Editorial | A recognized TCF must abide by Tufts’ values
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 01:10
Tufts Christian Fellowship (TCF), the Tufts chapter of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF), is currently straddling a line between two incompatible sets of values.
TCF’s Basis of Faith Clause in its constitution is fundamentally at odds with the non-discriminatory values of the Tufts community, represented in the policies of the Tufts Community Union (TCU).
TCF’s status as a TCU-recognized group was suspended in September by the Tufts Community Union Judiciary (TCUJ). The TCUJ has also frozen TCF’s Student Activities Fee funding, money taken out of the tuition of all Tufts undergraduates. TCF’s now-suspended funding was projected by TCU to be $7,440 this academic year.
TCF’s suspension is due to clauses in its constitution that demand that any Tufts student applying for a TCF leadership position “advocate for and strive to conform their lives to the letter and spirit of TCF’s Basis of Faith and Characteristics of a Leader.”
Yet TCF’s Characteristics of a Leader violate TCU’s non-discrimination policy by discriminating against potential TCF leaders based on whether they strictly follow the tenets of traditional evangelical Christianity. Any organization member that applies to be part of TCF’s executive leadership team must, according to TCF’s current constitution, obey “traditional evangelical Christian norms of personal moral behavior,” among other requirements.
The Daily believes that evangelical Christianity has a place and should be represented with an official organization in the Tufts community. But the presence of such an organization should not come at the expense of freedom from discrimination based on religious beliefs.
The Daily agrees with the TCUJ that any TCF member, regardless of his or her specific religious belief, should have the right to apply to be on the TCF leadership board.
In order to exist in the Tufts community, TCF must abide by Tufts’ values. The TCUJ has given TCF the opportunity to reapply for official recognition and funding.
TCF’s status as an organization receiving funding from the entire undergraduate body and publically bearing the Tufts name should not be restored until TCF chooses to revise its constitution to operate squarely within the bounds of the TCU non-discrimination policy.