Halloweekend is upon us, and universities across the country are once again reminding students to refrain from donning offensive Halloween costumes.

On Friday, Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey sent a mass email to students in the hopes of dissuading them from wearing costumes that could be deemed offensive. The email included a flyer urging students to ask themselves if their costume trivializes human suffering or oppression, mocks someone's gender and sexuality, portrays negative stereotypes, is disrespectful of others' spiritual beliefs, mocks the disabled or mentally ill, or includes recognized hate symbols, like swastikas.

A little closer to home, Columbia Law School reminded students that "costumes and themes that are disrespectful towards identity, racial, cultural, socioeconomic, and other groups just don't belong at our celebrations."

At Fordham's Lincoln Center campus, some students were outraged by a Halloween decoration in a dorm window that, from a certain angle, appeared to represent a lynching.

"I want to emphasize that even if no insult was intended by the student who placed the display in her window, I appreciate that the hurt felt by people of color is genuine and has deep roots in our nation's history," Fordham University President Reverend Joseph McShane told students in an email. "Fordham will also take whatever measures are deemed necessary to try and prevent further incidents of this sort."

As is the case every year, some have interpreted universities' attempts at preventing their student body from dressing up in blackface or as sexy border patrol agents as political correctness run amok.

"I look forward to the day in the not so distant future when the only acceptable Halloween costume will be to tape a balloon to your head and tell people you're a happy, non-binary balloon person operating in a safe space," comedian Jim Norton wrote in an essay for Time, taking the notion of self-censorship to an unrealistic extreme. No one is stopping you from dressing as Harley Quinn or a character from Stranger Things or whatever meme the kids are currently into.

Colleges aren't by any means telling students to stop celebrating Halloween—they're just saying it may not be the best idea to dress as racist caricatures that reinforce deeply-ingrained stereotypes that make mockeries out of entire cultures and can even put people in danger. The main issue seems to lie with the word "offensive"—calling a costume offensive means it's capable of hurting someone's feelings; calling a costume racist means it reinforces centuries-old stereotypes that have disenfranchised entire groups of people.

Besides, there are plenty of topical costumes you can come up with that aren't horribly racist (just please don't be a sexy Ken Bone), even if some of them are pretty weird.