Letter to the editor | The TCU Judiciary
Published: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 08:10
Dear Editor, members of the Tufts Community Union (TCU) and all other concerned individuals,
We, the Tufts Community Union Judiciary (TCUJ), would first like to thank Tufts Christian Fellowship (TCF) for writing what we felt was an honest assessment of the process they have gone through with us. This letter is not written to argue against points made in the TCF op-ed published in the Tufts Daily yesterday, but rather to quell rumors and misinformation that has seemed to emerge from misinterpretations of the many articles and ideas being presented on- and off-campus about the matters surrounding the de-recognition of TCF by the TCUJ. The following are the key points we as a Judiciary would like to clarify and feel have been misunderstood:
TCF has not been banned from the Tufts campus by the TCUJ. TCF is still welcome to meet on campus, and, as we understand it from our conversations with TCF, they maintain an affiliation with the Chaplaincy, which may choose to reserve space for TCF on campus through their space-reservation account. TCF has, however, lost the permission to use the Tufts name, their access to funding through the TCU Treasury, and their ability to reserve space through a space-reservation account system provided by the Office for Campus Life (OCL) to individual TCU recognized groups.
The reasons behind TCF’s de-recognition are unrelated to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. TCF was derecognized because their constitution codified a requirement that its leadership board hold certain religious beliefs. The TCUJ held this to be in violation of the non-discrimination clause of the TCU Constitution, which states that:
“All members of the TCU shall be entitled to: Participate in any TCU-recognized organization without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, or an individual’s previous affiliations in criteria for membership, assignment of voting privileges, or rank, except as otherwise provided by federal or state law or university policy” (Article 1, Section D, Subsection 2).
TCF was given the opportunity to decodify this requirement and again become a TCU recognized organization, even if the personal decisions of their members when engaging in the process of electing leaders reflected the sentiments expressed by the would-be-former requirement. Since no agreement could be reached, TCF was derecognized.
TCF’s derecognition was not triggered by a third-party complaint. Though a complaint against TCF was filed in the ‘11-’12 academic year, it was withdrawn before coming to fruition and had no bearing whatsoever on the Judiciary’s decision in this matter. The process that has now concluded in TCF’s de-recognition began at the end of the ‘11-’12 academic year when TCF submitted a constitutional amendment for approval by the TCUJ, which drew the TCUJ’s attention to the offending sections of their constitution.
We hope these points clarify all and any misunderstandings within the TCU and community at large, and we welcome all questions, which should be addressed to the Chair of the TCUJ, Adam Sax, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Tufts Community Union Judiciary