Published on December 9th, 2015 | by TLV News
Ole Miss Changes Name of Christmas Event Because it “connoted too much Christianity”
University, Miss (TLV) – Controversy is erupting at Ole Miss once again.
The student run media television NewsWatch channel 99 reported December 2 that the University of Mississippi had dropped the official name of the its annual campus event “A Grand Ole Christmas” to “Hotty Toddy Holiday.”
“We really wanted to change the atmosphere from last year and that would explain the name change,” Kayp Maye, co-director of special events for the Student Activities Association (SAA), told NewsWatch 99. “‘Grand Ole Christmas’ connoted too much Christianity on campus and so we wanted to have a more inclusive environment for the holidays this year.”
The name change went viral online after being picked up by the website Campus Reform and others.
Hundreds of alumni and Mississippi citizens have weighed in on the controversy, including Mississippi Senator Chris McDaniel who tweeted out Tuesday, “The only thing ‘offensive’ is the liberal administration at Ole MIss. Enough is enough.”
Ole Miss responded to the controversy on Wednesday with an official release:
The university’s vice chancellor of student affairs, Brandi Hephner LaBanc, was told by a student that his quote to the news media about the event, “Hotty Toddy Holiday,” was taken out of context and that he had insufficient time to give a thoughtful answer. He said the quote does not accurately express his Christian faith or the reason for the name given to the event.
“This is a 21-year-old student who wanted to make all students feel welcome and come to this annual event,” the vice chancellor said. “He is very sincere in his wish that he had expressed himself better. It is unfortunate that these reports, including repetition of incomplete information on social media, have misrepresented the nature of the event and his intent as a Christian to welcome people of all faiths and backgrounds. This student organization led a celebration that continued to honor Christmas traditions while welcoming all students to a holiday gathering.”
Watch the video below and judge for yourself.