University: Your holiday party cannot be a Christmas party in disguise

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.

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“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.

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.”

I wonder if the Office for Diversity and Inclusion is aware that such non-inclusive and non-diverse activities are occurring on campus?

“I am hoping that you will be fair and objective in your reporting and the inferences you make about the piece,” the statement went on to read.

Well, I’m not inferring anything. It’s written in black and white and Tennessee orange – on the university’s official website.

Get a load of some of the nonsense they’re suggesting on Rocky Top:

Holiday cards should be non-denominational. And decorations should not be specific to any religion or culture.

"Refreshment selection should be general, not specific to any religion or culture,”  they added.

I reckon that means kids won’t be able to serve jugs of sweet tea – considered the House Wine of Southern Baptists.

And my personal favorite:

Holiday parties should not play games with religious or cultural themes.

They singled out “Dreidel” and “Secret Santa” as no-nos.

The recommendations have drawn the ire of alumni – including Rep. John Duncan, (R-Tenn.)

“The people I represent are disgusted by this,” he told me. “People from all over the country are sick and tired of all this political correctness.”

Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey echoed the congressman’s concerns about political correctness.

“While the advisory makes clear it is not university policy, these ‘suggestions’ call into question what purpose university offices of diversity serve,” he said.

He said students don’t attend college “to have their values and traditions sidelined and undermined.”

Ho, Ho, Ho, America.