Affiliate Group of the Week

Affiliate Group of the Week #17: Occam’s Razors at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville

April 18, 2013

Camille Richoux, president of Occam's Razors, was kind enough to get back to us with her group's responses to our Group of the Week inquiries.

First, please introduce yourself. Where you go to school, graduation year, your background. What’s your “atheist/secular conversion story,” if you have one?
My name is Camille Richoux, I'm the president of Occam's Razors at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I'm a senior Biological Anthropology major. I moved to a small town in Arkansas from Houma, Louisiana when I was a kid and found myself in an extraordinarily conservative Christian surrounding. While my mother is personally religious, she never brought us to church or forced any doctrine on me, giving me the opportunity to come to my own conclusions about the world. It was one of the greatest things she did as a parent.

Occam's Razors logo

What is your group’s name? How did you decide on that name?
The mascot of the University of Arkansas is the razorbacks, and the founders before us thought it would be a fitting and clever name!

How did your group get started? What year was it founded? Was there a specific event or incident that motivated you to create the organization? (One of the club's founders, Anthony Marsh, chimed in to answer this question!)
Occam's Razors has been around for several years, but it had a much smaller membership and visibility on campus. There are dozens of religious registered student organizations on our campus, and there is definitely a need for an alternative.

How many members does your group have? What kinds of events do you hold?
W
e have about 50 regular members, and our facebook page reaches about 100 people. This year, we brought Greta Christina and JT Eberhard to speak at the university and held a stone-an-atheist fundraiser beforehand. We've also done volunteering with the American Cancer Society and St. Jude. We've been featured in our school's newspaper several times, as well.

How did you hear about CFI On Campus? How have you worked with CFI On Campus in the past, and how do you hope to work with us in the future?
We've been affiliated since I attained my position, and we plan to continue to work with the CFI.

As an example, could you share one thing your group accomplished that you're most proud of in the past year?
The blood drive we had in the winter went pretty well.  We got a lot of people to participate and the nurses there sent us a letter thanking our organization for helping out.

What is your vision for the secular movement?
Personally, the spread of reason. I think everything falls into place when people are reasonable. When people are motivated by facts and understanding rather than fear, we can create a better world. When equality is a reality for all, I think the secular movement has completed its most important task.

As an example, could you share one thing your group accomplished that you're most proud of in the past year?
We almost doubled our membership this year! 

Occam's Razors group members table.
Members of Occam's Razors table on their campus.

 

About the Author: Sarah Kaiser

Sarah Kaiser's photo

Sarah Kaiser is a field organizer for CFI On Campus. Prior to her work at CFI, she got her start in the freethought movement as the co-founder and president of the Secular Alliance at Indiana University, where she helped organize a nationally recognized atheist bus ad campaign and large campus speaking events. As an atheist, a feminist, and a small part of the universe's way of understanding itself, she is thrilled at the chance to help advance CFI's mission. On Twitter: @sarahebkaiser.

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