THE MOST IMPORTANT NEWSLETTER YOU WILL EVER READ

I’ll tell you who: no-one! No-one don’t not love stuff what isn’t free but costs cash, fo’ serious!

You want free stuff for your Fresher’s fair? We got free stuff for your Fresher’s fair.

You want to volunteer with the AHS, be invited to all the cool aquarium parties and accomplish amazing things as part of a team of amazing people? That seems like something we can arrange. Why not?

You want us to pay for Chris Johnson to travel to your SU with his award winning film on atheism for a private screening followed by a Q&A? We can pay for Chris’s godless shock rockup, mic drop, overnight stop and pork chop (pork chop is a euphemism; we mean speaker’s fees, which we will pay).

This newsletter has a lot of freebies in it, so get reading. Immediately.

Don’t make me come over there,

Luke Dabin

Communications Officer (for a limited time only)
communications@ahsstudents.org.uk

 


 

VOLUNTEER WITH THE AHS

Officer positions have been open for some time and the deadline is TOMORROW at midnight.

What’re the benefits of being an officer? As well as getting an inside look at the mechanics of the AHS, you’ll meet a fantastic array of like-minded people, receive compensated travel to major events across the country, contribute to the development of the national movement and have an awful, awful lot of fun.

I can’t emphasise this enough: we’re talking a disgusting amount of fun. People will see you in the street and think “Ugh, what on earth is up with them? No human being deserves to have had such a good time doing whatever they’ve just done as that person clearly has. Should I call the police?”

Apply by writing up to 750 words on why you’d be great at doing all of these things and sending them, along with any supporting material (CV, portfolio, pictures of you pantsing Anjem Choudary) to exec@ahsstudents.org.uk.

We’ll need this by midnight on Friday 28th August, will be interviewing between Monday 31st August – Thursday 3rd September, and new officer training will be held in London on Sunday 13th September (travel expenses will be reimbursed).

Check the website for more information!

The following positions are open for application:

Internal Communications Officer
External Communications Officer

Charity and Campaigns Officer
Web Officer
Membership Officer
New Societies officer
Societies Development Officer
Education Officer
Questival Coordinator

See the website for more detailed role descriptions.

 


 

Free copies of New Humanist

The “Strange Death of British Satire” article has been making the rounds on Facebook recently, so many of you will be aware of New Humanist, the quarterly journal of ideas, science and culture from the Rationalist Association. It’s a good read.

The Rationalist Association are generously offering free copies of the New Humanist to all AHS societies. These make for a terrific read and are great literature for Fresher’s fair stalls. The “free” part in particular should have your ears a-prickling.

To claim your free copies please fill in this incredibly flash google form, including your society’s name and a postal address to which your copies should be sent. Simple!

 


 

“Atheists don’t like our happiness: they don’t want you to be happy, they want you to be miserable. They’re miserable, so they want you to be miserable!” – Pat Roberston, Chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network

Chris Johnson interviews Matt Dillahunty, AC Grayling, Tracie Harris, Andrew Copson, Cara Santa Maria, Daniel Dennet, James Randi, Derren Brown, Jim Al-Khalili, Janet Asimov, Richard Dawkins and many other miserable people in the cinematic partner to his kickstarter-funded book  “A Better Life: An Exploration of Joy & Meaning in a World Without God“.

See the trailer here.

This November Chris will be touring the nation, screening the film and holding a Q&A session afterwards. His expenses comprise travel costs, accommodation and a modest honorarium. The AHS is prepared to provide full coverage of these costs to a few lucky societies.

Tour dates will be between 15-30 November, on a FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS. To register interest please email communications@ahsstudents.org.uk with your society details. Note that applications shared by two or more societies within a region will be favoured over individual applications.

 


 

NON-PROPHET WEEK

9th – 15th November 2015

This November we will be fundraising for Give Directly. They’re pretty incredible.

This charity was selected based on its impact, its vision and the demonstrable changes it effects in the lives of the poorest of the poor. Visit their website to see how money goes directly to beneficiaries as selected through transparent poverty targeting strategies, how corruption is screened for extensively and how benefits are logged through followup visits. Put simply, money raised for this charity pays for metal roofs on huts and other fundamental improvements to quality of living.

So put on your thinking dungarees and stock up on ideas: we’re going to make a real difference this year.

 


 

Spotlight on: Luke Dabin

Luke Dabin, centre

Dear AHS: I pledge to do things.

For once I’m not even being facetious: traditionally this role has been bad for that. Our first treasurer, back in our founding year of 2008, failed to recognise the importance of owning a bank account when it came to matters fiscal. Luckily this was swiftly reconciled at the end of 2009, although on merging with the BHA in 2010 it was revealed that nobody had ever checked the balance of this account, preferring instead to guesstimate net outgoings and incomings. The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular student societies was roughly £1,529.99 poorer than anyone could have (and indeed had explicitly not) imagined.

Dear AHS: I also pledge to not do things. Specifically, that sort of thing.

Matters have since improved. Yet the role of Treasurer carries a nameless and dreadful curse which strikes most incumbents, causing them to suddenly become either too busy to function or absolutely terrible. Fear not, good AHSsadies and AHSlemen: I shall not buckle beneath the weight of office. It’s a sorry state of affairs when my greatest metric for success will be whether I last until the next AGM, but there it is.

Coincidentally, I also happen to have some other ideas. I’m planning on making travel grants and society grants more conspicuous at a national level. Non-Prophet Week and other big events should feel the benefit of some level of financial foresight. I’ll be working with our communications team to make sure societies know about these schemes and put on events that reach a regional or national audience. Then I’ll make sure other societies hear about these events and become so envious that they obsess over outdoing their neighbours, culminating in a competitive pillow-fight tournament in Westminster Abbey during the Easter service. We’ll deny all involvement, but the funds are there, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s see what you can do with them.

I’ve a lot of time and affection for the AHS movement and its members, which is why I’ve ended up handling its finances on a national level. My tenure as editor of these newsletters wasn’t always as fun as you might hope, but it was tremendously rewarding and taught me a lot about how the organisation works. Next years’ communications team will benefit from that experience and, with luck, everyone will benefit from a few more actions concerning funding. With officer positions opening up, I can’t encourage potential applicants enough: write your application and send it to exec@ahsstudents.org.uk. It’s going to be a great year and I’d love to work with you on setting the groundwork for an even better one in 2017.

 


 

Guest Article – Have You Seen This man?

Luke Dabin attended a lecture by A C Grayling at LSE this February. Whilst the following isn’t an entirely accurate account of the talk, it does go some way towards conveying the impact Grayling’s addresses usually carry.

While guest lectures were well received at Exeter and Warwick University earlier this year, things turned ugly upon Professor AC Grayling’s return to London. Described by organisers as being “completely out of control”, Professor Grayling’s whereabouts are currently unknown after a harrowing series of events at LSE this evening.

Held as a joint event between LSESU AHS and LSESU Philosophy Society, almost a thousand students were present and seated 30 minutes before the lecture – “Is atheism just a matter of faith?” – was scheduled to begin.

Nobody could have known what was about to unfold

Within 5 minutes of the talk commencing, Grayling had skipped between English, Latin and Greek in his pursuit of a perfect summation of the development of humanist, secular, atheistic and theistic schools of thought. Before 10 minutes had elapsed the audience were made familiar with the definitions and limitations of deduction, rationality and knowledge. One gentleman was excused with a nosebleed. We whirled past Dostoevsky, Hume, Popper, Socrates. The air felt unbearably hot: I broke into a sweat. Someone in the row behind me had brought a copy of the Bible with them; this spontaneously burst into flame. I forget exactly when. To be plain: given my seat in the second row, to survive the ordeal and retain the ability to type these words, rather than approximated screams of awe, is nothing short of miraculous.

Some time after the event had concluded the stewards came to our aid. One young lady – I asked her her name: she could not remember it – told me that the talk had finished at 19:40 (exactly when it was supposed to!) and some had to tried to edge their way towards the doors and escape, “but then he began to field questions on postmodernism and the distinction between faith and matters of faith in a masterful fashion, occasionally in French, and we realised we were no longer sure if there were or ever had been doors”.

If you find yourself tempted to drop your course of study and switch to Philosophy, or filled with desire to purchase some of Professor Grayling’s critically acclaimed literature, you may have unknowingly attended a lecture by Professor Grayling. Please send any information about your experiences or Grayling’s current whereabouts to communications@ashstudents.org.uk.

You can watch a recent lecture at Exeter University by AC Grayling here.

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