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Caitlin Greenwood – Manifesto

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 »)

Hari Parekh – Manifesto

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 »)

Richard Acton – Manifesto

Policy ideas:

  •  Put a motion to the caucus to rebrand ‘The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies’ to ‘Humanist Students’ so the name can be said without getting out of breath(1).
  • Work to expand training opportunities to AHS society committees to help them become effective campaigns organisations(2).
  • Examine the feasibility of more engagement in the 16-19 education sector possibly appointing a 16-19 officer(3).
  •  Try to organise a national comedy tour of skeptical comedians to boost membership in existing societies and try to inspire the creation of new ones.
  •  Extend the website’s coverage of current and past AHS projects and campaign efforts, in order to raise awareness and grassroots involvement in AHS activities.
  •  Trying to increase engagement of Societies in local and national campaigns efforts such as:
    •  More campaigning for evidence based policy with a strong emphasis on evidence in education.
    •  Going ahead with a campaign of freedom of information requests about university expenditure on chaplaincies, in coordination with the research and campaigns officers.
    •  Pursuing the issues associated with halal and kosher food at universities in particular labelling(4).
    •  Campaign for strong free speech and expression protections by Student’s Unions(5), in collaboration with individual societies. As well as engaging with national free speech issues.
(more »)

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AHS Newsletter

15th June 15

Bad news guys.

As you will have noticed, the last few newsletters have been radically different in style from their predecessors, and whilst engagement and feedback have been overwhelmingly positive –

– words such as “unprofessional” and “inappropriate” and “we had no idea he was doing this” have been flying about recently. More importantly, the format had become unsustainable. So lean back, relax and enjoy a return to your regularly scheduled installment of the AHS newsletter.

This week: the BHA conference looms, the AHS AGM is a little way off yet but still definitely looming too, and our future overlords attempt to buy your affection with smiles, science, poetry and viking costumes.

Yours in-vikingly,

Luke Dabin

Communications Officer


The UK’s grandest and greatest Humanist gathering

The BHA Conference is THIS WEEKEND, folks. A respectably full slice of the AHS officer team will be attending, as shall representatives from a number of AHS member societies. It’s not too late to book your ticket (£89 for students) and find a place to crash. Check out the University of Bristol’s Atheist, Agnostic and Secular Society’s FB page if you’re stuck for accommodation recommendations. Hope to see you there!


AHS AGM – Have Your Voice Heard

The AHS AGM is being held in Warwick this year, between 17th-19th July. (more »)

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