So let's say a group of white students dress in blackface and don dunce caps for a fraternity party. Stupid, offensive, wrong - obviously. There's nothing to argue about here. Now, my question is: should the university punish these students?
On the one hand, these are adults who have decided to entertain themselves in their free time in this insensitive, offensive manner. As stupid as this decision is, it's their decision. Should we be able to police what students do and how they choose to entertain themselves in their time off? Will the next step be to police how the teaching faculty spends their free time?
On the other hand, though, if it was a fraternity party, it was conducted on university property. Should that in any way influence the way in which the university responds to what these students did? If these actions are not punished in any way, it looks like the university is endorsing them. Then again, if we take this attitude, then we are privileging property ownership over people's individual rights.
I really don't know what the right course of action here is. Any thoughts?