It seemed like a silly Halloween gag until we saw it on the cover of the “Daily News” – a blown up photo of University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann posing with Saad Saadi, a student dressed as a suicide bomber for a Halloween party at the president’s crib.
Well, it was no joke, and some in the Penn community actually took offense to the student’s gaffe and let the president know how they felt. Days after the party, on Nov. 3, Penn’s president issued a statement explaining her side of the big mess. “The student had the right to wear the costume just as I, and others, have a right to criticize his wearing of it,” she said.
She’s absolutely right.
Sure it may have been a mistake on Gutmann’s part to pose for a picture with a student in a horribly tasteless costume.But that’s as far as it goes.
It was Halloween, the time of the year when many have an excuse to become personas they at any other time of the year would not have the luxury. Still, some believed that Saadi took it too far. The senior has told media that the entire ordeal lasted not more than 15 seconds. Yet, it’s certainly getting its 15 minutes. Penn students and alumni alike who were offended by the photos should be elated that the university’s president even socializes with students, enough to allow herself to be photographed with them.
We certainly don’t see that everyday. We’d be equally elated if this university president can take a hint from Gutmann’s Halloween soiree. Saadi at most should be laughed at for having poor taste, but that’s about it. It probably wasn’t the best decision he’s ever made, but guess what? It’s college and it’s what we as college folk do sometimes – make mistakes.
It was his mistake and his only, not Gutmann’s mistake by posing for one picture with one student in a silly Halloween garb.