Brandon Archambault, A13
Why I CARE:
- Because I believe no one has the authority to dictate to you that who you’re having sex with, or not having sex with, defines you religiously.
- Because no student should have to pay for their own discrimination.
- Because homophobia and heterosexism have no place in religion.
- And since my religion—evangelical Christianity—has become one of the focal points of the controversy on campus, I have an obligation to speak out and prevent it being misrepresented—lied about!—by those whose visions of religion are less open and loving than others’.
Nina Bernstein, A14
I care because I believe Tufts can be better than this behavior. This institutional discrimination does not fit with the values that Tufts professes to hold. It is unbecoming of us. I have been incredibly fortunate to find a wonderful community at Tufts, and I want to ensure that all current and future students here have the opportunity to do the same. I care about the CSL policy because I care about Tufts and believe that it can move closer to becoming a truly welcoming place for all.
Walker Bristol, A14
I came to college looking for, and found, a smiling, evolving community of atheists, humanists, and friends in Tufts Freethought, a Chaplaincy-affiliated student group. More than that, upon becoming a leader of TFS, I visited and networked with other equally cheery and welcoming religious communities. Nothing has been clearer in my spiritual journey at Tufts: discrimination and exclusion are not only unnecessary, but actively toxic, elements of Tufts’ religious life. I’m a part of CARE because I want to rest of the world to know that spirituality is an individual enterprise, and our institutions and groups ought to be molded by their members, not their elites–for the good of everyone who seeks a moral community.
Megan Clark, A14
I care because “justifiable” and “discrimination” should never be used within the same sentence. Everyone has the right to feel comfortable on this campus. Tufts needs to be a safe space for all of its students and it can not achieve that while allowing “justifiable departure[s]” from the discrimination policy.
Jordan Dashow, A14
As a gay Jew, I struggled in my Jewish High School to come to terms with my sexual orientation. At Tufts, my Judaism and my sexual orientation have not been considered two conflicting identities; instead my identity as a queer Jew has been embraced. While I understand the importance of having diverse religious communities on campus, I ultimately do not believe University resources and privileges should be granted to groups that discriminate. I care because I believe every Tufts student’s identity should be embraced and celebrated. I care because I reject the idea that condoning discrimination creates a more welcoming community. I care because discrimination cannot and should never be “justified.”
Stephen Goeman, A13
I’ve been an executive member of the Tufts Freethought Society for all four years of my Tufts undergraduate career. I have found a community which inspires me to do good in the world while accepting me just as I am. It frightens me that the Tufts administration has written a policy which could prevent students from finding this same support if others can “justify” discrimination. I care because my university shouldn’t treat my involvement in a student religious group as an invitation to intolerance. Diversity is not a zero-sum game; we can maintain a diverse student body without explicitly excluding our peers.
Grainne Griffiths, A14
I care because I am a Tufts student and a Tufts senator. I care because my constituents and my peers are being discriminated against, because their money is being used to fund their discrimination. I care because I believe in empowering student groups to make their own decisions about their leadership and their group’s values. I care because I believe in Tufts’ students right to self-determination. I care because I believe strongly in Tufts and know that we can do better.
Martine Kaplan, A13
I care because this isn’t about one group or one identity – we all have a stake in ensuring that everyone feels safe and protected by their university. I grew up in a so-called pluralistic religious environment where my identity seemed at odds with the will of a supposedly affirming community. I could be a student leader or I could be out, but I was never empowered to do both because everyone made excuses to avoid being confronted with that possibility. Individual beliefs are one thing; but expressly granting permission to discriminate (and funding it!) bypasses an essential dialogue that leaves groups and individuals stronger – and more comfortable – in the end.
Duncan MacLaury, A13
I care because my religious beliefs tell me it is never acceptable to discriminate. I care because my privilege in not facing religious discrimination should be everyone’s experience. I care because religious spaces on campus should be safe and welcoming spaces. I care because my alma mater can be better than a university which institutionalizes discrimination.
George Murphy, A14
Religion has always been an important part of my life, I have seen its radiant possibilities and its darkest machinations. I experienced, firsthand, the violent coalescence of religion (Eastern Orthodox Christianity) and non-normative sexual identity: an experience that drove me to my current major in Religion and my dedication to understand how intangible religious identities can cause so much real pain. I care because religion does not have to be, nor should it be, a weapon of oppression. I care because no one should have to experience what I have gone through. I care because it is my belief that religious transfiguration can be radical, subversive, and revolutionary.
Kumar Ramanathan, A15
Discrimination on the basis of identity is an unfortunate fact of the world, and everyone faces it in some way or another at some point in their lives. But we live in a community of passionate, caring, thoughtful youth. Tufts can do better. We should not have and do not need codified discrimination on our campus.
More profiles coming soon!