Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Recruiting into an Atheist Organization

I'm an active officer in our university's atheist group on campus that has recently been started up. Previously, we had another organization of which I was a member of that fell apart due to various reasons.

This new organization, however, seems to be run by a group of strong-willed, like minded individuals who can keep this club active and quite strong. One of the main goals of this summer has been to work on our recruitment of new members. What better way to do this than through the Freshman Orientation Organization Fairs?

We had one such fair this past Sunday and we had many students stop by and sign up for more information as well as talk to us about what the organization is about. For each person that signed up, however, we had 2 freshmen (often with their families), literally speed up and turn away from our booth. Several made under-their-breath statements just loud enough for those of us in earshot to make out what they said. Needless to say, more often than not, they weren't the kindest of words.

A few families approached our booth and spoke with us and later I noticed them signing up for information at several of the Christian organizations the school also has. I enjoyed speaking with these individuals and they seemed genuinely interested in learning about our club, but I wonder if they were interested in finding out if we were heathens more so than a group trying to bring individuals together that have similar beliefs or wish to learn more about atheism and its related schools of thought.

In the past, I've often felt scared to admit my atheism to my friends. For the entirety of my life, atheists have been the most hated demographic in America. It wasn't until later in college when I found the first atheist group on campus that I felt comfortable with actively talking about it.

I hope this new group will provide the ability and strength to freely admit their atheism to the incoming freshmen as well as other students. I feel much more comfortable with who I am and what I believe. In fact, I can now stand at a booth and admit to complete strangers that I am atheist and I help run an organization of atheists. It's very liberating and I hope to be able to share this with new members.

The fall is quickly approaching and I'm excited to get a move on things and find out what other students would like to see com from this organization. I've got a series of lectures I want to write and deliver, we have many social events such as bowling and BBQs planned, and we'd like to bring in guest speakers and go on field trips with the group.

Even after last night's fiasco in the Home Run Derby, I'm not sure I've ever been more proud to be an atheist than I am right now. Let's hope that I, as well as everyone else involved with this group or blog, can keep the momentum up.


Storm Ravynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Storm Ravynn said...

Silly Blogger with no edit feature.

The only way for attitudes about us to change is for positive examples to be put forth for everyone to see. I say kudos to you and your organization.

I wish that my college had had an atheist group on campus. I went through my deconversion in college and a group of like-minded individuals would have eased things I feel sure.

Atheist Gamer said...

I'm glad to have you once again, Storm Ravynn, but I'm also new to blogger. I'm drunk at the momement, so I can't find the location to allow comments to be edited by their posters. If you could direct me to the proper location to fix that, I would be gratified.

Where did you go to school? You don't have to say what school specifically if you don't want to, but I would at least like to know what state and whether or not it was a public or private institute.

Storm Ravynn said...

I meant Blogger.com, not you. Sorry for the confusion. As far as I know there is no feature to turn on the editing of comments.

I attended the Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham. The idea of an atheist organization in my area of the country is laughable at best.

Atheist Gamer said...

I'm in Texas (and not Austin) so I feel you're pain.

Rodrigo said...

Hey Storm,
I have no doubt that I can help you find atheists at your school. Let me know if you are interested.

Storm Ravynn said...

Thanks for the offer Rodrigo but I graduated college seven years ago. I don't think I could be dragged back.

Rodrigo said...

No prob. I just know that there are like minded individuals in your area.

I met at least one person from Alabama at a Center for Inquiry (secular humanist think tank) conference this year.

Bezbojnicul said...

From one atheist gamer to another
(not my work)