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Tufts senior loses age discrimination case

Posted by Your Town  February 4, 2013 12:20 PM

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A branch of the student government at Tufts University has ruled that the Senior Class Council did not discriminate against the 20-year-old senior who filed an age discrimination complaint in early January.

Anjuli Branz claimed that the Senior Class Council was discriminating against seniors who were under the age of 21, for planning graduation activities that are restricted to students ages 21 or older.

After a hearing on Thursday night, Adam Sax, chair of the Tufts Community Union Judiciary, wrote in the decision that “the TCU Judiciary finds the Senior Class council not guilty of discrimination or any other violation of the TCU Constitution under any condition, particularly in regards to age.”

In a letter to the Tufts Community Union Judiciary in early January, Anjuli Branz wrote that because her student activities fee helps pay for senior events, “this age-based discrimination is unacceptable.”

“I hope that the judiciary will consider this issue very seriously as a threat to equity on our campus,” she wrote in the letter.

In the decision, Sax wrote that the Senior Class Council made no discriminatory decisions, rather they chose to partner with bars and clubs that do not allow people under the age of 21.

He said in the decision that the question before the judiciary was, “what rules must an external organization follow in order for a TCU recognized organization to be allowed to partner with said organization?”

These bars and clubs are not discriminatory, Sax wrote, because the TCU Constitution Article 1, Section D, Sub-­section 2, says that “state law overrides the TCU Constitution’s non-discrimination policy whenever the two come into conflict.”

He wrote, “the fact that state law forbids the attendance of under-­21-­year-­olds at bars nullifies the expression of discrimination based upon age as expressed in the TCU Constitution.”

The decision also said that Branz has ten days to appeal to the Committee on Student Life.

In an e-mailed statement today, Branz wrote that she will not be appealing the decision. She had hoped to compromise with the Senior Class Council, and wrote that she wanted to "settle things in a way that would be compassionate both for me and the Senior Class Council."

"I hope that programming board will take age discrimination into consideration regardless of this ruling, but I am not too optimistic given their treatment of me and of the issue last week," she wrote in the statement. "This issue is about much more than just me, but it does not seem that they are able to see that."

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