Students across British Columbia will be returning to classes next week. For many it will be their first time living away from home and for some it will their first time being exposed to new ideas and worldviews. Religious clubs are well established at BC universities (there are 20 different religious clubs at UBC alone). I need your help to make sure Humanists have a voice on BC campuses this year.
When I was an undergrad at the University of Alberta, there were literally dozens of different religious student groups. Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, there was a home for everyone - everyone except atheists. So together with some friends, we founded the University of Alberta Atheists and Agnostics, and in our first year over 300 students signed up to our mailing list. That group provided a home and a voice for the increasingly non-religious student body. For many of our members, the UAAA was their escape to reason from their religious conservative families in rural Alberta. And together we campaigned for change, culminating in the University updating its convocation charge for the first time in 100 years to reflect the graduates who, like me, didn't believe they would use their degrees "for the glory of god."
I want to make sure non-religious students in British Columbia have access to similar communities.
Tomorrow, I am meeting with two students who are looking to re-launch the UBC Freethinkers. I am also speaking to students from the Simon Fraser University Skeptics. And Marty, our Humanist chaplain at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, is eager to engage the students at KPU's campuses in Richmond and Surrey.
I want to tell each of them that they have the full support of the BC Humanist Association. But to do that I need two things from you.
Next, if you can afford it, please donate $25 or more to help us support secular student groups and Humanist communities across British Columbia. All donations are tax-deductible and will be used to help bring in prominent speakers, fund advertising materials for student and local groups, and ensure that we can keep connected with groups throughout the province.
And if you know any students who might want to join one of these groups, please ask them to get involved.