Stef McGraw is a Campus and Community Organizer at the Center for Inquiry. She has degrees in philosophy and Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa, where she first got involved in the freethought movement through the University of Northern Iowa Freethinkers and Inquirers.
It’s mid-October. If you’re a leader of a CFI On Campus affiliate group, you’re probably finishing up the planning for a Halloween event or Carl Sagan Day, counting down the days until Thanksgiving break and maybe, possibly, studying for midterms. What you’re probably not thinking about, but should be thinking about, is what your group will be doing in the spring.
I asked three leaders of CFI On Campus affiliate groups—Max Nielson of the Secular Student Alliance at the College of Charleston, Aaron Friel of University of Northern Iowa Freethinkers and Inquirers, and Max McKittrick of the Illini Secular Student Alliance—to tell me what their organizations had planned for the start of the semester. Read what they had to say, and think about what your student group is doing to kick off the year. (Oh, and utilize their ideas all you want—the best events have usually been inspired by something another group did first!)
Freethinkers Union, an alliance of student freethought groups in South Korea, sent out this press release earlier today to spread the word about their letter welcoming Pope Francis to their country:
In late 2011, Republican hopeful Ron Paul had his sights set on winning Iowa. Unlike most GOP candidates, however, the bulk of his volunteers were not old white men or Christian housewives--they were college students.
The cause of secularism in the United States is one about which most of us in "the movement" feel passionate. Religious dogma poisons LGBT equality and attempts to set back rights for women. Prayer at public high school commencements and nativity scenes on town hall front lawns send the message to non-believers and those of other faiths that they are institutionally undervalued. "In God We Trust" on our money and "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance are minor, yet lingering reminders that atheism is looked on with disdain by many Americans.