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Petitioning Student Affairs Tufts University

Tufts University: Repeal the recent decision on the role of faith requirements in leadership.

The policy decided upon by Tufts University allows religious student groups the right to deny their members a leadership position if said members do not coform to tenets agreed upon with the University Chaplaincy, superceeding the policies which govern other student groups purely on the basis of religious doctrine. While the policy required the Univeristy Champlaincy and Tufts University Judiciary to approve any change, it opens the door for discrimination to occur.

This policy creates in essence University-supported discrimination, allowing student-funded groups to deny access to leadership positions based solely on an individual's characteristics and beliefs. Furthermore, it rules that an institution is allowed to discriminate in a way that goes against the normal University policy if a group can demonstrate that it has "doctrinal grounds" for said discrimination. This policy is bad for students, in limiting the options available in student-group participation and the use of the Student Activity Fee, and bad for the campus, supporting a severe detraction from discrimination law.

This policy is a direct conduit to the full discrimination against the LGBT religious community, which have both been historically repressed and tend to not fit within what several religious groups formally denote as "doctrine." 

We, the student body, cannot set these practices, but we should not be required to support them either financially or politically. There is no room within a discrimination policy for "justified departure."

Link to Tufts' decision and policy changes (as of 12/5/2012):

Letter to
Student Affairs Tufts University
Reconsider and repeal the recent decision by Student Affairs on the role of faith requirements in leadership, reconsidering the impact on discrimination and the support of alternate understandings of religion and religious doctrine and allowing Tufts to remain truly free and committed to non-discrimination. We cannot allow transgressions against 100% equality to be a means of increasing diversity. Please maintain the previous, unaltered non-discrimination policy and find a new means of respecting doctrine and right while preserving justice and fairness for all.

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