There is no reason to believe the decision to have the theme for Winter Formal be “I’m Dreaming of a White Cleveland” was intended to be hurtful. The theme was based off of Bing Crosby’s “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”
However, financial and racial problems were created because of this poor judgement.
This controversy led to the themed merchandise, mugs and ice scrapers, to be thrown out. A financial issue arose because the money used to pay for those items was wasted. That money came from the Student Activity Fee, and, even if it is at the cost of programming, it is the responsibility of SUPB to refund that money back to the students.
The student body should not have to pay for this mistake.
The choice to make this slogan the theme of the Winter Formal hurt the student body on two levels–the clearest level is the racial implications. JCU prides itself on making a large effort to diversify the student body.
Choosing a controversial theme like this only undermines the mission of the University. It only reinforces the perception that John Carroll University is not diverse.
Fortunately, as seen in the mass e-mail that was sent out to the student body, the SUPB and Winter Formal Committee are looking for ways to try to prevent a problem like this from occurring.
The University prides itself on diversity but this choice was poor representation of that. Although SUPB did not intend to create this racial implication, the simple aspect of common sense in deciding a theme was apparently overlooked.