According to video obtained exclusively by Young America’s Foundation, a mandatory resident assistant training at Western Carolina University informed RA’s that they could not promote an Easter egg hunt or Christmas on dorm bulletin boards, claiming it was “not inclusive” to students who do not celebrate those religious holidays.
A WCU housing coordinator, Nicole Boucher, reminded students of WCU’s dedication to “inclusive excellence” after a student proposed an idea of advertising a dorm-wide easter egg hunt.
“We can’t assume that all of our residents celebrate Easter,” Boucher said. She mentioned that she thought the student was referring to easter eggs in movies. She suggested the student instead use the term “scavenger hunt.”
“Even during the holidays, we can’t say Christmas,” Fields said. “We just always say ‘holidays,’ just because we have to be inclusive here at Western.”
YAF obtained and reviewed a copy of the Resident Assistant handbook, and no policy was listed regarding prohibiting religious terms.
Consequently, despite this alleged commitment to no promotion of religion at WCU, one resident assistant sent a dorm-wide email to advertise an upcoming talk on atheism.
WCU told Fox News’ Sam Dorman “This was a conversation among RAs in training and a housing coordinator, who was merely suggesting that we should consider that not everyone observes the same religious holidays, so we need to be inclusive of everyone.”
As a public institution, WCU should be open to promoting all religions, rather than restricting religious language, or picking and choosing which ones are appropriate to promote. Banning the promotion of an Easter egg hunt––a highly commercialized project that has no ties to the Christian faith––is a serious abuse of power and free speech that must not go unchallenged.