College's Holiday Party Memo Rankles Republicans
'Hostile to students…with Christian and conservative values'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 4, 2015 6:55 PM CST
Just a couple colleagues enjoying a non-denominational holiday party, as God and Jesus intended.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – An online memo advising employees at the University of Tennessee to make sure holiday celebrations aren't Christmas parties "in disguise" has put school officials under fire. The memo "Best Practices for Inclusive Holiday Celebrations in the Workplace" has been posted on the school's website by its Office for Diversity and Inclusion. It says parties should celebrate workplace relationships with no emphasis on religion or culture. It also says holiday celebrations should not play games with religious themes such as Secret Santa, and the selection of decor and refreshments should be "general, not specific to any religion or culture." "Ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise," the memo says.

On Thursday, a Republican lawmaker appeared on Fox News and called the post an example of political correctness run amok. Meanwhile, two Republican senators issued a joint statement calling on the university's chancellor to resign. "The Office of Diversity is not welcoming to all and hostile to none as they claim," according to the statement. "They are very hostile to students and other Tennesseans with Christian and conservative values. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion defended itself, saying the school is a diverse campus that is not anti-Christmas but is pro-inclusion. "First let me say that we honor Christmas as one of the celebrations of the season. We are in no way trying to dismiss this very important Christian holiday," the chancellor said in a statement.