Saturday, December 05, 2015

Christmas Parties Banned at Univ. of Tennessee

In an effort to increase "diversity and inclusion," UT Knoxville Chancellor Jimmy Cheek's Office of Diversity issued a directive that Christmas must be EXcluded from any "holiday parties" on campus.
"I could not believe that, especially in light of what's gone on the last couple of years with the debacle over sex week, then foolishness over the gender neutral pronouns that they put out a few months ago, and now we have the same group telling us that. Managers and supervisors shouldn't display any endorsement of religion."
-- Tenn. State Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville)
UPDATE 4/23/16: Tennessee Legislature Defunds UT Office for Diversity and Inclusion

For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Christmas Tree Flyer Censored by New Hampshire School Supt.

Atheists Help Liberal Schools in Oregon Ban Christmas Choirs

Must Censor Speech, Say Most College Students

Wisconsin Professor Threatens Student for her Christianity

Bibles Removed, Deviant Sex Housing Added at Illinois Univ.

Students Taught to Choose:  Gay Agenda vs. Religion at Univ. of California

Also read Tennessee College OKs Homosexual Indoctrination

And read Tennessee GOP & Dems Pass Religious Liberty for Schools

-- From "Disguised Christmas Parties - UT Under Fire Again Over Politically Correct Holiday Parties" by Bill Mitchell, WDEF-TV12 (Chattanooga, TN) 12/4/15

An online memo this week from the University's Office of Diversity advised employees to make sure their holiday celebrations aren't Christmas parties "in disguise".

Senator Bo Watson said, "I don't think it's the job of the legislature to micro-manage the university, but this the second incident for this particular department within in the past year of what many of us will perceive to be poor judgment. . . . I think it's another example of the University trying to look so brilliant, that to the everyday citizen, they look stupid."

Chancellor Cheek has issued a statement defending the memo.

It said, "As a diverse campus, we do promote ways to be inclusive of all cultures and religions. I am disappointed that our efforts to be inclusive have been totally misconstrued."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "UT backlash over holiday party recommendations grows" by Michael Collins, Knoxville News Sentinel 12/4/15

All nine of the state's Republicans in Congress spoke out forcefully against the guidelines . . .

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey said UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek should resign if he had anything to do with the guidelines, which are posted on the website of UT's Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Ramsey also hinted that the university could be stripped of its state funding.

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a South Pittsburg, Tenn., Republican, slammed the holiday party suggestions as "nonsense" and said he would encourage the Tennessee General Assembly to investigate and, where necessary, "ensure that tax dollars are not being expended on this kind of frivolity."

On campus, students and faculty started online petitions in support of Cheek amid growing calls for his resignation.
"Students come to college to have an educational experience and engage in learning other peoples (sic) points of view both conservative and liberal," reads the petition, which is on the website "Although some in the Legislature may not realize that UT is a place for all students, Chancellor Cheek and Vice chancellor Hall have made this a priority. Over his time here he has worked to make this campus a place where students who are the majority and the minority can call home."
To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Senators Gresham And Bell Call For Resignation Of UTK Chancellor Jimmy Cheek" posted at The Chattanoogan 12/3/15

The university’s guidance warns students and faculty to “ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise,” and to “not play games with religious and cultural themes” such as “Secret Santa.”  It warned that parties should have “no emphasis on religion or culture.”

“The Office of Diversity is not welcoming to all and hostile to none as they claim,” said [State] Senator Gresham.  “They are very hostile to students and other Tennesseans with Christian and conservative values.   By placing a virtual religious test regarding holiday events at this campus, every student who is a Christian is penalized.”

Senators Gresham and Bell criticized the Office of Diversity and Inclusion in August for a post on the university’s website asking students and faculty to toss out “he” and “she” when addressing students for gender-neutral pronouns like ”ze” and “zir”.  They also expressed disapproval over the university’s “Sex Week” which includes such events as drag shows, lectures given by a porn actress, an aphrodisiac cooking class and condom scavenger hunts.  Senators Gresham and Bell objected to student activity fees being used to help fund such events.

In a meeting this fall, the Senate Higher Education Committee found that UTK "far outspends" other universities in the state on their diversity programs, which goes far beyond the regulations required by state and federal law.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey wants action after UT holiday post" by Adam Tamburin, The Tennessean 12/4/15

"Political correctness has been a scourge on American academia for too long," wrote [Lt. Gov.] Ramsey, R-Blountville. "If liberal arts universities in New York and Massachusetts wish to continue the practice that is up to them, but it has no place at institutions of higher learning in Tennessee."

"If the University of Tennessee cannot keep its house in order the General Assembly must shift funding to the University of Memphis, ETSU or other institutions of higher learning that don't embarrass us nationally on a regular basis," Ramsey said.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Joe DiPietro — the UT system president who oversees campuses in Knoxville, Memphis, Martin and Chattanooga — said he respected the concerns of Ramsey and other Tennessee and federal lawmakers. He also praised [UT Knoxville Chancellor] Cheek, whom he credited with a series of “remarkable, transformative successes" at the Knoxville campus.

"We are in no way trying to dismiss this very important Christian holiday," Cheek said. "As a diverse campus, we do promote ways to be inclusive of all cultures and religions. I am disappointed that our efforts to be inclusive have been totally misconstrued."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "The University Of Tennessee Is Waging A Literal War On Christmas" by Scott Greer, Associate Editor, Daily Caller 12/5/15

The directive — entitled “Best Practices for Inclusive Holiday Celebrations in the Workplace” — instructed students and staff on how to effectively avoid the travesty of hosting a not very inclusive “holiday” party.

The reason for these intrusive measures is to make sure everyone “celebrate[s] your religious and cultural holidays in ways that are respectful and inclusive of our students.”

Christmas — the holiday the vast majority of Americans celebrate in December — is curiously treated by the memo as a minor festivity that’s only observed by a minority of students.

The desperate attempt to achieve “inclusion” at any and all level came at the expense of the vast majority’s wishes, which is typical for the aims of political correctness. The possibility that even one person of a designated protected class would be offended by a Christmas display is enough of a reason to purge all events of associations to the December holiday.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Lawmakers Counter Islamic Teaching in Tennessee

And read Wichita State Univ. Chapel Muslim Conversion Leads to Uprising