The President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge is to advance “interfaith cooperation and community service in higher education”. On March 17, 2011, President Obama issued a challenge to college campuses, hoping to bring religious groups together to work on community projects. His reasoning is that many social issues are addressed by religious groups already – feeding the hungry, providing low-cost daycare, sheltering the homeless – and that combining efforts can only bring positive change. To his credit, President Obama used all-inclusive language, not leaving out the non-believers in our midst. The press release of the Interfaith Challenge, including video, can be found here, and the details of the challenge, including guidelines and program requirements, can be found here (.pdf).
We’ve passed the halfway point of summer. Class schedules are arranged, textbooks are ordered, summer internships are wrapping up and students are savoring the last weeks of vacation. The end is near. While this news may be good or bad, now is a crucial time to establish some building blocks for your campus group to work off of come fall. Below are a few important tips to keep in mind as you start packing your backpack:
This last weekend, Campus Organizer Debbie Goddard, intern Cody Hashman, and I went to the Secular Student Alliance annual conference in Columbus, Ohio. I had never been to an SSA conference before and I had a great time getting to know so many (over 200!) student leaders who are passionate about secularism and freethought. The Secular Student Alliance staff and volunteers did a great job putting the conference together and I am grateful that they invited me and my colleagues to participate. So, a big thank-you is in order, first of all.
The CSI-Con video is out and it is awesome! Former CFI On Campus intern and current Point of Inquiry producer and media-mega-man, Adam Isaak, created a video for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry conference, and I have to share it with you. I know that we all have been trying to avoid the word "epic," but I would argue that this video is epic.
There's a great post over at The Friendly Atheist's blog this morning where Hemant talks about his experience being on the "Diversity in Skepticism" panel at TAM 9. Apparently, the conversation became particularly focused on the diversity of skepticism present at meetings. The crux of the discussion was, as he put it, "If we truly advocate skepticism, and we want to apply it to all areas of life, then why do we always seem to limit our conversations to the paranormal or science? Why don’t we ever talk about the Drug War, or Gun Control, or Abortion, or the entire panoply of topics for which there’s available data and plenty of false information spread about them?" Hemant concludes that the movement has much to gain from bringing skeptics uninterested in our current focus into the fold.