With the inception of a new semester comes buying new textbooks, going to new classes, preparing for a new Jumbo statue on campus and welcoming our very first Humanist in Residence at Tufts.
According to the American Humanist Association, there is no one definition for humanism, but it involves understanding the world through the lens of reason and science and treating all human beings kindly. Humanism’s all-encompassing principles allow for a greater population of the Tufts community to benefit from the Tufts University Chaplaincy, which currently has 16 identified religious and philosophical communities. Students who do not have a specific religious affiliation can now access the Chaplaincy’s services, resources and opportunities. By expanding its scope, the Chaplaincy is bringing religious diversity in a different way and following the inclusive spirit Tufts strives for.
Debates among religious groups are common at Tufts and having a Humanist in Residence provides a more inclusive way to discuss serious philosophical issues. Collaboration between the new Humanist in Residence and Tufts Freethought Society will create a more established forum for Tufts humanist students.
This forum will provide a greater exchange of ideas with the other religious and philosophical groups at Tufts. Tufts students can now take part in an organization that is inclusive and does not upset religious groups in the community.
For example, the Humanist Community at Harvard University, which is similar to the one at Tufts, discusses religion in any context.
The university administration and chaplaincy should be commended for this important step. Tufts prides itself in student-body diversity, and the induction of a Humanist in Residence is demonstrative of this commitment to greater inclusion. Tufts’ funding will now support the well-being and intellectual development of a larger population, without requiring students to identify with a particular religious group.
With the induction of a Humanist in Residence, it seems that Tufts’ funding supports the well-being of a greater population of students, instead of requiring students to identify with a particular religious group.