Emory University barred a campus fraternity from putting up a Christmas wreath on the door of its house, saying that “exterior holiday decorations” cannot be installed by students.
Campus Reform reported that confusion over the student housing policies led the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity to face discipline for putting up a Christmas wreath and garland on its campus house.
The university student housing policies say that “students are welcome to decorate for the holidays” but need to ask permission and present a full decoration plan to campus housing operations and the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life.
“Housing Operations will determine what the buildings have the capacity to do. If there is an issue with the exterior decorations provided, Housing Operations has the right to deny the request,” the policy says. “Exterior holiday decorations must not be installed or removed by students. Violators of this policy will face disciplinary action.”
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Davis Van Inwegen, a fraternity member and house improvement chairman, told Campus Reform that the policy the fraternity relied on contained no such restrictions on decorating.
It wasn’t until the fraternity received a Dec. 3 email from Josh Gamse, the assistant director of sorority and fraternity life, that it was made aware that it was following an outdated version of the university housing policy.
Gamse informed the fraternity that an incident report would be submitted to the Office of Student Conduct because this was the fraternity’s second housing policy violation. The first was the placement of inflatable polar bears on the house’s balcony after Thanksgiving, Van Inwegen told Campus Reform.
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Emory University did not respond to a request for comment.