Institutional Absurdity at Wheaton


Wheaton College, in Norton, Massachusetts, is apparently not a place designed to guide young adults fully into the adult world, to empower them to overcome challenges, or to train them to deal with differences between people.  Shaun Towne reports on WPRI that the college canceled the entire women’s soccer team’s participation in their conference tournament because one of the players attended a Halloween party in a costume of a movie character whose appearance required her to darken her skin.  That punishment is on top of consequences that the individual student may face for expressing herself in a way that the snowflakes who run the institution can’t handle, emotionally.


Towne’s article includes the full text of a letter that President Dennis Hanno sent to the campus population.  Prospective students and their parents should judge for themselves whether the author of such a document, not intending it to be a parody, is likely to have the capacity to run an institution of higher education that is worth the price of admission:

The past few days have been disturbing and challenging for our community. A Wheaton student chose to wear blackface as part of an offensive and racist Halloween costume, and the incident raises difficult issues for all of us. …

This is a difficult moment for the college and our community and I am convinced that we can use this incident as a rallying point to build a better, more welcoming and inclusive place for all students, faculty and staff. I hope you will join me in this important work.

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No kidding this controversy is disturbing. That a student and her teammates have been treated in this way over a costume shows how detrimental time spent at Wheaton can be.  When Hanno writes that the “college community aspires to be a place that welcomes a diverse group of students from every background and perspective,” he’s obviously lying.  Anybody who might think that young adults should be able to dress up as movie characters even when they’re of different races and that such activity actually speaks to a shared culture will obviously not be tolerated on campus.

(I wonder, by the way, if there isn’t an implicit sexism in the punishment.  Would the football team be treated so harshly, or are female sports seen as less-important affairs at Wheaton?)

  • Rhett Hardwick

    A number of comments. In the article that I read, the black students demanded that the college “punish” the students. A college that “punishes” students? Wheaton is not in a good position to resist. According to an article in the Boston Globe, about a year ago, Wheaton is not expected to be with us very much longer. It is having a bad time attracting students. The college’s “discount rate” now exceeds 50%. In short, this means that over 50% of the tuition paid by students. paying the full boot, is used to provide scholarships for other students,.
    When I was a kid, Wheaton was a “women’s college”. On slow nights. we would go to the parking lot and flash out headlights. The girls would undress in the windows. I suppose that has changed.

  • Censored by Justin

    “expressing herself in a way that the snowflakes who run the institution can’t handle, emotionally” Gee, that sounds an awful lot like the reaction I see from you folks on the far-right from regarding any sort of college protests. Ever watch the Fox coverage of these events? Great entertainment!

  • Mike678

    Absurdity. If my child admires Pocahontas and puts on makeup to “look more like her” is she a racist? Or is the person that objects the real racist?