This week: AGM stuff! We have less than two weeks until most of the AHS stands up, struts itself on over to Warwick, collapses in a gutter somewhere and wakes up with a new executive committee and hopefully minimal damage to clothing or hair.
Make sure to book your tickets if you’ve not done so already; yet more information to follow next week!
To whet your appetite, see below for an article by WASH president and a little more information about what to expect over the weekend!
We’ve now only two weeks until this year’s Annual General Meeting in Warwick, between 17th-19th July.
Not only should you attend simply by merit of this being an AHS national event, which are always incredibly fun, but to sweeten the deal UWASH have secured us some wonderfully cheap accommodation (from £17 per night). Travel grants are also available.
Other reasons to attend? What, you want the shirt off my back too? Well how about the motions? Any student can suggest a motion for the caucus to vote upon. Currently there are two, one of which I can see proving highly contentious. The first person to identify that issue and email in wins a special prize! The prize is my shirt.
As well as the political importance of the AGM, we have a great schedule of socials, workshops and a guest lecture by Professor A C Grayling. You can browse the lineup, the motions and any pertinent information at the official event page.
Did I mention this all only costs £17 per night? Book your tickets here!
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.
This year WASH will be hosting the AHS AGM. Benjamin David, current chair of WASH and Warwickshire Humanists, has written a blog post over at ahsstudents.org detailing how the last two years have seen an energised committee revitalise the society. Read it 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.
The UK’s grandest and greatest Humanist gathering
The BHA’s annual conference took place last month in Bristol! AHS attendance was high with representatives from London, Nottingham, Lancashire, Exeter, Warwick, and Bristol (unsurprisingly). If you weren’t able to make it, fret ye not: there’s always next year!