Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Auburn and Alabama both wimp out on Christmas.

Culture: Note I had to re-write this post because I only blasted Auburn and left out the Alabama part which is a screwup on my part as I misread the article, though the War Chicken cry still stand.

Holiday season brings out campus multiculturalism By Ellen Burke Staff Reporter December 07, 2005 As the sun sets on the Capstone, simple white lights shine from a tree in front of the Rose Administration Building as workers assemble the final branches. But there's a mystery about the tree - it has no name. Across the nation, debates rage about whether trees on public property should be designated as Christmas trees or as "holiday" trees, incorporating other religious holidays into the meaning of the tree. The UA tree hasn't been named and won't be, UA spokeswoman Cathy Andreen said. "If people want to refer to it as a 'Christmas tree' or as a 'holiday tree,' it's up to them," she said. The artificial tree, which was donated to the University in 2003, will not have ornaments or other features recognizing other religious holidays. It is only decorated with white lights, Andreen said. The issue has heated up at Auburn University. In a meeting that drew 70 spectators, Auburn's SGA senate voted Monday to keep a lighted tree on campus called the "Holiday Tree" instead of changing its name to the "Christmas Tree," the Auburn Plainsman reported. Andreen said the University does not have any policy that symbols of other religions must be in place if a Christmas display is put up on campus, but many such displays seem to follow that idea. Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa are represented in a display in the Ferguson Center. Jane Stanfield, assistant vice president for international education and global affairs for the Capstone International Center, said it is important to remember that though the majority of students celebrate Christmas this time of year, other religions' most significant holy days occur at different times during the year or even change from year to year.
So to clarify, Alabama just rolled wimp rolled, just put a tree up with lights. Of course sometimes that may be the best idea.
"The Purdue Memorial Union's Christmas tree has a new name -- again. Last year, the Purdue Student Union Board, which chooses the tree from lists of donors annually and oversees the tree installation in the Union's Great Hall, asked that the tree be referred to simply as a "holiday" tree. But backlash from students and community members about removing Christ from the Christmas tree has made the student board re-evaluate the evergreen's moniker. "We're just calling it the Union tree," Margie Stoltz, program adviser at Purdue Memorial Union, said during Monday's tree installation ceremony. "We have a 'Holidays Around the World' event, and we really try to incorporate celebrations from around the world here." But it's clear that not all of the fans of the great Purdue University Christmas tree are buying the name switches. "It's a Christmas tree," Yucel Parsak said, as he and his family watched the arrival of this year's 28-foot-tall Norwegian spruce. "Why do we have to change it?"
Maybe Alabama has the right idea.

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