Me, Again
Posted: 04 November 2007 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello, All!

My name’s Noah.  I’m the acting president of the Freethinkers of the Univerity of West Florida.  I always add “acting” because it rankles me to be in authority.  Anti-authoritarianism is in my nature and I often suspect even myself of those tendencies.

We’ve been doing our thing at U.W.F. for a good while now, although our group is small and plagued by inertia.  It’s very hard to get active outside the realm of interesting discussions when everyone works part or full time and attends school part or full time.  Poor excuse, I know, but a real and valid one nonetheless.

At any rate, if you are in the leadership or a member of a campus group, I’d love to hear from you about how you get the ball rolling - attracting new members and getting them to do things.  Debbie Goddard was kind enough to send us organization pamphlets and resources - everyone took the stickers, no one took the booklets.  Ho hum.  The state of campus activism in NW Florida not what it could be.  I’ll check the other forums for advice as well.

Keep up the good works!

Yours,

Noah

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Posted: 04 November 2007 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Welcome to the forum, Noah. Hope you’ll stick around and keep us in the loop about what’s going on in NW Florida. I’m sure you’ll get some good ideas from other folks on the site.

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Doug

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Posted: 04 November 2007 06:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Welcome Noah.  Glad to have you here.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 04 November 2007 09:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Welcome Noah.  I would have loved to be involved in a campus Humanist group when I was in school, but I don’t think they even had such a thing in the late ‘40s.  Don’t be discouraged about lack of response at your school, most people respond about as dimly after they get out of school, too.  You just have to keep looking for gimmicks to take their attention away from all of the other distractions.  Once you can get them interested, you’ll be able to keep a small percent of them.  Over time you can build a respectable sized active group.

Occam

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Posted: 09 January 2008 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi Noah,

It sounds like one of the best things you could do is have a successful major event on campus, which will attract some attention, and draw new people to the group.  Here are a few event possibilities:

* debate on God’s existence
* attention-grabbing talk (Eddie Tabash gives one called “Why There Really Is No God,” for example)
* Ask an Atheist panel ( a lot of student groups have had great success with this recently; you can even get professors involved!)
* Darwin Day event: Darwin Day is February 12, so it’s not too late to plan a slam-bang talk or other event
—- Evolution vs. Intelligent Design debate/panel
—- “Darwin Made Me Do It” talk on evolution and morality/ethics
—- “In Defense of Darwin” (given by a professor)
etc.

When you have an event, make sure to collect contact info from interested attendees.  Also, be sure to have some promotional materials to hand out to attendees, such as a flyer advertising upcoming events/meetings.  (When you plan your event, get in touch with us here at CFI Transnational and we can send you a box with stickers, brochures, and other promotional and educational materials.)

Other ways to attract new members to your group:

1) Club fair: The spring semester is probably starting soon for you there, and most schools do club/activity fairs at the beginning of each semester.  When you table, again, try to make sure that you collect info from interested people, and give them a flyer or brochure about your group.  (You can e-mail me at dgoddard at centerforinquiry dot net, if you’d like us to put some materials in the mail for tabling.)
2) Use Facebook/other online networking sites to find possible club members and interested students: Check out the detailed article in a past Campus Inquirer newsletter by a student group leader on using Facebook.

Since you’re in Florida, I want to let you know about the upcoming CFI Florida statewide conference that’ll take place in Orlando February 22-23.  It will be a good chance to meet other student group leaders from around the state.  And don’t miss the 2008 Student Leadership Conference in the summer!  There will be sessions on events, volunteer management, attracting new members to your group, etc., so it’s not to be missed.

Let me know if you have questions about event planning or if you’d like some giveaway items for tabling.  I’ll be in touch about some Florida-specific student opportunities too.

Cheers,

Debbie Goddard
Field Organizer
Center for Inquiry

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