It wasn’t all that long ago when you could host “offensive” theme parties at college without fear of reprimand (as long as no one was drugged, murdered, etc.). That’s no longer the case.
Countless fraternities, off-campus houses, and sports teams have wound up in the news recently because the theme of their party was deemed racist. It happened at Duke. It happened at Penn State. And now it’s happened at Mars Hill University, a small liberal arts college in North Carolina.
The Lacrosse players at MHU held a “Cowboys and Nav-Hoes” off-campus theme party that landed them in some pretty hot water. And it’s not for the reason you’d suspect–players weren’t punished because they ignored the “A” in “Nava-Hoes,” but rather because a significant population of the student body is Native American and “Nav-Hoes” could be interpreted as pretty offensive.
In case you haven’t heard, Native Americans are tired of white people appropriating their culture for your enjoyment.
So even though you might find this particular theme party inventive and funny, students really need to find other ways to drink large amounts of beer and jungle juice without accidentally (or intentionally) insulting various cultures. There are many ways to get drunk guys.
We’d be remiss to publish this article (which is really meant to serve as more of a warning than anything else) without mentioning that the lacrosse team apologized profusely to anyone they might have offended:
“Please allow me to apologize for what has happened this past weekend on behalf of the Mars Hill students. The behavior of some Mars Hill students was immature, and lacked the consideration of NASA’s personal feelings. The student’s ignorance regarding the racial undertones of the actions that took place was not acceptable. It was a disruption in our co-existence.
We have learned that certain aspects of college life can be misunderstood. In the future, I have every intention of making sure there is no gray area and that our actions do not end up interpreted in an offensive way.
We hope that we can move past this matter and both enjoy the scenic MHU campus.”