They call this respect?
The University of Maine has banned Christmas and Hanukkah decorations from the campus, according to Campus Reform.
Here’s the insulting email, from the university’s Auxiliary Services Department:
“Just wanted to remind everyone that Aux Services is not to decorate any public areas with Christmas or any other religious themed decorations. Winter holiday decorations are fine but we need to not display any decoration that could be perceived as religious. This includes xmas trees, wreaths, xmas presents, menorahs, candy canes, etc. What is allowed [are] winter themes, snowmen, plain trees without presents underneath, decorative lights, but not on trees, snow flakes, etc.”
The university defended its position in a statement saying that the rules are in place to “respect diversity,” which is hard to believe as the directive bans diverse religious symbols.
The decision has drawn the ire of students.
“We sit here and we talk about how we’re a university that’s about welcoming all different types of people, all walks of life, we have all these different groups like the LGBT, we have up the flag for that,” graduate student Meghan Blackford told WABI. “Why can’t we support every religion and hang up decorations for every religion?”
Margaret Howson, a junior, put it plainer to Campus Reform.
“This measure systematically excludes and alienates everyone and anyone who has ever celebrated a holiday during December,” she said.
The students have also organized a “Save Christmas at UMaine” event for Friday and are asking students to “wear Santa hats or Christmas themed apparel,” according to a post on their event Facebook page.
The description also advises students “don’t forget other religions or beliefs.”
That sounds a lot like diversity.
Maybe the students have something to teach their university.