Inclusive Practice for Events
Oxford SU has an inclusive bop policy and as such, it may be useful to think about the following points when helping to organize a bop.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This advice does not seek to repress student self-expression through the clothing they choose to wear but is here to help everyone feel able to have a good time!
The role of a bop is to bring a college together and for its members to enjoy themselves in a safe environment and as such welfare concerns should influence the choice of entz themes. In order to make sure your events are in a safe and inclusive environment, please keep in mind that:
There is usually an implicit or explicit gender divide, and for anyone who does not identify with traditional binary gender roles, this may be problematic.
Often such themes will stereotype men and women in a highly objectified and/or sexualised role (e.g. vicars and tarts, pimps and hoes, ‘fox hunts’).
Themes that involve drag should be handled carefully. Attendees shouldn’t seek to dress as another gender for the purposes of ridicule or to make light of the experiences of people of that gender. However, students should not be restricted from dressing in drag in a way which expresses themselves or to demonstrate admiration for individuals. If handled sensitively, themes that involve drag have the potential to be friendly and positive for all students.
Cultural appropriation is defined as an act by which a member of a dominant culture uses the clothing, traditions, aesthetic customs or other cultural markers of a marginalised culture to their own benefit, ignoring the history and context of these cultural markers and failing to give credit to their origins and proper use. Entz events with culturally appropriative themes (such as ‘Cowboys and Indians’, ‘Arabian Nights’) or that are otherwise racially or culturally insensitive can cause BAME and international students to feel excluded, mocked or distressed in JCR and MCR spaces.
To make all students feel more comfortable, you could put a note on the door to the BOP and on any event Facebook page or email advert stating that “Students should be able to express themselves through their clothing in a manner of their choosing without judgement. However, dress that is offensive and upsetting to fellow students and others should be avoided. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact [insert nominated officer’s name and contact information]”