The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Student Societies.

FAQ

Why does the AHS exist?

The constitution of the AHS states that the vision of the AHS is to see a thriving atheist, humanist or secular student society in every institute of Higher Education in the UK and Republic of Ireland; networked together, with a shared voice in public life, whose members can contribute to and be part of the wider national and international movement. Our daily function is to build, support and represent atheist, humanist and secular student societies, facilitate communication between them, encourage joint actions and ensure that their members have opportunities to be part of the wider national and international movement.

What does the AHS do?

The AHS runs a variety of events, including workshops, camping trips, regional meet-ups and conventions, provides useful information and ideas for societies in the form of online guides and forums, seeks out people who would be interested in starting up new societies and assists them in doing so, runs campaigns, mostly in secular, humanist and multifaith areas, raises money for charity, and generally represents its members on a national and international level.

I want to start up a society at my university. How can the AHS help?

As part of its aims, the AHS is very keen to support individuals that are looking to start societies. There are many resources avaialble, ranging from guides to starting your society, writing a constitution and putting on events to Regional Development Officers who can support you in person. The AHS can also advise on the practicalities of getting members and running your Fresher’s Fair stalls.

Why should I be a member?

The benefits of membership include being part of a national association of like minded student societies. This gives you access to a wealth of resources, including guides on running a society, putting on events, managing your finances and handling the press. Member societies also get access to the AHS’ speakers, film and event directories for help finding speakers and ideas for events. Becoming a member also allows individual members of your group to get a discount on membership fees to the BHA.

Who can be a member?

Membership is open to all constituted societies, groups or collections of students based primarily in the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland that specifically identify as one or more of: agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, humanists, non-theists, rationalists, secularists, skeptics. In order to become a member, the society must apply to and be accepted by the existing members of the AHS.

How does my society become an AHS member?

In order to be considered for membership simply contact the AHS Executive, and they will consider your membership.

What is associated membership?

Associate membership is for non-constituted, non-UK or Republic of Ireland or non-student societies. Newly forming societies should be eligible for associate membership as soon as they start to be set up, and go through the same ratification procedure as full Member societies do. Associate members only get some of the benefits of joining.

What is the Executive?

The AHS is managed by an Executive consisting of a President, Secretary and Treasurer. They are responsible for pursuing the aims of the AHS and directing and managing its affairs. The Executive are always full time students on the day of their election to ensure that the AHS is run by students for students. The Executive are elected by the Caucus at a General Meeting and typically hold office for a year.

What is the Caucus?

The Caucus acts as the sovereign decision making body withing the AHS. They elect the Executive to manage the organisation on their behalf, they determine and direct major policy choices and ratify applications for membership. The Caucus consists of two representitives from each member society as well as the Executive and Board. They meet at least once per year at a General Meeting, although much of their business is conducted online.

What is the Board?

Beyond the day to day management of the AHS, whcih is conducted by the Executive, ultimate responsibility for the AHS is held by a board. The Baord consists of up to four members appointed by the Executive of the AHS and up to three members appointed by trustees oft he BHA, along with the AHS President and BHA Chief Executive of the day. Although appointed in different ways, all Board members have the same responsibility to work in the best interests of the AHS by scrutinising its financial situation and maintaining a high level of oversight. The Board in turn reports to the trustees of the BHA.

What are the Officers?

Officers are individuals appointed by the Executive of the AHS to fulfill specific roles, such as press officer and webmaster, in order to carry out the aims of the AHS. Officers may be volunteers or paid staff who may or may not be students. They are managed directly by the Executive and carry out much of the day to day business of the AHS.

How do I get involved or become an officer?

Officers play an important role in conducting the business of the AHS and we are always looking for talented, capable individuals to support us. Officer roles are by appointment of the Executive, who may wish to interview you before making the decision to appoint you. There is usually space for appointment, so voice interest to any of the Executive.

Who gets to vote at General Meetings?

Anyone on the caucus may vote in elections and on motions proposed at a general meeting. Members of the board are also entitled to vote at an Annual General Meeting. Officers are not automatically entitled to vote at general meetings. Members of the executive may vote, however the President shall chair meetings and has a casting vote only.

What does the British Humanist Association do for the AHS?

The BHA ‘facilitates and supports’ the AHS. This essentially boils down to them doing lots of our administration.

How do I give feedback?

You can contact presidenttreasurersecretary or press@ahsstudents.org.uk for various specific enquiries.

I have some technical feedback about the website – who do I contact?

Our webmaster can be contacted at webmaster@ahsstudents.org.uk

Where else can I find the AHS?

We have an office in London:
The AHS
39 Moreland Street
London
EC1V 8BB

We also have a twitter and facebook.

I think I’m in the wrong place. Where can I find out about Alien Hand Syndrome?

There is some good information here.