Male students at top university banned from dressing as girls on pub crawls ‘because it is as offensive as blacking-up’
By Leon Watson
Last updated at 4:58 PM on 22nd February 2012
Students at one of Britain’s top universities have been told not to ‘cross dress’ or ‘black up’ to avoid mocking other minority groups.
The Students’ Guild at Exeter University in Devon has issued a warning not to offend other undergraduates during its diversity week.
In a statement yesterday, the student body said: ‘The Guild is aware that there are several trans-identified students at Exeter and more who express their identity as gender-queer.
‘To parody this appearance is crass and offensive on the same level as ethnicity.’
The university’s diversity week runs from February 19 to 25 and is held to ‘celebrate diversity and our cultural differences’, according to the Guild.
It says Exeter has more than 4,000 international students from 130 countries.
The statement added: ‘While “blacking up” in various guises is not unlawful… by parodying an appearance you are taking on the public performance of a group of persons in a stereotypical or (sometimes) mocking way.
Students at Exeter University, in Devon, have been told not to mock people during diversity week
‘The Guild does not act in disciplinary fashion against members of the student body for performances of this nature.
‘But we do express disapproval of unthinking and insulting appearances against minority student groups in particular.
‘Before you dress up in this fashion we would ask that you reconsider your actions and act in a culturally sensitive way so as not to give offence.
‘The Guild is not demanding that all such performances stop.
‘We are merely asking for your consideration in making sure that your own individual behaviour is not harming, insulting or mocking another student.’