Dean Dana Speaks with Media About Holiday Observances on Campus

The Bangor Daily News, WVII (Channel 7), WLBZ (Channel 2), Q106.5 WMTW (Channel 8 in Portland) and WABI (Channel 5) were among several news organizations to report comments made by Robert Dana, the University of Maine’s vice president for student life and dean of students, in response to a report about Christmas decorations that were taken down on campus. The original report stemmed from an email that was sent by a supervisor to employees in response to complaints about decorations in the Memorial Union. Dana, who spoke to media at the university, said the email was not based on an official university policy. “We welcome every single faith tradition and we welcome displays of those faith traditions and the university is a place where indeed there is a great deal of diversity and that’s what we want, that’s what we expect,” Dana said. The email also coincided with the planned removal of 16 Christmas trees from the union that were part of the Alpha Tau Omega annual competition-based philanthropy event that collects donations for Crossroads Ministries. The event ended Dec. 7 when the trees were judged and scheduled to be taken down. “Every expression of faith is an open, honest expression and students, faculty and staff have every encouragement and right to have a freedom of speech,” Dana said. Campus Reform and Business 2 Community also reported the story.