University Dining’s Cinco de Mayo Event Strays From N.C. State’s Diversity Promise 

Chris Hart-Williams | Editor-in-Chief 

University Dining’s distasteful Cinco de Mayo event on Monday proved that N.C. State at times, fails to fulfill its promise to embrace diversity.

Just as the rest of the student body, on Monday I received an email from University Dining announcing the Cinco de Mayo event to take place all day at Case Dining hall.

Right away, I was put off by the email’s message, “It’s Cinco de Mayo and we’re ready to celebrate! Grab your sombrero.” Twitter and Facebook revealed that other students were as well. But it wasn’t until I saw University Dinning’s Instagram post about the Cinco de Mayo event, that I was alarmed.

University Dining’s Instagram and Facebook posts featured a picture of students outside of Case wearing Sombreros and fake mustaches.

“Celebrate the final stretch of exams by grabbing g a sombrero and a bite to eat. Cinco de Mayo at Case!,” was the picture’s caption.

I posted the photo on Facebook as an attempt to get the attention of University Dining.

I wanted University Dining to rethink their decision and consider planning events that don’t encourage students to portray stereotypes through costume.

We are better than that at N.C. State.

“We not only embrace diversity, but we believe it is central to the academic purpose of the institution…At NC State, our diversity makes us strong,” reads N.C. State’s Diversity commitment.

The fact that University Dinning thought stereotype influenced attire was appropriate to give to students, reveals that work needs to be done if the University wants to continue to say that it’s committed to embracing diversity.

Embracing diversity requires more than simply accepting students from varying backgrounds, but also respecting and valuing their differences once they get here.

Decisions made, and  the actions taken by University faculty and staff should always be in concert with the promise N.C. State has made to its students.

University Dining clearly dropped the ball on Monday. Its reaction to the criticism was timely and appropriate. An apology was released, and both Facebook and Instagram posts were deleted.

“While planned with good intentions, our event offended many people, and for that we sincerely apologize. We learned a valuable lesson, and it’s not a mistake we will make again.”

Read University Dining’s full apology at

Newly elected Student Body President Rusty Mau sent an email detailing Student Government’s commitment to diversity following University Dining’s apology. Mau failed to mention the Cinco de Mayo at Case event.