The College highly values the diversity of its students, staff, and community. With regard to holiday and seasonal decorations on its property, the College seeks to educate and encourage members of the College community to embrace their own beliefs and traditions while at the same time also recognizing and respecting the beliefs and traditions of others.
A. General goal: Holiday and seasonal decorations of classrooms, offices, reception desks and counters, lobbies, other common areas, and other College property should help to make those spaces festive and fun for everyone, without valuing any one tradition or set of beliefs over another. The goal in decorating is to help everyone feel included in the decorating theme rather than excluded.
B. Best practices: Decorating is more inclusive, and thus preferred, when it is done with items whose significance comes from (1) natural or seasonal phenomena, such as the moon and stars, snowflakes and snow characters, trees and tree boughs, and seasonal plants and flowers and/or (2) artistic items, such as ribbons. Decorating is less inclusive when it is done with items whose significance depends on beliefs, traditions, and stories which are known to be not shared by everyone, such as icons and symbols that are generally associated with only one set of religious beliefs.
C. Personal spaces: While the above Best Practices should be followed on all College property, the College recognizes that an employee may exercise more discretion in decorating her/his individual desk or other individual workspace, especially to the extent that the decoration is not necessarily or usually visible or available to others.
D. Safety first: Avoiding safety risks and hazards should always be the first consideration in decorating. Decorations should not impede walkways or increase the possibility of individuals tripping or falling. Use of electric cords or extension cords should comply with all safety instructions. Use of open flame, such as candles, is prohibited.