Tufts University will likely restore official status to Tufts Christian Fellowship (TCF) after student leaders appealed a decision by the student judiciary to de-recognize the group.
"Tufts' decision demonstrates that universities willing to engage in a conversation will recognize that any religious group must have freedom to choose leaders who affirm those standards," said InterVarsity Christian Fellowship national field director Greg Jao. "It's a very good sign that universities are open to conversation and change in many cases."
In October, the Boston-area research university had barred the group from using Tufts in its name, receiving student activity funds, or reserving campus meeting spaces because TCF required its leaders to adhere to its statement of faith.
According to the The Tufts Daily, the Committee on Student Life yesterday unanimously upheld the October decision by the Tufts Community Union Judiciary.
However, the student life committee created a policy change that will exempt student religious groups (SRG) from the school's nondiscrimination policy when selecting group leaders—as long as they adhere to the policy with respect to group membership.
"It is reasonable to expect that leaders within individual SRGs be exemplars of that particular religion," the ruling stated. "Therefore, an 'all comers' policy for group leadership may not be appropriate for all SRGs. Justified departures from the Tufts nondiscrimination policy in SRG criteria for leadership will no longer present grounds for de-recognition."
Jao says this is "a common-sense approach" because it acknowledges that religious groups are minorities on campus and ...1