Mansfield JCR Entz team was forced to apologise on Friday after students criticised plans for a “420”-themed 0th Week bop that was seen to encourage the use of marijuana and the appropriation of other cultures.
In an email seen by Cherwell, the JCR Entz team outlined plans for the bop to coincide with “a very, very, special day of the year: April 20th a.k.a 420, the internationally recognised day of protest for the legalisation of Marijuana.”
The email read: “‘But’ – you protest – ‘how do I dress as 420? Doesn’t that just mean getting high?’ No! 420 is not about the consumption of da herb itself, and more about the arts, music, and literature surrounding it; it’s a celebration of a rich culture including everything from hippies to Hip-Hop, from Seth Rogan to the Dude.”
Students took to Mansfield JCR’s Facebook group to criticise the Entz team. “Sorry I think the entz don’t get april fools, is this an actual joke?? because there are SO many aspects of the email that we all just received that are deeply wrong and squirm inducing [sic],” one post read.
Another student commented: “I’m genuinely working on the assumption that the Entz email has been hacked”.
The email encouraged “all you (plant) pot-heads out there” to “dress as stoner icons like Snoop Dogg, Todd from BoJack, Shaggy from Scooby Doo, Harold and Kumar – or even the Super Troopers.”
It continued: “Still stuck for ideas? Get creative with puns. ‘Ganjalf’. ‘The Grim Reefer’. A ‘baked’ potato. ‘Ganja Claus’. Make a ’blunt’ statement by just dressing in all green. Don’t forget, there’s always the classic ‘I was going to find a costume for the bop, but then I got high’.”
An addendum at the bottom of the email noted that “the possession and consumption of marijuana is illegal in the UK and against University regulations. The JCR Entz do not condone its usage in any way, both in this event or otherwise. 4/20 is an internationally recognised day of protest for legalisation as well as an iconic aspect of pop culture for our generation, and this is what we intend to celebrate.”
The Entz team sent another email shortly afterwards apologising “for the (no longer) ‘420’ themed BOP this coming Friday. We understand that this was met with offence and we want to apologise dearly to those who were offended.
“We overlooked the clear issues with this theme and now realise our very significant mistake in the matter. We can’t apologise enough.”
They added: “And clearly nor did we expect any members of the College to be dressing in a manner so as to be culturally appropriating any culture.”
The Mansfield Entz team told Cherwell: “We recognised quickly that there were many real problems with this theme and it was consequently changed. To reiterate, the event will not be going ahead with this theme. We regret and apologise for any offence or distress which may have been caused.”