Tufts University InterVarsity chapter restored

By December 11, 2012

USA (MNN/InterVarsity) — The InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter at Tufts
University in Medford, Massachusetts, remains a recognized student
religious group following a dispute over organizational leadership
requirements.

Earlier this year the Tufts Christian Fellowship was de-recognized by the Tufts
Community Union Judiciary, which charged that TCF's faith-based
leadership requirements were discriminatory. The Tufts University
Committee on Student Life has responded to TCF’s appeal of its
de-recognition by creating a policy change which will allow Student Religious Groups to maintain religious requirements for their leaders.

TCF is conditionally recognized at this point and will prepare a new
recognition application under the new guidelines. TCF student leaders
released the following statement:

“We're grateful for the decision by the Committee on Student Life to
amend Tufts University policy by granting student religious groups the
right to hold religious criteria for group leadership. Their decision
protects religious freedom and affirms the vital contributions that
Tufts Christian Fellowship and all other religious groups make to Tufts
students in a diverse campus environment. 

“We appreciate that the Committee on Student Life recognizes that
faith-based groups may need the freedom to use faith-based criteria in
its leadership selection in order to remain consistent with the mission
and beliefs of their faiths. We also appreciate the Committee’s desire
to protect all students on campus by both affirming the
nondiscrimination policy and defining its proper context and application
for student religious groups.

"We recognize that even as this policy is implemented, the
surrounding campus conversation regarding nondiscrimination and
religious freedom will continue. We welcome the participation of all
students, student groups, and other university voices in the discussion
and hope we can together fulfill Tufts’ desire to be a truly diverse
campus with real differences, even opposing aims, yet respect for one
another.” 

Tufts Christian Fellowship is an affiliate of InterVarsity Christian
Fellowship, a campus ministry which has worked with students and faculty
on U.S. campuses for more than 72 years. InterVarsity has almost 900
chapters active on 576 U.S. colleges and universities. 

Alec Hill, president of InterVarsity, is hopeful that other colleges and universities will follow
Tufts’ lead in protecting religious liberties. "Tufts joins
universities like Ohio State, the University of Minnesota, the
University of Texas-Austin, and University of Florida in creating a
truly diverse, tolerant campus environment by protecting religious
groups on campus,” Hill said. “We urge other universities like
Vanderbilt University  to rethink their positions.”

Pray that more universities will allow Student Religious Groups to
maintain religious requirements for their leaders. Pray for the people
InterVarsity is reaching through their ministry on college campuses. 

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