To the Northwestern Community:
On April 21st, our organization, the Northwestern Ski Team, hosted an event that was entirely inappropriate and inexcusable and for which we are taking full responsibility. This event consisted of obscene and offensive costumes including Native American headdresses, misrepresentation of Bangladeshi culture, and references to the South African apartheid and the Kony 2012 campaign. Not only were these costumes a horribly offensive display of cultural insensitivity, but the event showed a blatant disregard for how such actions would be received by our peers, friends and the entire Northwestern community.
As a team, we would like to express how extremely sorry and regretful we are for allowing such an inappropriate display to occur, and for harming members of our Northwestern community. We recognize that actions like ours occur far too frequently and with far too little hesitation by people in groups all over this campus. We are ashamed to say that it has taken this incident for us to step back and reassess the values that we hold both as a team and as individuals.
We have been in consistent dialogue with concerned students and campus leaders over the last few days to analyze how it is that we let events such as this take place and where to go from here. Through our discussions, we have committed to using our mistakes as both an example and a resource to challenge all students and groups at Northwestern to engage with diversity initiatives on campus and reassess their own values.
We met with administrators today, and will be meeting with the Coalition of Colors, ASG, IFC and PHA this evening in order to develop strategies that will promote and support further dialogue and initiatives to learn and build from this experience across campus. We have no intention of shying away from this incident. We invite any community members with questions or comments to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Northwestern Ski Team