Housing and Residence Life Commitment to Inclusive Communities

Fostering inclusive communities where individuals are valued, safe, and heard is essential to the success of our students, staff and faculty. We are committed to understanding both individual and shared human experiences and advocating for the respect and inclusion of all identities.

This commitment is intended to guide Housing and Residence Life in their work with students and staff. We utilize the Commitment to Inclusive Communities as a tool to enhance our mission and to shape our residential communities.

We’re a Culture, Not a Costume Poster Campaign

During the month of October, Housing and Residence Life coordinates a poster campaign to address cultural appropriation and the celebration of Halloween.

We're a Culture Not a Costume


Cultural Appropriation Defined

“Cultural appropriation means adopting a cultural product in terms of local meanings and practices. In its broadest sense the term means taking an existing cultural form from one social group and replaying it in another with different meanings or practices: perhaps taking the tune and playing it in a different key or at a different tempo so that it become something different, yet still the same. The concept of cultural appropriation has been developed in the field of intellectual property to refer to processes by which dominant groups take, and often profit from, the artistic, musical and knowledge productions of subordinate groups.” (pages 10-11)
Merry, Sally Engle (1998) “Law Culture, and Cultural Appropriation,” Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities: Vol. 10: Iss.2, Article 16

Another way to define cultural appropriation:

“The taking – from a culture that is not one’s own – of intellectual property, cultural expressions or artifacts, history and ways of knowledge.” (page 12)
Bruce Ziff & Pratima V. Rao, Introduction to Cultural Appropriation: A Framework for Analysis, in Borrowed Power: Essays on Cultural Appropriation 1, 1997

We are a culture not a costume-questions