The Real Impact of a Costume

By Jamie Rae Parker, Coordinator of Harm Reduction Services (Beta Nu Chapter alumna)

When we think of theme parties or Halloween, we think about picking out the best costume, taking a cute picture and writing the perfect Instagram caption to complete the event. What we don’t always think about is how our costume choice may impact another person. Cultural appropriation is imitating something from a culture that is not one’s own. From our own perspectives, it may seem like no big deal, but to others, it can be hurtful and as though we are making fun of their lives, situation or culture. Rarely is a theme or costume selected out of hate for a group or person or with the intention of hurting a group or person. It does not matter the intention behind the theme or costume, however, but rather the impact it has on others.

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Why is it unacceptable to sing ZTA songs at the top of the lungs when I'm at home?

You’ll be a Zeta if you know what’s good for you,

so, listen while we sing to you our songs of gray and blue, 

Our crest is best by test you’ll see we’ll always treat you right,

so, raise your glasses high and drink to ZTA tonight,

for you will find the girls as nice as they can be,

so, come on and join the best Fraternity,

we got the pep,


the go,


that makes you wanna say,

“Hallelujah, I’m converted and I’ll be a Z-T-A, Hallelujah I’m converted and I’ll be a ZTA!”