Don't say 'Christmas' as it's 'Christian-centric': Brighton varsity

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.
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LONDON: The UK's University of Brighton has guided staff not to say "Christmas" this year and instead call it the "winter closure period", media reports said.

The word Christmas is too "Christian-centric", according to a nine-page "Inclusive Language Guidance" document sent to lecturers at the university, Daily Mail reported.

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.

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.

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."

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", Daily Mail reported.

Meanwhile, staff are also advised not to ask students "What is your Christian name?" but instead question "What is your first name?" or "What is your given name?"

In a statement sent to MailOnline, a spokesperson for the University of Brighton said: "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."

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