Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts has banned a Christian group from campus because the group requires student leaders to adhere to "basic biblical truths of Christianity." The decision to ban the group, called the Tufts Christian Fellowship, was made by officials from the university's student government, specifically the Tufts Community Union Judiciary.
The ban means the group "will lose the right to use the Tufts name in its title or at any activities, schedule events or reserve university space through the Office for Campus Life," according to the Tufts Daily. Additionally, Tufts Christian Fellowship will be unable to receive money from a pool that students are required to pay into and that is specifically set aside for student groups.
"TCF is the Tufts chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, an evangelical Christian mission on college campuses across the country, and also has ties to the university Chaplaincy," the Tufts Daily reports.
"The group had been operating in a state of suspended recognition after the Judiciary found that the group’s constitution excluded students from applying to leadership positions based on their beliefs. The clauses in question require that anyTCF member who wishes to apply for a leadership role must adhere to a series of tenets called a Basis of Faith, or eight 'basic Biblical truths of Christianity.'
"The Judiciary last month recommended that TCF move the belief-based leadership requirements from the constitution’s bylaws, which are legally binding, to its mission statement, which is not.
The group is planning to appeal the student board's decision.
“We’re deciding to appeal this decision because we feel like just the purpose of our organization is to...encourage understanding and celebration of each belief [in the Basis of Faith], and the best way to fulfill that purpose is to have leaders that are centered on and unified by these beliefs,” a student member of the group told the Tufts Daily.
The student member of the group added, “We feel like we have the right to be selective on the basis of belief for our leaders since we’re a student group that is trying to encourage understanding about a faith-based set of beliefs.”