Saving Tufts Muslim House
Saving Tufts Muslim House
The Office of Residential Life and Learning is planning to move the Muslim House to an apartment or significantly smaller house, disregarding the needs and history of our Tufts Muslim community. Please read below for the full context and for our demands.
We write to you in disappointment and frustration as the Tufts Office of Residential Life and Learning is actively working to relocate the Muslim House from it’s historical location at 176 Curtis St. to a smaller apartment or house on campus. The Muslim House has been at 176 Curtis St. for over thirty years. That’s thirty years of the space serving as a safe space for the Muslim community. The first official Jummah prayers at Tufts would occur in the House basement in the 1990s. Muslim House has played an integral role in growing and developing the Muslim community at Tufts. The space represents years of student effort and activism for Tufts Muslims to have a home designated for us, many of whom are BIPOC—especially Black and Brown hijabis—with limited accommodating housing options on campus. In moving the Muslim House to a smaller space, ResLife is showing a complete disrespect and disregard for the needs and history of the Tufts Muslim community.
On December 1, after applications for Theme and Special Interest Housing closed and only 2 applicants for the Muslim House appeared. Rather than reaching out for clarification and to support the Muslim House RA regarding the low number of applications, ResLife concluded that there was no need for the spaces that Muslim House provided and diverted to working on downsizing and relocation options. In a meeting that happened later that week, it was revealed that there was a technical glitch that miscounted the number of applicants (5), however as it still doesn’t reach the capacity of the House (8), ResLife is strongly considering proceeding with their decision to move Muslim House to an apartment or significantly smaller house.
It is important to note that in any given year, Muslim House does not get filled by ResLife’s initial deadline and usually reaches capacity during Spring semester. We also did not have a Muslim Chaplain for most of this semester, and it is usually the Chaplain’s job to take on the brunt of recruitment and advertisement for the House. The House not having enough applicants in December is not out of the ordinary. We have explained this to ResLife and have provided reasonable plans for filling the vacancies, but they are disregarding our input.
The Muslim House has been at 176 Curtis St. for over thirty years. It is used to host events for the entire Muslim community, not just the residents of the House. It has been a place to pray between classes, eat meals together during Ramadan, and overall has been a safe space for Muslim-identifying students at the PWI that is Tufts. A smaller Muslim House would not be able to provide these facilities. Therefore, by moving the House, ResLife is disregarding the needs and history of our community.
For the Office of Residential Life and Learning to reconsider their snap decision to move Muslim House to an apartment or smaller location.
To allow us more time to recruit new residents for the House. It is only fair for us to have a grace period because:
-There was a glitch in the housing portal, so some applications were lost.
-We did not have a Muslim Chaplain this semester who would have helped us with recruiting students before the deadline.
-Past trends show that it is normal for the Muslim House to not have enough applicants in December.
Call for Action
We ask for our community of current students, alumni, and allies to sign this petition and stand in solidarity with us in demanding for Muslim House to stay where it has for the past thirty years and for Res Life to grant us extended time to fill vacancies. Res Life is trying to relocate Muslim House because they believe the Muslim community does not need the current space. Show your support to demonstrate to them that we do!
Further action items
- Share this petition!
- Write a testimonial about how you’ve benefited from the Muslim House, whether you lived there or not.