- The Washington Times - Friday, April 17, 2015

Stevenson College in Santa Cruz, California, is apologizing for cultural insensitivity after a space alien-themed event paired with Mexican food was deemed racist.

In a letter addressed to its student body, the college said it received complaints from students and others within the university who perceived a connection between Mexican food being served at the official school event and the term “illegal aliens,” Fox News reported.

“We would never want to make a connection between individuals of Latino heritage or undocumented students and ‘aliens,’ and I am so sorry that our College Night appeared to do exactly that,” read the letter by Carolyn Golz, a student life administrator, Fox News reported.

Ms. Golz said the “unintentional” mistake “demonstrated a cultural insensitivity on the part of the program planners.”

“As a result of this incident, I will require cultural competence training for Programs staff, in addition to implementing mechanisms for future program planning that will ensure college programs are culturally sensitive and inclusive,” she said.

Former parties held on College Night included “Midnight in Paris,” at which French food was served, and “Harry Potter,” which featured turkey, potatoes and stew, Fox News reported.

“For [the sci-fi] event, students landed on Mexican food because they weren’t sure what food would work with the intergalactic theme,” a college spokesman told Fox News. “It sounds like an honest mistake — choosing a food for college night without thinking about how it could be perceived by others. The students decided on Mexican food as they hadn’t had it yet this year. “

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