Club Spotlight: Secular Student Alliance

Whether they are hosting a speaker talking about philosophy and theology or having discussions about their own personal experiences, the Secular Student Alliance prides itself on being a place for the community of secular students at the Colorado School of Mines. The following is an interview with Secular Student Alliance president John Bristow, a graduate student in geology. Those interested in joining can attend bi-weekly meetings every Thursday in Meyer Hall 220 at 5:00 pm.

What is an average meeting for the Secular Student Alliance like?
At this point we are in kind of a building phase so we’re trying to determine in what direction the club is taking. One of the things we do at each meeting is trying to figure out ideas for new events and getting new speakers. For example, today we talked about what we could do as a philanthropic event.

What does the club mean to you?
I believe it’s a source of community. When I went through this school as an undergraduate I always felt as though there was a significant lack of community for secular students and it wasn’t necessarily something that bothered me but it was something I wanted to see that never really happened. To me, it represents that community and home for this diverse population.

Are there any big plans for the future of the club?
We are trying to set up a big philanthropy dinner event, the Flying Spaghetti Monster Dinner, which would be a spaghetti dinner. That would go towards helping out outreach and bring in new speakers.

Are there any plans to cooperate and interact with other groups?
Yes, doing philanthropy isn’t something you can or should do alone. We also want to build bonds with other groups to show the openness of the secular community. We want to reach out to the groups.

Are there more events in the near future?
Well, two weeks from now we have one of the Mines faculty, Dr. John Humphrey, speaking. That’s really big for us; we want to reach within our own community as well as outside. This community isn’t just about the students, we want to get the faculty involved as well. We are definitely trying to get outside speakers such as Phil Plait as well though.

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