Starting a student atheist group - advise please!

Joemama
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Starting a student atheist group - advise please!

Hello,

 

I am currently a Junior in college. I was looking at the large array of student groups available at my college, and I realized there is no student group for atheism. Let me emphasize – we have student groups for everything ranging from groups for religions to ones for students to play bridge together, so, naturally, I was annoyed/disturbed that there was no atheist group. I have decided to make it my mission to start an atheist group on campus, but I need some help/advice, and I was hoping this would be a good place to receive it.

 

1. One requirement for a student organization to be created is to have 10 members to be documented by the school as having founded the group. I'm alright with my name being on it, but I know many won't. I'm part of the Queer Alliance at my school and I know that the membership of that organization is kept confidential even from its leadership – membership is defined simply as those who receive the newsletter, which can be signed up for anonymously on-line. I can submit a form to waive the 10 member requirement and can try to make membership to the atheist group confidential like the Queer Alliance, but I think this may be difficult and possibly result in my inability to form the group. I don't want people to worry about joining for fear of their families opinions or of their future (if they decide to run for public office or whatnot), so I think it would probably be in the best interest of everyone involved if I do try to waive the 10 member requirement. Would you support my decision here? Do you have any other solution to my dilemma I haven't thought of? Also, how would be best to advertise/encourage membership while avoiding being infiltrated by those who may try to destroy the organization internally or violate the safe space that the group would hopefully be?

 

2. I have some ideas for what I want to see this group be on campus. My highest goal is to bring atheist speakers to campus – perhaps Richard Dawkins (if I can raise the funds...), or maybe some RRSers. At the very least I want the group to be a discussion/support/social/activism-supporting group for atheists. What advice would you have for the group to do when/if we exist?

 

3. I've come up with a bunch of possible names for the group, but I was wondering if anyone had any good ideas...

 

Thanks so much!

~Joe


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Hi, welcome to RRS!Joemama

Hi, welcome to RRS!

Joemama wrote:

1. One requirement for a student organization to be created is to have 10 members to be documented by the school as having founded the group. I'm alright with my name being on it, but I know many won't. I'm part of the Queer Alliance at my school and I know that the membership of that organization is kept confidential even from its leadership – membership is defined simply as those who receive the newsletter, which can be signed up for anonymously on-line. I can submit a form to waive the 10 member requirement and can try to make membership to the atheist group confidential like the Queer Alliance, but I think this may be difficult and possibly result in my inability to form the group. I don't want people to worry about joining for fear of their families opinions or of their future (if they decide to run for public office or whatnot), so I think it would probably be in the best interest of everyone involved if I do try to waive the 10 member requirement. Would you support my decision here? Do you have any other solution to my dilemma I haven't thought of? Also, how would be best to advertise/encourage membership while avoiding being infiltrated by those who may try to destroy the organization internally or violate the safe space that the group would hopefully be?

That sounds...dangerous. What college do you attend?

Quote:
2. I have some ideas for what I want to see this group be on campus. My highest goal is to bring atheist speakers to campus – perhaps Richard Dawkins (if I can raise the funds...), or maybe some RRSers. At the very least I want the group to be a discussion/support/social/activism-supporting group for atheists. What advice would you have for the group to do when/if we exist?

At this point, I think you should just focus on getting the club started. The most important thing to do is to have a place where like-minded people can meet.

Quote:
3. I've come up with a bunch of possible names for the group, but I was wondering if anyone had any good ideas... 

Thanks so much!

~Joe

 

The club at my university is called the 'Secular Student Union.' What do you think? 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Welcome

 

     New members to the RRS are welcome and encouraged to pass on their rational wisdom.   It would be easier to help organize your atheist club on campus if we knew about your school,  name and location mostly.  Nearby off campus groups might be willing to help but that would depend on your name and location.

     i.e.  Oral Roberts University atheist, probably wouldn't work out to well.

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good point. I go to Brown

good point. I go to Brown University in Providence, RI ^_^


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Joemama wrote:good point. I

Joemama wrote:

good point. I go to Brown University in Providence, RI ^_^

Really?

Considering that Brown University is Ivy League (I only know of one Brown University in Providence, RI), I find it rather unlikely that Brown wouldn't already possess a club for non-theists. Then, to suggest that you might lose sleep over other people on campus conspiring to infiltrate and undermine your club is just silly. Your university should be dramatically less religious than the general population, just like mine. Look through the list again. Ask people at the student union office about it or seek out whatever entity is in charge of student organizations. If this type of club really doesn't exist, then gather up enough consenting friends and create it. Your "dilemma" is, at most, a secondary problem.

Finally, no offense, but based on what you've written here, I doubt that you attend Brown University. However, I hope you will prove me wrong.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:Joemama

butterbattle wrote:

Joemama wrote:

good point. I go to Brown University in Providence, RI ^_^

Really?

Considering that Brown University is Ivy League (I only know of one Brown University in Providence, RI), I find it rather unlikely that Brown wouldn't already possess a club for non-theists. Then, to suggest that you might lose sleep over other people on campus conspiring to infiltrate and undermine your club is just silly. Your university should be dramatically less religious than the general population, just like mine. Look through the list again. Ask people at the student union office about it or seek out whatever entity is in charge of student organizations. If this type of club really doesn't exist, then gather up enough consenting friends and create it. Your "dilemma" is, at most, a secondary problem.

Finally, no offense, but based on what you've written here, I doubt that you attend Brown University. However, I hope you will prove me wrong.

 

 

 

Ken Miller will come and burn it down.

 

 

 

 


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butterbattle wrote:I doubt

butterbattle wrote:

I doubt that you attend Brown University.

 

...ouch.

 

However, turns out we do have a group but it started this year and hasn't really put itself out there. It's basically been watching movies together and not advertising. Also, I missed it when I searched for groups and asked around because they almost never use the term atheism (it's called "Brown Freethought" btw). Oh, well...guess it's time to go put my efforts into making that group a beast.

 

Thanks

~Joe


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Joemama, welcome to the

Joemama, welcome to the RRS.  Glad to see students trying to organize clubs on campus, we need more.  Go to the link below and you can get a "group starting packet" from the Secular Student Alliance that will help you get started.  Good luck in your endeavor.  The more active and visible we are the better our chances of beating back fundamentalism.

http://www.secularstudents.org/groupstartingpacket

 

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Joemama wrote:butterbattle

Joemama wrote:

butterbattle wrote:

I doubt that you attend Brown University.

...ouch.

However, turns out we do have a group but it started this year and hasn't really put itself out there. It's basically been watching movies together and not advertising. Also, I missed it when I searched for groups and asked around because they almost never use the term atheism (it's called "Brown Freethought" btw). Oh, well...guess it's time to go put my efforts into making that group a beast.

Thanks

~Joe

Okay, then I was wrong. I apologize. That's about what I expected. 

Are they worried about the Christian clubs conspiring to infiltrate and destroy them? 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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