Starting a student atheist group - advise please!
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!