After the University of Tennessee’s Office of Diversity released its “inclusive holiday celebrations in the workplace” tips that excluded Secret Santa, Tennessee Republican representative Micah Van Huss (R) put forth legislation to defund the University’s controversial campus group.
“The Tennessee Republican Party rejects in the strongest terms the efforts of the University of Tennessee Office of Diversity and Inclusion to eliminate Christianity from the observance of the holiday season,” the resolution said.
Earlier this year, the University of Tennessee’s Office of Diversity suggested that students and professors use gender-neutral pronouns. Huss says that’s when he began to look deeper into how this office was spending Tennessee tax payers’ money.
Huss said in a statement:
My office began working on drafts of this legislation when the Office of Diversity proposed using gender-neutral pronouns earlier this summer. We had been trying to draft something that would leave the office in place, but bring more oversight. However, after this latest action, it is clear that this taxpayer-funded department in no way reflects the values of Tennesseans. First, it was Sex Week, then the Gender Neutral Pronouns, now these recommendations to ensure that ‘holiday’ parties have nothing to do with Christmas. What else has the Office of Diversity been doing with our tax dollars?
The University of Tennessee system allocates about $5.5 million annually to diversity programming.