So we’re done: another year is over. Most people correlate the wax and wane of the academic year with the AHS calendar, this is a little short sighted. In truth, much of our work goes on behind the scenes in terms of planning the year on a national level, arranging finances and recruiting officers for any positions that have become vacant.
Annual reports from all officers are being submitted to the caucus this week. The year will be discussed in great detail this weekend at the AGM in Warwick, where delegates will also be treated to guest entertainment, workshops and an awful lot of carousing.
Most significant is the election of the new executive committee to govern the National Federation over the coming year. The candidates for these positions have manifestos which you can read below, though any student can run for any position on the day itself.
Finally I’d like to emphasise the importance of engaging with the national movement. Much is made of the tremendous sense of fun and friendship that comes with our national events: indeed, some of the best nights of my life have been spent with friends in the AHS. But the real benefits of attending the AGM? I’d say they’re the chance to meet similarly motivated like-minded people, to get a wider perspective of the state of atheist, secular and humanist movement on campus in the UK, and to come home with fresh ideas.
In short, if you’re serious about the AHS, you know where you need to be this weekend.
See you there,
Not much less to say about this! Below are a few snippets of info for the interested. Buy your tickets!
Accomodation is provided by Warwick University – the remaining rooms cost £40, bringing total cost for the weekend to £50
Travel grants are also available: if you’re going to spend more than £25 in getting to Warwick, apply!
Two motions will be considered by the caucus. These and manifestos for executive positions can be read here.
Book your tickets here!
The Executive Committee – President, Secretary, Treasurer – will administer the functions of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies for 2015-2016. Manifestos have been submitted and are available for consideration on the website, though it’s not too late for you to apply! Remember, ANY STUDENT MEMBER of an AHS member society is eligible for the roles, so give it some thought.
Richard was President of Nottingham ASH for two years and is about to commence a postgraduate Masters at Birkbeck College in London. He is an active proponent of rationalism and clarity of thought, and is comfortable debating such matters on stages and social media.
Benjamin founded Warwickshire Humanists and revitalised Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists. A student of Philosophy, he also writes poetry and regularly engages with local groups such as BBC Coventry & Warwickshire, the NSS, the BHA, IHEU and Young Humanists.
On abandoning Hinduism, Hari set about founding and establishing Northampton AHS as a platinum tier student society, scooping Society of the Year and President of the Year awards in the process. His manifesto emphasises the importance of cohesion and inter-society events as a means to achieving the National Federation’s aims.
Caitlin’s trajectory began at Bristol: first AASS committee member for 2 years, then National Campaigns officer, now Secretarial candidate. Her work ethic and ability to produce results are universally recognised amongst the officer team, especially those who’ve witnessed her ability to knit at speed whilst contributing to discussions on AHS policy and function.
– The Mighty Mighty Gnome Priest
The Mighty Mighty Gnome Priest feels no inclination to justify itself to the likes of you.
Workshops! There’s no better way to learn something quickly from nigh-on total strangers. On Sunday delegates will be able to choose between two sets of workshops run side by side. Below are the synposes; have a browse and try to contain your excitement for just a few more weeks!
Luke Dabin – I Have No Idea What I’m Doing
What are we doing? Does anyone truly know? Should anyone truly care? This workshop will explore the AHS’s raison d’être, square that against the activities and concerns of its member societies, and justify not just what we do, but why we even bother doing it in the first place. Hopefully.
Rory Fenton – Interfaith
Should atheists, humanists and secularists do “interfaith”? How? The former AHS President will offer his thoughts on how the non-religious can engage in constructive dialogue with religious people to build alliances, both where they agree and where they don’t. Rory was Dialogue Officer for the BHA and was the first Interfaith Officer at his university, so he loves this stuff.
The workshop will focus on:
Cloe Ansari – #Socialmedia #Sorrynotsorry
In this workshop Cloe will be presenting the pasta-y power of social media and advertising. Participants will have the chance to unlock their inner creativity, learning more about the fun part of marketing. The talk will also touch on free speech and how to accidently offend groups of people.
Remember folks, the Internet is made to be broken, then eaten.
Russell Byford Harding – Why the AHS Should Matter to Us All: The Cat amongst the Pigeons
In this workshop, the question of everyday secularism and Humanism is brought to the forefront of discussion.
Besides giving an overview of the most likely challenges which secularism and Humanism are likely to face in the immediate future; (such as the potential demise of the Human Rights Act, the challenge of theocracy, cultural relativism and a post-modern deterioration of rights and society) Russell hopes to simulate the background noise which Humanists continually have to contend with, and intends to demonstrate the usefulness of campaigns and debate – which are our best chance in stopping such nonsense in its tracks.
Richard Acton has written a little on the dynamics of interactions between sceptics and feminists, two groups which should in principle be completely aligned on most issues. You can read it on the AHS blog.