Cambridge University Pembroke Phileas Fogg party 'racist'

Airship and Pembroke College Image copyright Thinkstock/N Chadwick/Geograph
Image caption The Jules Verne novel-themed party was changed amid fears that it might offend some people

A Cambridge University student party has been halted in a row over political correctness after concerns it had the "potential for offence".

Pembroke College students were expecting to attend a fancy dress party based on Jules Verne's novel Around the World in 80 Days.

A student committee however, decided it might lead to "cultural appropriation" if students dressed in clothes depicting other races, as The Tab reported.

The university has not commented.

Verne's 1873 novel follows the exploits of lead character Phileas Fogg, who accepts a wager that he can travel around the world in 80 days.

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However, Pembroke's junior parlour committee (JPC) decided the event could cause offence to ethnic minorities and wrote to students to say the theme was going to be changed.

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption French author Jules Verne's adventure novel was published in the late 19th Century

"We are using an alternative theme, to avoid the potential for offence to be caused by the theme Around The World In 80 Days."

'Man-sized balloon costume'

The decision to change it breaks the college tradition that the finalists' party should have the same theme as the party thrown for them during freshers' week.

In 2013 Pembroke freshers enjoyed the first Around the World in 80 Days party, organised at the time by the college entertainment officer.

One student described the JPC's decision as "overly controlling, and a little insulting".

"I'm mostly just upset that I can't use the man-sized hot air balloon costume I made," they added.

Another student reacted more angrily, slamming the decision as "perpetuating the downward spiral of extreme political correctness that I feel universities across the world seem be succumbing to".

Earlier this week Jesus College in Cambridge was also embroiled in a cultural conundrum when it bowed to student pressure to remove an "imperialist" bronze cockerel from display.

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