Ole Miss: student misspoke when he said Christmas event was ‘too Christian’

Ole Miss is walking back a student's claims that the school's "Grand Ole Christmas" event changed its name to "Hoddy Toddy Holidays" because the original name “connoted too much Christianity.”

As Campus Reform originallyreported, the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) changed the name of its annual event, “A Grand Ole Christmas,” to “Hotty Toddy Holiday” in an effort to promote diversity and inclusion.

Co-Director of Special Events for the Student Activities Association (SAA) Kayp Maye told News Watch 99 that Ole Miss “really wanted to change the atmosphere from last year and that would explain the name,” adding, “’Grand Ole Christmas’ connoted too much Christianity on campus and so we wanted to have a more inclusive environment for the holidays this year.”

On Wednesday, however, Ole Miss released a statement distancing itself from those comments, explaining that Maye did not have enough time to think through an appropriate response before responding to the media.

The university’s Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Brandi Hephner LaBanc said Maye told her his quote “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,” the statement further explains.

The vice chancellor came to Maye’s defense, saying that his intention was to make all students feel welcome on campus, but that he failed to convey that thought properly.

“This is a 21-year-old student who wanted to make all students feel welcome and come to this annual event,” LaBanc said in the university’s statement. “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,” the statement concluded.

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