Following the University of Tennessee's ban on Christmas parties, Jesus, Santa, and eggnog, there was push back from state legislators and the governor and momentum was building to defund the Office of Diversity and
Inclusion or to get someone fired as a result of the offensive UT policy. UT is trying to do damage control and has removed from their website the memo that caused all the furor. Also, UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek has taken away from the Director of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity the authority to post to the University Website without such post being preapproved by another designated authority.
This is a positive development and I would say those who were properly outraged should be placated, if this was the first outrageous action from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, but it was not. The Office of Inclusion and Diversity should still be defunded.
Below is the new reworded memo:
As we enter the holiday season, please be mindful of the rich diversity of our campus community. Recognizing a wide variety of cultures and beliefs, we should note that people choose to celebrate in different ways and on varying days of the year.
While there are many joyous occasions and special opportunities to gather, employee participation in any celebration should always be voluntary. While it is inevitable that differences will appear in how people celebrate, everyone is encouraged to have an open mind and to approach every situation with sensitivity.
We are grateful for the many people, cultures, and viewpoints of our campus. We should celebrate our diversity not only during the holidays but also on every day of the year.That's not bad. It is much better than the policy memo that said, "Ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise," and the no-eggnog clause, "Refreshment selection should be general, not specific to any religion or culture." So, while this is not bad, I would like for UT to just wish everyone a "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."
Since UT has removed the offensive memo, you can follow this link to read it:
UT bans Christmas. Do not disguise a Chirstams Party as a "holiday party." Baby Jesus and Santa banned