But Walker, this blog has been inactive for months!
Indeed, concerned reader. You see, last January in a grossly underreported story by the plutocratic mainstream media, an ancient extraterrestrial robot army returned from exile and kidnapped the regular TFS blog contributors. Oh dear! Worry not, though—for, in perfect Battlestar Galactica fashion, deus ex machina invoked, and we’re now safely back on Earth, albeit without spaceships. So say we all! (Anybody? Nope? Okay, sorry.)
But before we can begin regenerating (resurrecting? I’m done.) content, I wanted to give a few updates on the State of the Union Freethought Society, for anyone disconnected over the past semester.
Firstly, we have a new exec board! EXCITEMENT. In May, Tufts Freethought elected a new crop of fine, talented individuals (also me), some of them veteran board members, others obscenely-awesomely-involved freshman. So tell your fantasy football league: here’s the TFS exec lineup for the 2012-13 school year:
President: Walker Bristol
Vice President: Ben Chamberlain
Secretary: Gabby Raymond
Treasurer: Bhushan Deshpande
Programming: Elizabeth Kaleko
Community Outreach: Stephen Goeman
Philanthropy: Mike Schneeds
Public Relations: David Berrios
Webmaster: Anschel Schaeffer-Cohen
Freshman Rep: MAYBE YOU?
A quick recap of events last semester: we welcomed our wonderful friend James Croft in February to talk about humanist advertising! You can watch the video of his talk on Vimeo. We also hosted another Freethought Week in April, featuring Rebecca Goldstein, a third Humanist Forum, volunteer work at Haley House in Dudley Square, and another fantastic Freethought home-cooked dinner night. We continued our weekly Jam Sessions, and, thanks to our film studies-minor former VP Ria Oparil, began doing biweekly movie nights, screening and discussing flicks like Donnie Darko, Man on Wire, Batman Begins, and Jesus Camp. We also took part in a handful of joint discussion meetings and philanthropy projects with groups like the Boston University Interfaith Council, the Tufts Muslim Students Association, and Hillel (a Humanist Shabbat!), and in one of my favorite moments of the semester, myself and a handful of musically-inclined members bookended the year with a performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at a Chaplaincy End-of-the-Year Interfaith Celebration.
Ryan Long, Stephen Goeman, and Alex Kaufman at the Humanist Forum III
TFS Weekly Jam Session (Photo by Kumar Ramanathan)
Freethought alongside Rebecca Goldstein
Further pictures and recaps of most of these events can be found on our Facebook page, and hopefully soon on tuftsfreethought.org.
Speaking of: for the next few months we’ll be redeveloping and reupdating the website, so if it’s down for a day or two fret not! We just want to make it a bit more user-friendly and add more pictures from last year. Write in (see below) if you have any suggestions!
(From left) Tufts Futurism founders Kumar Ramanathan, Mike Schneeds, and Brendan Fleig-Goldstein
We also had a team of brilliantly future-minded freshman members, via inspiration from one of our discussion meetings, head off and found the Tufts Futurism Society, which holds weekly discussion meetings on topics like environmental sustainability, the possible technological singularity, and (of course) space colonization. It’s a really fantastic group of folks—support them by joining their Facebook group if you’re at Tufts and interested.
Also! I’m writing in the midst of the Secular Student Alliance’s #SSAWeek (I know, I know, hashtags belong to Twitter)! All this week, the SSA has been and will continue to be organizing a bunch of outstanding and funtastic fundraising events– blogathons, Twitter follower drives, portrait drawings, essentially anything that can done legally over the internet for money (er, almost anything). Except the money goes to a fantastic umbrella organization to help grow the secular student movement. If you’re willing and able, participate or make a donation: http://www.secularstudents.org/ssaweek
Also re:SSA, the Secular Student Alliance Leadership conference is July 6-8 in Columbus, Ohio, and if interested, you can still sign up (early registration ends June 17)! I’ll be there, and if past experience serves me well, I have no doubts regarding the radness of the conference. Speakers include Matt Dillahunty, Hemant Mehta, Evan Clark, Kelley Freeman, and Jen McCreight, as well as past Tufts visitors James Croft, Greta Christina, and Jessica Ahlquist. EXCITEMENT SUSTAINS.
Lastly but certainly not leastly, a jumbo-sized congratulations to our graduating senior Lisa Tannenbaum! She’s graduated with a degree in biopsychology and cogsci, and delivered a humanist reading–the first ever for Tufts–at commencement!
Okedoke. I think that’s roughly it. OH MY WAIT ONE MORE THING! In addition to getting this blog going more regularly with member content, I’ll hopefully start recording more episodes of the FreethoughtCast soon! Seeing as I’m halfway across the world right now, as is Lauren (albeit several countries away), the first couple of shows might just be me rambling about religion and politics, but hopefully later this summer I can feature other TFS and community members as well.
If you have any questions, concerns, ideas, thoughts, pictures of cats, suggestions, upcoming local events, or if you’re interested in writing for the blog or appearing on the radio show, definitely write in! You can e-mail either the group at firstname.lastname@example.org or myself at email@example.com.
Thanks for reading! Stay classy. Make change. Give hugs.