CFI Leadership Stories
May 23, 2012
Center for Inquiry On Campus (and its predecessor, the Campus Freethought Alliance) has been connecting students with knowledge, resources, and other leading secular activists and scientists for over fifteen years. We believe that it is our job to inspire students and to educate the secular leaders of tomorrow so that they can expand on the limits of our knowledge and bring reason to the coming generations. A big part of how we fulfill this mission of being a jumping-off point for young freethinkers is by holding our annual student leadership conference. It is a chance for students to come together in real life and relate leadership experiences, share how-to tips, make connections, and inspire each other. Several students who attended the 2011 Student Leadership Conference have offered to share their stories so that others can get an idea of what to expect, why it is important, and how you can help. This is one of those stories.
In 2011, the UB Freethinkers was in shambles. I had done the best I could with the resources that I had, but it didn’t do much good. Getting people motivated was a big problem. When I found out about the leadership conference, i thought i might be able to pick up some skills from other folks who were going through the same problems.
Still, our little group was only around 20 people wide, and I was anxious to meet Atheists from other parts of the country.
I hadn’t realized it until the first day when everyone gathered—the cfi leadership conference was an atheist homecoming. People came from all different backgrounds and corners of the US to share perspectives.
The insight that I gained at the conference was invaluable in the following year. I may have passed the group on to new hands since, but I learned how to raise a leader for the group, I learned how to give the members goals and motivation, and I learned that I wasn’t alone in my struggles.
-Tony Scinta, Former President of University at Buffalo Freethinkers
If you are a student and are interested in attending our student leadership conference, visit the conference page for more information.
If you are not a student, but would like to help, make a donation to help us bring young people who don’t have the resources to travel. Every dollar counts. Even a small donation could be the difference between getting someone here or them missing out!
About the Author: Dren Asselmeier
Dren Asselmeier does student outreach as a campus organizer at the Center for Inquiry. She got her start as an organizer while interning at Center for Inquiry–Michigan in 2008. She stayed until 2010 as a volunteer campus coordinator, and was CFI–Michigan Freethinker of the Year in 2009, as well as president of Center for Inquiry–Grand Valley State University. Dren has a B.A. in English from Grand Valley State University. She is the president of Buffalo Area Non-Profit Professionals, an event volunteer at Buffalo Subversive Theatre, and a contributor to the Buffalo Storyteller Hour.