Congratulations to the CFI On Campus 2012 Award Winners!
July 18, 2012
– by Stef McGraw, CFI Summer Intern
Aside from the workshops, talks, and networking that took place at the CFI Leadership Conference 2012, we also took the time to honor some of our strongest, most effective affiliate groups. Although the high quality of our affiliates made it a tough decision, six awards were given to groups that particularly excelled in promoting secular values and freethought on their campuses and in their communities.
For their outstanding website and effective use of social media, the award for Online Outreach went to the Secular Alliance at Indiana University. Aside from having a strong Facebook and Twitter presence, their website features a regularly updated blog with thoughtful, original content, as well as helpful information about their group and its upcoming events.
The group with the Best Educational Event was the Atheists, Humanists, & Agnostics at the University of Wisconsin – Madison for their Freethought Festival 2012. With over 700 registrations and 21 speakers including Annie Laurie Gaylor, Ellery Schempp, James Croft, Matt Dillahunty, and Richard Carrier, it’s unbelievable that this was the group’s first attempt at organizing a conference.
The Center for Inquiry at Broward College was given the Community Outreach award for their many events that reached not just their campus, but their local community as well. Included in the list of events is the Skeptic Fair, where booths taught passersby about different skeptical topics; Carl Sagan Day, featuring fun, educational activities for children and was co-hosted with CFI–Fort Lauderdale and the Florida Atheists and Secular Humanists; and monthly meetings with James Randi, which were free and open to the public.
The award for Diversity Initiatives went to the Illini Secular Student Alliance at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. All year long, the group sought to create a more welcoming environment for women by presenting on the intersection of secularism and feminism, reaching out to the Women’s Resources Center, and having a women’s only social event. In addition, ISSA brought the issue of race and religion to their campus by hosting the debate “Does the Black Community Need God?” with Jamila Bey.
With an impressive start, the Best New Group award went to the Secular Student Alliance at the University of Central Florida. Some of their accomplishments include sending students to the Moving Secularism Forward conference, the Reason Rally, and CFI’s Women in Secularism conference; an involvement in political initiatives with plans to host a voter registration drive in the fall; and community building with local atheist and skeptic groups.
Finally, the Bronx Community College Secular Humanist Club was awarded for having the Best Community College Group. Despite the organizationally challenging environment of a community college, they had a successful year of educational campus events as well as teaming up with groups such as CFI–NYC, CFI–Harlem, African Americans for Humanism, and the Harvard Humanist Community. Some highlights include a panel on Freethought in Black History and Culture, an interfaith event at Park51, a cleanup of Prospect Park, and attending the Reason Rally, the American Atheists convention, and the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism.
Congratulations to all these outstanding groups! We look forward to seeing what our CFI On Campus affiliates accomplish next year.
Aside from the group awards, we also recognized Course of Reason bloggers who contributed particularly noteworthy posts with our first ever Blog Awards! The awards, recipients, and winning posts are as follows:
Most Viewed Blog Post: Sam Shore, “Religion’s Insidious Marketing”
- Runners Up: Trevor Boeckmann, “Why I am not a Christian”; Dan Linford, “An Atheist Goes to a Cru Meeting”; Peter Zupan, “Refuting Woo”; John Chesley, “Poof Proof!”
Most Talked About: Gina Colaianni, “Why the Skeptic Community Should Not Approach Mental Illness” & “Gina’s Response”
Most Long-lasting Readership: Seth Kurtenbach, “Jebediah’s Wager”
Best Advice for Group Organizing: Elizabeth Knapp, “Knowing the Difference between a Counter-Protest and a Jeering Mob, and How to Avoid the Latter”
Most Regular Contributor: Dave Muscato
Original Content and Lolz: Melanie Cornell, “Top Four Presidents that Probably Shouldn’t Have Sworn In on the Bible”