Students at the University of Kent might have to revise their Halloween costume after the student union issued new rules about acceptable fancy dress.
Costumes included in the ban include cowboys, Native Americans, priests and Mexicans. As well as ISIS soldiers, chavs and the prophet Mohammed.
The guidelines, seen by the BBC, said the outfits have been compiled in response to complaints over previous years, and on the grounds that they threaten other’s rights to a “safe space”.
The guidance has been circulated to student groups and the union says it will not tolerate behaviour that seeks to offend a particular race or culture.
Students have also been told that trying to get round the rules using props like maracas or sombreros will not be accepted as they reinforce stereotypes.
The full list of banned costumes includes Nazi uniforms, anything connected to the Crusades, priests, nuns, cowboys, Native Americans, ISIS bombers, Israeli soldiers, Tory boys, chavs, the prophet Mohammed, Jimmy Savile and Harvey Weinstein.
The union is also banning people dressing as a gender or sexuality they “don’t identify with” if the purpose is to belittle.
It also provided a list of acceptable costumes including cartoon characters, letters of the alphabet, aliens, cavemen, ancient Greeks, Romans, doctors and nurses.
In a statement, Matt Goodwin from Kent University Union said the policy was still a draft proposal and they are in a process of consultation.
Goodwin said: “We of course want students to enjoy themselves and often host fancy dress parties in our own nightclub, but we would ask students to be mindful of their choices and whether any offence could be caused.”
This isn’t the first time UK universities have tried to take a harder line on inappropriate fancy dress. In 2015, a Mexican restaurant was banned from handing out sombreros to freshers by student union officials at the University of East Anglia.
Staff at Pedro’s Tex Mex Cantina said they were “celebrating the culture” at freshers’ fair, but were told they were breaking the union’s equality regulations by promoting racist imagery and cultural appropriation.
And in 2013, students at York University who ‘blacked up’ as the Jamaican bobsleigh team were forced to apologise.