The UMN holiday-celebration memo that miffed a few folks

Seen this KSTP news story on the University of Minnesota’s e-mail to administrators concerning Christmas/holiday/winter celebrations on campus?

I got a copy of the e-mail above from the U. The memo basically encourages the avoidance of Christmas/religious themes in decorations and celebrations. (It specifically mentions religious elements, but also includes suggests avoiding words such as “holiday” and icons such as “Santa.”)

Some folks in the piece, and in KSTP’s comment section, didn’t appreciate it:

After asking for it yesterday, I got a statement from the university — dated today — explaining the guidelines. (Caused a little ruckus, I guess.)

The main point it tries to bring across:

The University does not in any way prohibit individuals from displaying Christmas decorations or other religious items in individual workspaces. However, when it comes to institutionally-supported events, such as department-wide holiday celebrations, it is critical that these events are secular. The institution does not—and cannot—support any religion or religious celebrations.

Here’s the whole document:

So … how does that all square with the recent performance below?

Any ideas?

  • Not surprised at all that this story came from KSTP.

  • Anonymous

    Re the final question, doesn’t it square just fine? Deck the Halls trolls the ancient “yuletide” chorus — yule was a pagan celebration associated with the winter solstice. (And the opening sax is Dvorak, 2nd movement from the New World.) Nice touch of being festive, joyous, even, without needing to invoke any theme other than secular. Worth 800,000 YouTube hits, don’t you think? Oh, and Merry Christmas.