Does This Costume Make Me Look… Offensive?


In fall of 2010, I was firmly sitting atop of the world. I had pledged one of the best houses on campus, my female peers were staring to notice me, and like every other freshman on campus that October, I was eagerly anticipating my first college Halloween party. When we got to the affair, the drinks were flowing and the music was pumping as sexy nurses mingled with vampires. Of all of the costumes we saw that night, a handful of them stood out. There was one guy dressed as pimp and another dressed in orange prison attire as a convict. These costumes would be commonplace for a Halloween party with the exception of one little detail; the guys in the costumes painted their faces black. Two weeks, one very uncomfortable campus rally attended by seemingly every black student on campus and tons of bad press later, my fraternity found itself on a seven month suspension.


Anytime a party calls for a costume, there is always a possibility that someone is going to do something offensive. While culturally insensitive costumes aren’t exactly a new concept, it is kind of baffling why in 2014, given all of the very public and very embarrassing incidents we’ve seen, students continue to offend. Yet, whether it’s the 2012 Mexican Party hosted by the Penn State Chi Os, the self-titled “Racist Rager” put on by Duke’s Kappa Sigma chapter in 2013 or the CMT vs. BET soiree presented by the Phi Deltas and Phi Sigs earlier this year at McDaniel College, it would seem that cultural insensitivity is alive and well. Perhaps I give people too much credit.halloween2

Trying to get to the root of these issues is difficult as there are many “excuses” and “explanations” given. There is the tried and true “I wasn’t trying to be offensive”, which in a lot of cases, I tend to believe. Call me naive, but I like to think my fellow man wouldn’t intentionally participate in harmful behavior. The problem with this excuse however, is that it is usually given in order to absolve one of any responsibility for their actions. However regardless of intention, the damage is still done.

halloween3There is also the “I did it to give my costume a sense of realism”. I’m almost sure that is what Dancing With The Stars’ Julianne Hough was shooting for when she donned blackface to go along with the orange jumpsuit and bantu knots of her Crazy Eyes costume (from Orange is the New Black). This “attention to detail” is usually not warranted.

And let us not forget the “Come on dude, I’m just trying to joke around” crowd. You know them; they were the once who painted bullet wounds on their hoodies last year while holding a can of Arizona Ice Tea and a pack of Skittles. And thank goodness that we had these merry jokesters to help bring humor to the slaying of Trayvon Martin; I don’t know how I would’ve otherwise coped.

Halloween doesn’t have to be a time of ignorance, hurt feelings and university sanctions. With the smallest bit of commonsense, a lot of these mishaps can be avoided. Because I know how much this blog just loves a good list, I present: Tips For Not Offending People This Halloween.

halloween41. If your costume portrays a racial, ethnic, religious, LGBT or cultural stereotype, DON’T WEAR IT.

Have a happy Halloween y’all.

How to Have a “Staycation” in College


I’m all for going away. I love getting a break from campus life, and a little room to breathe. But what if that’s not possible? It’s not always practical to leave your school stomping grounds, and for whatever the reason—cost, distance, timing, you can still make the best of your time at school. Why not try relaxing and taking a little “staycation” right on your very own campus?

So how do you staycation? What does that even mean? It’s means taking a break, and having fun right where you are—no beach or resorts necessary—and all without ever leaving your college campus!

The options are endless when trying to plan a mini getaway for you and your friends all without really going anywhere. Try to spice up your regular routine and add a little fun.

It’s Friday night, everyone is out and you and the roommates are staying in. This would be the perfect opportunity for a movie marathon! What are your favorites? Chick flicks? Scary Sagas? Action Adventures? Warm up your Netflix account, dust off your pile of DVDs and grab your snuggie! To really get the night going, dare I suggest picking a pint or two of your favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream? This can be a girl’s night, guy’s night, bring your friend and your neighbor night, whoever, wherever, bring out the inner film critic in you and settle in for a night of movie madness.

Another great option to spice up your school stay? Have a themed night in your living room or closest dorm lounge. Why not try a pizza party, a Mexican fiesta, heck why not throw a friendly luau and hula with your friends? When you’re cramped on campus it’s all about stretching your imagination and getting the best of situations you may already be in—i.e. home on a Friday, studying in a lounge, roaming around the quad! Look up fun recipes, have an arts and crafts party to make “decorations”, go all out! It’s not like there are hundreds of your college peers watching from afar—they aren’t even on campus. This is your time to get creative.

So you’re not into costumes and umbrella drinks? No Problem! You can always get up and go out! Your school probably offers a variety of late night programming or activities. Check the schedule, find their website, or visit your programming office to get more information. If none of those work, become a local tourist in your neighborhood or city! Have you seen all the sites? Tried a few different dining favorites, or local gems? Look up the city’s visitor center—often times there will be tons of free or discounted coupons for entry into city attractions, museums, shows, etc. Another great resource if you’re looking to be surprised and to try something new is UrbanSpoon. Using this app you can find hidden restaurants and yummy places to try all just by shaking your phone! Go out on a whim and let your phone, budget or mood pick a place for you! Grab some friends and pretend you are on a real vacation trying the cuisine for the first time!

The thrill of vacations is often centered on the feeling of adventure, and trying something new. While that is all fine and dandy, sometimes the best vacations can be focused instead on “catching up” and rejuvenating.  College students need sleep and time to rest. Definitely do a few, fun, and “out of the box” type of activities but also remember to take time for yourself and catch up on things that are important to you. Sleep is a big one for most students, but what about reading? When is the last time you sat down with a good book and actually read the words instead of just pretending to highlight them? Take this break time to unwind and prepare for the rest of the semester. Spring Break is here, but that means finals and the end of the semester are just around the corner. Try a few low maintenance activities like baking, or a little service in your community (walks, cleanups, soup kitchens, etc.).

The thrill of vacations can be about whatever you choose, but the joys of a “staycation” are endless! Think big and small and cater your break to fit your needs and fill any voids! Just remember to take everything with a grain of salt, your friends may be away—maybe on a beach—but they have to come home eventually and catch up on reality, you on the other hand can be snuggled up with a good book, a cupcake, watching reruns and relaxing.

-Ring Queen

I’m reading A People’s History of the United States: 1492-present

Best Places to Celebrate New Years Eve


New Years Eve- the time when people party so hard, they wake up the next day and make drastic changes to their life to make up for the debauchery that occurred the night before. New Years Eve is the best time of the year to party, have fun, and celebrate the past years triumphs. People all over the world party hard on New Years Eve. From India to Brazil to Japan to Iceland, New Years parties will be in full swing, with cultural traditions being the only difference in the celebrations. For the first time in a few years, I have no New Years plans (I should really start using Facebook). I decided to research some fun things to do across the U.S. in search of plans for the ultimate New Years Eve. I’ve compiled a list containing concerts, parties and events. Check it out:


1. Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. This is based in New York City, but there is also an L.A.event under the same name with different performers. This concert began in 1972, and it’s been a huge event every year since. If you like pop music, this concert is where you want to be. It’s in New York during the biggest party of the year. Performers include Lady GaGa, Justin Bieber, Pitbull and Hot Chella Rae. The hosts for this event are Jenny McCarthy and Fergie. This will more than likely be the biggest event of New Years, based on the amount of people who travel to NYC every year.

2. Together As One, Orange County,CA. This is like the ultimate rave, including performers Duck Sauce, Diplo, Bloody Beetroots, Chromeo, and Felix the Housecat, among others. This event is sure to be packed with partiers who will be ready to bring in the New Year with a bang.

3. PHISH at  Madison Square Garden, NYC, NY. Attention all hippies: find your way to New York for this four-day PHISH concert, which will rock from December 28th through New Years Eve. It’s been sold out since shortly after tickets went on sale, so this is sure to be a BIG concert.

4. BASSNECTAR Nashville, TN. This show is set to be HUGE. If you like dubstep music, then this is the show for you. Be ready to make your ears bleed.


1. New York City– The dropping of the crystal ball in Old Times Square is a gigantic event every year. People from all over the East coast and beyond gather in New York City for this event, making it among the most popular New Years destinations. It’s a tradition that has been going strong since 1907. I can’t imagine what New Years Eve would’ve been like during prohibition. You can buy your all-access party passes here.

2. New Orleans– Bourbon Street is the place to be year-round, so you can imagine what it’s like during New Years Eve. INSANITY. Most people realistically just can’t handle Bourbon Street, let alone during the craziest time of the year. Watch the ball drop at Jackson Square, and partake in adult beverages in any of the twelve million bars along Bourbon Street. Check out what’s going on in New Orleans on NYE here.

3. Seattle– I’ve heard from many people that Seattle turns into a city-wide party on New Years Eve. The Space Needle is turned into one big fireworks show, and besides that, there are many, many things to do in Seattle during New Years Eve. Check out the 35+ bars around city centre if you get thirsty. This isn’t quite like the other places on the list, so I understand if you are skeptical about this one, but you have to trust me. Seattle ROCKS on New Years Eve.

4. Las Vegas– Vegas and New Years Eve go together like chicken and waffles. Imagine a place where the party never stops. Literally it never stops, as there are no “last calls” in Vegas. Most cities force bars to close anytime between 2 and 6am, but not in the city that never sleeps. Check out the strip during New Years Eve, and you may begin to understand why it’s called “sin city.” One extra bonus about Vegas around New Years time is that you can bet on any of your favorite football (BCS) bowl games. Check out other NYE Vegas events here.



I’m reading Managerial Accounting



Easy, Cheap Halloween Treats


Become the talk of the dorms with these delicious, festive treats. One thing I miss most about home when I am at school is all the decorations and fun food and cookies that my mom has at home. With these treats, you can make all your friends feel festive and happy! If you are in the dorms, have a little floor gathering, or if you have your own place have a small Halloween get together with your friends. Here are some treats that will keep everyone talking for weeks and wanting more during the other holidays.


Mummy Pizza Bites: These treats are delicious and easy, but they look like you worked on them for hours. Every college student loves pizza, and these just give pizza a little kick.

Hot Spiced Cider: Now onto drinks…Apple cider is a delicious staple for the Fall season. This cider is spiced up a bit to make it different than your everyday grocery store apple cider.



I-Scream Sandwiches: Need a desert for your party? This one is the best of the best! These ice cream sandwiches with a twist are something that everyone will love! You can make your own, or buy them and decorate into little witches.

Carmel Nut Popcorn: This popcorn will go perfectly with the spiced cider. With the mix between Carmel and apple spice you cannot go wrong at all!


Ghosts on Broomsticks: If you want to get creative, try these! With only 4 ingredients you can make these fun treats to have for your get-together, or you can give them as a little treat to go.


Kelsey the Intern

I am reading Those Who Can, Teach

Halloween Costumes on a College Budget


Check out our updated page with all of our favorite homemade Halloween costumes for a college budget!

Here at we know that you are on a college budget, we are too! With Halloween right around the corner, how do you bring the best costume to the party without breaking your bank? Save your piggy banks, students! These costume ideas might not be the most extravagant, but they will have you dressed appropriately!

Rubik’s Cube
Find a square box and cut 3 holes in it for your head and arms. Paint the box black. Cut out 9 squares of construction paper in the colors red, yellow, green, blue, white, and orange. Glue or tape the 9 squares onto the box. Poke your head and arms through the holes. Now you are a walking, talking, partying Rubik’s cube!

A 6 Pack of Beer
Grab a group of 5 friends. Each buy a roll or two of duct tape. Strip down to your skivvies and start taping! Wrap your body in the duct tape, excluding your arms (from chest to mid-thigh range). Hop on the Internet and print out the label or your friends’ favorite brew! Tape it on the front and back of your body. I will set the scene: Halloween party, door opens, you and your hot group of friends file in. The party has arrived! Everyone loves it when the beer is brought to the party! Don’t lose your friends though; no one likes a pack of beer when it’s missing a can!!

Leaf Blower
Okay, you’re that dude that just likes to party, no costume necessary… Well you can’t be a walking party foul on Halloween, so just throw on a baseball cap. Cut yourself a piece of yarn about 3 to 4 inches long. Find a leaf or two outside. Tape one side of the yarn to the leaf and the other to the bill of your hat. Let it dangle all night long. When people ask you what you are for Halloween you can tell them that you are a leaf blower, then blow the leaf that is dangling in your face.

The Ghost Everyone Has Seen Before
The most simple and unoriginal idea out there, but nowadays you will rarely see someone dress up as a ghost. Simple, grab a bed sheet, and cut eyeholes in it. Run around like a fool, people will have no problem figuring out what you decided to be for Halloween.

Risky Business
Many people are familiar with the movie scene of Tom Cruise sliding across the family room floor in an oxford, underwear, and calf socks. This scene was featured in the movie Risky Business. The scene has become pretty popular, but the movie is not as noted. Anyways, take a trip to the nearest Goodwill or Walmart. Buy a cheap oxford button down shirt (white), a pair of whitey tidies, and some calf socks. Grab your favorite pair of Ray Bans. You will be the life of the party! I’m sure by the end of the night you will be sliding across the living room floor, that’s risky business..

Typical Tourist
It is easy to spot a tourist on vacation. The classic tourist finds themselves in a Hawaiian shirt (even if they are not in Hawaii), khaki or cargo shorts, sunglasses, and the most essential fanny pack. Goodwill is a savior again! Head over to your local Goodwill and look for the most gaudy Hawaiian shirt you can find, the fanny pack that lets you pack the most, and the biggest most retro pair of glasses on the shelf. Grab your dad’s high dress socks and your favorite pair of sandals! Don’t forget your camera!! As a tourist you will definitely be snapping pics are your Halloween party!

Hope your Halloween is safe and spooky!
With love,
Kat VonD

I’m reading Elementary Statistics