CLEVELAND - Students at a university known for its Halloween parties are speaking out against what they call racist costumes.
Ohio University's STARS, or Students Teaching about Racism in Society, recently started posting pictures around the Athens, Ohio campus.
The posters read "We're a culture, not a costume. This is not who I am, and this is not okay." The four different posters feature pictures of students of different ethnicities, holding photos of a few all-too-common Halloween costumes: a geisha, a couple wearing feathered-headdresses, a terrorist, a man in a sombrero riding a donkey and a girl painted in blackface.
The organization's mission, according to the school's website, is to facilitate discussions about racism and promote racial harmony. The STARS campaign has sparked stories on ABC News , the Huffington Post and Jezebel , and there are already Internet parodies . The organization's president, Sarah Williams, posted on her personal blog that she even had an interview with CNN. She said the feedback has been mostly positive.
In a statement from the STARS at Ohio University executive board, the group says "Thank you guys so much for the love! The purpose was to educate and create dialogue and it did." The statement goes on to say that the group has plans to meet with a lawyer next week and hopes the posters will be popping up all over campus. STARS has less than 10 members.
This Web trend comes just weeks after a video of OU's marching band playing LMFAO's "Party rock anthem" went viral.