Freshman, Student Group Encourage Reflection On Faith

February 11, 2009

Author: Saumya Vaishampayan

Source: The Tufts Daily

A new student group will focus on dialogue at a personal level as it seeks to counter what its organizers believe is a dearth of religious tolerance on campus.

Tufts CAFE, an acronym for Conversations, Action, Faith and Education, came about as an extension of Tufts Pathways, an interfaith initiative that aims to promote tolerance across religions.

The idea for CAFE arose last spring, and group members are now working on a number of programs -- including weekly meetings and an academic panel that will broach the subject of the end of the world -- for this semester. Organizers hope to eventually gain recognition from the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate next semester.

Those involved with Pathways have organized retreats, multi-university conferences and Experimental College courses with the goal of helping to promote a more tolerant atmosphere at Tufts. Pathways is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

That grant will end later this semester, though. Some of those involved with Pathways felt that a more concrete, lasting group was necessary -- and thus came about the idea for CAFE.

"It's important ... to come together and to get to know each other and also have the difficult conversations that sometimes need to be had," said junior Erin Taylor, who is helping to form CAFE.