- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 10, 2015

Clemson University issued an apology this week after some students were offended by the school’s annual “Maximum Mexican” dining night.

The cultural food night has become favorite for students at the South Carolina University.

Many students on Twitter posted excited messages showing their love of the food and festivities.

But two students took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the school’s “#CUlturallyInsensitive” event.

“Really @ClemesonUniv?! @ClemsonPrez I thought your focus was #Diversity #CUFiestaFiasco #CUlturallyInsensitive,” one female student tweeted.

Another student tweeted, “Our culture isn’t a costume and we will not be mocked!”

The tweet was accompanied by photos from the event showing dining staff wearing sombreros and balloons with mustached faces.

While a few students were offended, the overwhelming majority defended the school’s fiesta.

“I’m offended that you’re offended. #CUfiestafiasco,” one student responded on Twitter.

Clemson senior Austin Pendergist said the outrage over the event was “ridiculous.”

“This is something that Clemson Dining has done for years without any sort of backlash. People love the cultural nights in the dining halls,” Mr. Pendergist told Campus Reform. “What’s next? Are they going to take away all potato-based food as to not offend students from Irish decent? Remove the stir-fry station so Asian-American students don’t feel as if they are being misrepresented? When does it end?”

But the university decided to issue an apology to appease the few offended students.

Doug Hallenbeck, Clemson’s senior associate vice president of Student Affairs, issued a statement apologizing for the event’s “flattened cultural view of Mexican culture.”

“It is the mission of University Housing & Dining to create supportive and challenging environments that enrich and nourish lives. We failed to live out our mission yesterday, and we sincerely apologize,” Mr. Hallenbeck said.

Similar apologies were posted on the University Dining Services’ Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The school’s “Maximum Mexican” night is one of several cultural food events hosted by the school.

The university has also held an event called the “Low Country BBQ Bash,” where students were invited to “Pick up a plate of mighty fine fixins” and a St. Patrick’s Day-themed event where students were invited to a dinner of “Cornbeef, fried fish, and Irish grilled cheese,” Campus Reform reported.


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