SU’s Mexican themed event criticised for ‘disregarding race and culture’
Mexican Fiesta? More like Mexican Fiasco
QUACK! have been accused of offensive cultural appropriation after announcing their “Mexican Fiesta” for Wednesday 19th October. Their event page invites us to “grab a sombrero or a poncho,” but not before the all-important “ARRRIIIIBBBAAA!!”.
Issie Leigh, LGBT+ Society’s Black and Minority Ethnic Representative, said: “Not only are they promoting the dilution of an entire nation into decoration and tired stereotype, they have galvanised student disregard for race and culture”.
Jessie Bartholomew, last year’s Women’s Officer, added: “It’s reduced a whole culture to a costume party theme, and ultimately a joke.”
These protests have ultimately turned the Mexican Fiesta into a true fiasco, but for every voice against the themed night, more voices seem to be in favour. “I think people are blowing this way out of proportion and are making a light-hearted theme into a ridiculous argument” says Sophie Parsons, a third year Media Production student.
Louise Clements, agrees: “Each country is known for something. England is known for cups of tea, bad weather, and fish and chips. When people think of Mexico, they think of sombreros, ponchos, and Mexican food. Surely students dressing up and enjoying a Mexican themed night is a celebration? Why must that be seen as racist?”
Some students have left comments on the Facebook event, calling it “racially insensitive”, while others argued that everyone needed to “just calm down”.
Speaking about the event Issie Leigh said: “It’s interesting to note that there were a significant amount of BME and LGBT+ individuals who really understood the initial problem. I think in all of this, one thing appears as somewhat a truth: when you exist on the fringes of consensus and actually live the minority experience, for better or for worse, perhaps you’re awarded the ability to see the white, straight majority criticising a concern they may never, and may never have to, fully understand.”
Disabled Students Officer Josh Grinsell added: “There was a motion to introduce greater democracy to QUACK! and other Engine Shed events at the last All Members Meeting that wasn’t voted on because not enough people turned up. If more people attended that meeting, students would have had a body to challenge the themes for future SU events.”
The Tab has reached out to the SU for a response.