SUNY Brockport encourages culturally sensitive holiday decorations

BROCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — The College at Brockport is encouraging students to use an inclusive approach when decorating for the holidays.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion provided a list of suggestions for inclusive decorations and celebrations. They worked with the Diversity Committee to create the suggestions.

“We understand that having a festive work environment, especially during the holidays is important to many in our community. We must also be sensitive and respectful to individuals who choose not to participate in these festivities,” the office wrote.

Here are their suggestions:

  1. Before scheduling meetings and special events check the calendar to make sure that dates do not conflict with holidays such as Hanukah and Ramadan. Be flexible and adjust schedules as needed.
  2. Consider religious dietary restrictions when planning parties. Ask your colleagues if they have special needs.
  3. Consider a grab bag instead of a “Secret Santa” gift exchange.
  4. Learn about all the December holidays and the appropriate greetings for each.
  5. Keep decorations general and non-specific to any religion. Create a winter theme with lights and color rather than religious icons, or include decorations from all the cultural traditions represented in your department. Be sure to ask everyone in the department to contribute to holiday decorating.
  6. Acknowledge multiple cultures by asking staff to share their holiday traditions at a “pot luck” party.
  7. The holiday season should be considered an opportunity to demonstrate cultural sensitivity and inclusivity by acknowledging multiple cultural traditions rather than imposing or endorsing a single tradition on everyone.

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