Brighton University urges staff to not say ‘Christmas’ because it’s too ‘Christian-centric’ | Daily Mail Online

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Brighton University urges staff to not say ‘Christmas’ because it’s too ‘Christian-centric’ – and instead call it the ‘winter closure period’

The University of Brighton has advised staff to not say ‘Christmas’ and instead call it the ‘winter closure period’.

The word ‘Christmas’ is too ‘Christian-centric’, according to a nine-page ‘inclusive language guidance’ document sent to lecturers at the university.

Staff are also advised not to ask students ‘what is your Christian name?’ but instead say ‘what is your first name?’ or ‘what is your given name?’

Generalisations about a group of people based on their age, such as saying ‘millennial snowflakes’ or ‘old people cannot use technology’, should also be avoided, according to the guidance. 

Staff should be ’empowered’ to use ‘inclusive language confidently and effectively, in order to ensure that both students and staff alike feel safe, valued and respected’, the document says. 

The University of Brighton, pictured, has asked staff to avoid saying ‘Christmas’ as it may offend some students – instead asking them to call it the ‘winter closure period’

The document reads: ‘Language and meaning are powerfully conditioned by the dominant norms of the culture in which they exist. 

‘Prevailing attitudes, misconceptions and stereotypes are embedded within modes of communication, and these factors are sometimes reflected – whether consciously or not – in the language that we use when communicating with and referring to others. 

‘This means that communication – both oral and written – may be offensive even when this is not our intention.’ 

Andrew Allison, of the Freedom Association, said: ‘Universities are supposed to be places where ideas are freely debated. 

‘This is Orwellian and ridiculous. Staff and students ought to ignore it and have a good Christmas.’

A nine-page document sent to staff at the University of Brighton includes this table which guides them on ‘offensive’ things not to say to students and provides inclusive alternatives

What do YOU think of the university’s advice?

Then, in a table advising staff on what not to say to students, they are urged to avoid the term ‘Christmas closure period’ and replace it with ‘winter closure period’. The purpose of this is to ‘avoid using Christian-centric language’. 

A spokesman for the University of Brighton told MailOnline: ‘This guidance was produced with our staff and students and is part of our shared commitment to making Brighton a place where everyone feels respected and valued. The guidance is exactly that – guidance.’

They added: ‘Words are not ”banned” at Brighton, and neither is Christmas – as is clear from the decorations and Christmas trees in our buildings and across our campuses.’ 

Brighton University urges staff to not say ‘Christmas’ because it’s too ‘Christian-centric’

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