University of Denver

Colleges to students: Skip sombreros, blackface on Halloween

Universities are urging students in search of an attention-grabbing costume this Halloween to pass on sombreros, Native American headdresses and blackface.

Those are some of the costumes grabbing the attention of university administrators who are increasingly concerned that certain costumes are becoming flashpoints in campus debates over race and culture. While not outright prohibiting any costume, administrators are using letters, campus forums and advertising campaigns to encourage students to pick outfits that don't offend classmates of color.

Some, like the University of Texas at Austin, issued a flyer encouraging students to consider how a costume aligns with an...