The official blog of University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, & Agnostics
Dave here. Wow! Can you believe we’ve published 100 articles already? This calls for a celebration (hint: there will be cake at our meeting next Wednesday). I’ve been trying to decide what I should write about to mark the occasion. I decided a 3-part post would be in order: A quick history of the group, some fun facts about the blog and where SASHA stands today, as well as some information about our plans for the future.
Our group was founded in 2009 by Duell Lauderdale. We were (and still are) the ONLY expressly secular student organization at the University of Missouri, representing and serving the atheist/agnostic/skeptic population among over 33,000 students overall. I wasn’t a member of the group during the first year, so honestly I can’t say much about how or why we formed. I do know that the group got off to a slow start, and that several of our members attended Skepticon 2 (I don’t have any photos because this was before I joined the group) and a leadership conference in New York. James Pflug and Jordan Parker took over the President & Vice President roles, respectively, around the spring of 2010. This was also the time of my first debate with Brother Jed, which he graciously hosted during his annual open house, and the SASHA members came to show their support and ask questions during the Q&A. About 50 people attended overall.
In the fall semester of 2010, Tony Lakey replaced Jordan Parker as Vice President, as Jordan had relocated to Hawaii. We started getting more serious last year, hosting regular weekly meetings and lectures from group members, and growing our group. Several more of us also attended Skepticon 3:
In April of 2011, during the spring semester, we had our first major on-campus event, a second-annual debate with the famous traveling campus preacher Brother Jed, attended by about 250 students, faculty, staff, and local residents.
We continued meeting weekly throughout the summer of 2011, and our officers attended several leadership conferences (Secular Student Alliance in Columbus, OH; Center for Inquiry in Buffalo, NY; and the Midwest Humanist & Freethought Conference in Omaha, NE).
Starting this year, Tony Lakey has been elected President, and I have been elected Vice President. Ashley Wheeler is our new Treasurer, and Jeremy Locke is our Director of Public Relations. We have REALLY been growing – our membership, at about 50 students, is approximately 2-3 times what it was last year, and still growing!
Some fun facts about this blog:
This year, we are focusing more on hosting lots of good events. We have been tabling a lot more at Speakers’ Circle…
and we are planning to bring in some great guest speakers both this fall and in the spring. We have a fun event planned for next week (more on that soon!) and we have been sticking with the idea of hosting at least one noteworthy event each month (for example, our Free Hugs event in commemoration of 9/11), in addition to our weekly meetings (with lectures about various topics). So far we have given lectures about atheism (Atheism 101), the historical (un)reliability of the New Testament, the World Trade Center Cross lawsuit, and state churches in Scandinavia. We recently had a Game Night, which was a LOT of fun, and we are working on doing some more events with some other campus groups – organized discussions with one or more Christian campus groups, coordinated volunteer projects with other groups that have mutual goals with ours.
I want to make the focus of this article YOU: Our loyal readers, our fellow Redditors, and our local members. Thank you for being along for the ride; we do what we do for you guys and we are thrilled to have you here with us. With greatest sincerity, thank you!
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we will be celebrating our 100th blog article at our next meeting with a delicious cake, so bring your friends 🙂
Here’s to our next 100 posts!
(573) 424-0420 cell/text
Dave Muscato is Vice President of MU SASHA. He is a vegetarian, LGBTQ ally, and human- & animal-welfare activist. A junior at Mizzou majoring in economics & anthropology and minoring in philosophy & Latin, he posts updates to the SASHA blog every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. His website is http://www.DaveMuscato.com.
If you like this article, please upvote it on Reddit.
and don’t forget… other SASHA members! We are here for you, too!