In order to “ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise,” the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Tennessee issued a “best practices” directive for the campus. Least you think the University of Tennessee is an anomaly, read here from the WSJ’s Notable & Quotable the guidelines Cornell issued for holiday displays.
University members are reminded to be respectful of the religious diversity of our students and colleagues and are encouraged to use an inclusive approach in celebrating the holiday season. Individuals and units demonstrate this inclusive approach by:
- Focusing on the winter season rather than a particular holiday
- Displaying symbols that visually represent holidays of several religions in combination with secular decorations of the season.
GUIDELINES FOR INCLUSIVE SEASONAL DISPLAYS
Winter Holiday Displays/Decorations that are Consistent with Cornell’s Commitment to Diversity and the University Assembly Guidelines:
- Trees (in accordance with Fire Safety Guidelines) decorated with snowflakes and other non-religious symbols
Winter Holiday Displays/Decorations that are Consistent with University Assembly Guidelines But Should be Basis of Dialogue Within Unit or Living Area
- Trees decorated with bows, garland and lights (in accordance with Fire Safety Guidelines)
- Wreaths with bows (in accordance with Fire Safety Guidelines)
- Combination of snowflakes, (in accordance with Fire Safety Guidelines), Santa Claus figure, and dreidel
Winter Holiday Displays/Decorations that are NOT Consistent with Either University Assembly Guidelines or the University’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusiveness
- Nativity scene
- Stars at the top of trees
- Star of David