You may have noticed that it's starting to get warm out (although here in lovely Minnesota the snow only just melted last weekend), and you probably know what this means: SUMMER VACATION! Ah that coveted time of internships and jobs and not writing any papers at all ever. But as you all gear up to head home or to an amazing job or to a not-so-amazing job, you might be wondering how to keep up your skeptical life. On campus you might have your local SSA or CFI affiliate group, probably some friends to keep up with, and campus events. But when you leave campus, how do you keep up your activism? Or even worse, when you graduate, how do you keep cultivating the relationships within the community that you've built, and expand on the work you've done?
The National Day of Reason, which took place on May 2nd (yesterday), offers a chance to reflect on secularism. Admittedly, this day doesn't have the same impact up here in America's hat (also known as
Mooseland Canada). Tensions between those who want a more secular society and those who want a society based on religious law aren't as strong in Canada as compared to the U.S.
College campuses are stress-laden places. We go through periods of intense work and many deadlines, followed by calm. We're expected to keep up our grades, hold down jobs, volunteer, engage in extracurriculars, and make the best friends of our lives (don't worry if you haven't gotten this one covered, there's still hope). You have a bunch of young adults on their own, responsible for their own lives for the first time, navigating without their traditional support system, still without fully developed frontal lobes and still with raging hormones.
Kandice Knopp contacted CFI On Campus earlier this year about starting a group on her campus. We sent a starting box of resources that we send to new and reaffiliating groups, and their group took off, joining in a community service effort to help paint a middle school and houses in Compton.
Last week, a now-familiar sight returned to the GW campus. Along with the robins and songbirds of spring, a group of born-again Christians arrived to preach from a soapbox on a sidewalk off of our main quad, Kogan Plaza. From about 10:30am to 5:00pm, this group, which consisted of about a half dozen older male members of the church heckled a sizable crowd of students, calling them sinners, and telling them to repent and find Jesus. The group, which preaches primarily on college campuses, had been here last semester too, but returned today in honor of "Sin Awareness Day."