Heh. This feels like, you know, that pony character, miss Harshwinny.

The idea is fun, if only to demonstrate how stupid the application of certain rules can be.

But apart from that, the execution is a bit lacking. Choosing to relate events through letters or press articles is fine, but not very lively. It is hard to get involved in that sort of story, because we lack something to root for or something to crunch on.
#5 ·
· · >>georg
Heh, not much I can say here. I know the larger issue only indirectly and am still musing about some of the details. Still, this specifically was amusing and I can always appreciate poking fun at ridiculous exaggerations, the originating side of the political spectrum being of secondary importance.
#6 ·
· · >>georg
The Great

The potential is there for the idea.

The Rough

But yeah, ultimately this vision of this falls utterly flat for me. Basically, this took the laziest route of criticism and critique by largely cribbing the letter and just taking it a bit further. The end is actually a bit cute, but I knew the punchline and the body of the work from the instant I read the first sentence. This isn't terrible, per se. I've enjoyed plenty of stories that I'd figured out from sentence one! But here there just isn't anything to be interested by until the very, very end.
#7 ·
A Letter of Caution on Halloween is mine, and taught me several things during the short time it took to write.

1) Writing like a cold, humorless scold in a college administrator position is HARD. (Hence the cribbing from multiple sources, which I presume they do too, because so many of these letters seem so identical)

2) Writing a logical construction to exclude 99.9% of all Halloween costumes is tougher than it looks. I had no idea people dressed up as *food* items until I did a little research, which led to a conclusion that can only be done in Human fiction, not Ponyfic. i.e. showing up to a party naked to avoid being called out for your costume.

3) I really expected to wind up at the very bottom of the list (as I did once before) but I forgot that 'Interesting > Boring' in terms of ratings, plus none of us really like those overstuffed turkeys trying to take all the fun out of the world. I feel a little like an accidental Milo, without the good hair.

4) The end almost didn't get written, and turns out to be the most popular part of it. Go fig. I guess after spending all that time blowing up the balloon, you really need a pin. :)

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