By Caitlin Greenwood
14th Jun, 2015
Manifesto for Executive Secretary – Caitlin Greenwood
When I started at Bristol, I was (to say the least) a massive, awkward weirdo. I knew I could join societies where there might be people who shared my interests, maybe even people I could form friendships with! But which societies to choose?
While browsing the catalogue the SU so helpfully provided me with, I discovered the “Faith Societies” section. And there, in shining black type and laminated paper, heading up the alphabetical list were the words “Atheist, Agnostic and Secular Society (AASS)”. I had found my people.
Throughout my time at Bristol, AASS was a weekly part of my term time life. I served on the committee twice, once as Academic Secretary (in charge of inviting speakers) and once as Vice President. As our then president was in his Master’s year, I did much of the administrative work involved. The community I found at AASS was the most important of my undergrad life.
I was introduced to the AHS by Jenny (Bartle) and Mike (Paynter), who dragged me along to the AHS Convention that year. I was nervously introduced to Andrew Copson, who (on hearing I was a Classicist) declared he “liked me already!” and then immediately marched off to who knows where. (more »)
By Hari Parekh
13th Jun, 2015
Hello! I’m Hari, your happy brown (J) Regional Officer for the AHS in the East Midlands, and I want to be your president.
President of what?
Well, the AHS! But what makes the AHS special to me? I grew up in a Hindu family, and I was a pretty enthusiastic Hindu too, but things changed (thankfully) during my time studying psychology and criminology at the University of Northampton. I constantly questioned the philosophies and ideologies embedded within Hinduism, and as an enthusiastic Hindu, I made Hinduism rational (I can’t believe I did either!). But my views were further challenged at university and I realised I was an atheist as my identity was being questioned by its biggest sceptic, me! Being Indian, with culture and religion being so intertwined with each other, this was personally a difficult moment and an enlightening one too.
I founded the Northampton AHS society with my housemate with the aim to create a non-religious community at the university. In the first year, this task wasn’t easy as we had a handful of members, a cautious student body, and due to the dominance of religious societies our society was consistently overshadowed. After gaining the support of the National AHS, I made pertinent, organisational strides in the following year for society members inviting guest speakers on a regular basis and holding weekly talks and ‘think & drinks’! (more »)