I’m Carmelita Co-ed, and I’ll be your waitress tonight, si?
Clemson University apologizes for staging “Mexican Night” at its cafeteria, promises never to do it again.
Some students’ reactions:
Everything was going great. Students were loving the food and festivities. Except for two students, who took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the school’s decision to host such a “#CUlturallyInsensitive” event.
Clemson senior Austin Pendergist told Campus Reformhe felt the post-event uproar 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,” Pendergist said. “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?”
The university, however, took a different position. Dr. Doug Hallenbeck, Clemson University’s Senior Associate Vice President of Student Affairs apologized 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,” Hallenbeck said.
Dr. Hallenbeck went on to promise that the university “will continue to work closely with [its] food service provider to create dining programs that align with Clemson University’s core values.”
The event, which Pendergist said consisted of “a couple balloons, sombreros, and some tacos,” is one of many culturally themed events put on by the Clemson Dining Services throughout the year. For one such event, the university held an event titled “Low Country BBQ Bash,” where students were invited to “Pick up a plate of mighty fine fixins.”
The university has also previously held St. Patrick’s Day-themed events, where students were invited to a dinner of “cornbeef, fried fish, and Irish grilled cheese.” Both those events, it seems, were uncontroversial.
“For as long as I’ve been here, and probably for much longer, Clemson dining has put on certain culinary theme nights, where they decorate the dining halls and serve whatever kind of food. They have Italian night, Mexican night, seafood night, midnight breakfast, all kinds of events,” Pendergist told Campus Reform.
Pendergist went on to say he “can’t imagine how they’re going to react when they discover that Taco Bell is a thing.”