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ICC Note: The University of Tennessee’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion recently issued an “unofficial” statement, requesting that campus holiday festivities are not centered on religion or culture. This includes suggestions that decorations should not be specifically related to Christmas, refreshments should not pertain to a specific culture or religion, and religious or culturally themed games, including Secret Santa and Dreidel, are advised against. The suggestions have drawn the attention and anger of many alumni, including Tennessee’s Rep. John Duncan.

By Todd Starnes

12/03/2015 United States (Fox News) – If you plan on having a Christmas party at the University of Tennessee be sure to leave the Baby Jesus and Santa Claus at home.

The taxpayer-funded university’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion recently released an “unofficial” edict calling for the campus to host holiday parties that do not emphasize religion or culture.

“Ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise,” the organization warned in an online document titled, “Best Practices for Inclusive Holiday Celebrations in the Workplace.”

Ah yes – Christmas-neutral. It’s all the rage on college campuses these days.

“Celebrate your religious and cultural holidays in ways that are respectful and inclusive of our students, your colleagues and our university,” the Office for Diversity and Inclusion stated.

Let me pause for just a moment to share a rather frosty note I received from the university’s media relations department.

They say the “Best Practices for Inclusive Holiday Celebrations in the Workplace” is not an official policy.

“It is a list of suggestions for inclusive celebrations,” they stated. “We recognize that our campus community is diverse and its members observe various religious and faiths.”

The statement went on to point out they “honor Christmas as one of the celebrations of the season and the birth of Jesus and the corresponding Christmas observance is one of the Christian holidays on our cultural and religious holidays calendar.”


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