Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Grinches of U-ville

Katherine Kersten writes:

For most Minnesotans, December is a festive month of merrymaking and good cheer. But at the University of Minnesota it’s the most dangerous time of the year.

A Dec. 5 article on the University’s website, “Reevaluating seasonal office parties,” sets forth the perils. Its authors, Dee Anne Bonebright of the U’s Office of Human Resources and Julie Sweitzer of the Office of System Academic Administration, exhort U employees to be on their guard.

The memo makes clear that the limits most of us have learned to put on our Christmas spirit in recent years — you know, catching yourself before you hum “Joy to the World” in public — are no longer enough at the U of M.

In 2007, the enlightened Grinches keeping watch over U-ville (with apologies to Dr. Seuss) are trying to keep the spirit of Christmas from coming at all.

December office parties of any kind are now suspect at our state’s flagship institution of higher education.

The problem, explain Bonebright and Sweitzer in their memo, is that “celebrations held in December tend to make people think of Christmas, whatever the theme.” And who knows where that could lead?
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