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Clemson University Apologizes For 'Maximum Mexican' Food Event

Clemson University issued an apology on Oct. 8 for the university dining hall's "Maximum Mexican" food event on Oct. 7, which has been a popular annual Mexican cuisine celebration.

While most people enjoyed the food, Campus Reform reports that two students expressed their displeasure on Twitter because they felt the event was culturally insensitive.

One student reportedly tweeted a picture of food workers dressed in sombreros with the caption: “Our culture isn't a costume and we will not be mocked!” The tweet has since been removed.

In response, Doug Hallenbeck, senior associate vice president of student affairs at the university, issued an apology on the South Carolina school's website that said: "Unfortunately, the event displayed a flattened cultural view of Mexican culture."

Hallenbeck didn't go into detail about the "flattened cultural view," but did add how the dining hall hopes to "work with Hispanic and Latino campus groups as well as community members, staff and faculty to better celebrate the food and culture of this region and better educate the Clemson community."

Clemson Dining Services also apologized on Twitter and Facebook where most commenters slammed the university for apologizing and mocked those who complained.

Austin Pendergist, a senior at the university, told Campus Reform that the complaints were "ridiculous," and recalled how the evening included "a couple balloons, sombreros and some tacos."

Pendergist added:

"For as long as I've been here, and probably for much longer, Clemson dining has put on certain culinary theme nights, where they decorate the dining halls and serve whatever kind of food. They have Italian night, Mexican night, seafood night, midnight breakfast, all kinds of events."

Sources: Clemson Dining/Twitter, Campus Reform, Clemson Dining Services/Facebook, Clemson University / Photo credit: Twitter Screenshot


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