Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ISSAn't it nice to be back?!?

Welcome back, invigorated irreligionists!

We're now scant hours away from the second bar crawl of the semester. The year may be winding down, but we -- your loving ISSA officership -- have still got a few tricks up our sleeves. Read on for details. We'll keep you entertained now through Reading Day!


THIS WEEK (READ ME!)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This week's meeting will be at the usual time in the usual place: Thursday, March 31th at 7pm in Mechanical Engineering Building, room 253. Click here for a map.

On the agenda...
Election season is upon us! This week, we'll be discussing elections and officership, covering many fascinating topics such as how the election process will work, what the different positions are, and why you should seriously consider running for a position. Being an officer is a superb opportunity to become more involved with the group and making it the best it can be. Lord knows we're all Birthers here, so you better bring proof of your country of origin!


ISSA at Murphy's

After the meeting, we'll adjourn to Murphy's, as is our tradition. We welcome anyone and everyone who can make it, regardless of whether or not you plan to drink. It's a great chance to get to know us -- your officers -- better!


ISSA Barcrawl -- March 29th
Another one? So soon? Heck yes! Join us Tuesday, March 29th at 9pm for the usual hedonistic revelry! Make sure to RSVP via the Facebook event page... Be there or be square!

UPCOMING EVENTS (NEW THINGS ADDED!)-------------------------------------------------------

Food for Freethought @ Karthik's -- April 3rd
Food for Freethought is making its illustrious return this coming Sunday, April 3rd at 1PM! We may be doing it at Karthik's again, but at this point location still TBA.  For more info (rides, location), just reply to this email or request to join our Food for Freethought email list.

Interfaith Bake Sale -- April 8th
We'll be teaming up with the Muslim Student Alliance and Navigators to hawk scrumptious baked goods and raise money for the Japanese tsunami relief effort! All proceeds will benefit Doctors Without Borders.

Michael Shermer -- April 12th
We could not be more pleased to announce Michael Shermer as one of this semester's speakers! Mr. Shermer is a very active member of the skeptic community, author of Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time, and even gave a rousing TED talk a few years back! The talk will be held in MSEB 100 at 7pm Tuesday, April 12th.

National Ask-An-Atheist Day 2011 - April 13th
Following the success of our first whack at Ask An Atheist last month, we're working with the national Secular Student Alliance to launch a national event! Read about National Ask-An-Atheist Day (Wednesday, April 13thhere, and RSVP via the Facebook event page. There are already more than 200 people attending!

American Atheists Conference (READ IF INTERESTED)-- April 22nd through 24th
This April, we will be driving to Des Moines Iowa for the annual American Atheists conference! It's a solid five-and-a-half hour drive... You know what that means -- ROADTRIP! With many awesome speakers on the roster (most notably Christopher Hitchens), this get-together promises to be worthwhile! Generally speaking, conferences are oodles of fun, and a great way to get to know your fellow members better! And we got SORF funding so it will be very inexpensive. More details about the event here. If you're interested put your name and info on our sign-up sheet.IMPORTANT NOTE: It is highly recommended that if you're interested you sign up by this Wednesday, March 30th as that is the deadline for getting the majorly-discounted student tickets. Get 'em now at the low, low price of just $20! 

Election Day -- April 28th

It's that time again! The last meeting of the semester will be devoted to choosing our officership for the coming academic year! And everyone knows that nothing goes as well together as elections and a pizza party, so expect some freshly-delivered pizza at the door.

Open call for blog entries -- ONGOING
Got something secular(ish) on your mind? BLOG ABOUT IT! Posts from members are always welcome and wanted -- email illiniSSA@illinois.edu if you're interested.

Love,
ISSA

_______________________________________________________
Can't get enough of us? ISSA online!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hang in there! Spring Break ISSA only a few days away!

Greetings, hebetudinous heathens!

It's midterm week, and we know your brains are nearing that special kind of fried that only a week's vacation can remedy... Well, drink a cup of coffee and hang in there one more day. We've got a great meeting in store for you this week!


THIS WEEK (READ ME!)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This week's meeting will be at the usual time in the usual place: Thursday, March 17th at 7pm in Mechanical Engineering Building, room 253. Click here for a map.


On the agenda...
Michael Scoville will be speaking to us about animal ethics and how religious and secular perspectives play into the way we treat other creatures! Scoville is a doctoral candidate at the here at U of I and has taught classes like 'World Religions', 'Intro to Ethics', and 'Religion, Ethics, and the Environment.'


ISSA at Murphy's

After the meeting, we'll adjourn to Murphy's, as is our tradition. We welcome anyone and everyone who can make it, regardless of whether or not you plan to drink. It's a great chance to get to know us -- your officers -- better!


UPCOMING EVENTS (NEW THINGS ADDED!)-------------------------------------------------------

ISSA Barcrawl -- March 29th
Another one? So soon? Heck yes! Join us Tuesday, March 29th at 9pm for the usual hedonistic revelry! Make sure to RSVP via the Facebook event page... Be there or be square!

Food for Freethought @ Location TBA -- April 3rd
Food for Freethought is off this week, but we'll be back Sunday, April 3rd (the weekend after break) at some location to be announced. For more info (rides, location), just reply to this email or request to join our Food for Freethought email list.

Michael Shermer -- April 12th
We could not be more pleased to announce Michael Shermer as one of this semester's speakers! Mr. Shermer is a very active member of the skeptic community, author of Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time, and even gave a rousing TED talk a few years back!

National Ask-An-Atheist Day 2011 - April 13th

Following the success of our first whack at Ask An Atheist last month, we're working with the national Secular Student Alliance to launch a national event! Read about National Ask-An-Atheist Day (Wednesday, April 13th) here, and RSVP via the Facebook event page.

American Atheists Conference -- April 22nd through 24th
This April, we will be driving to Des Moines Iowa for the annual American Atheists conference! It's a solid five-and-a-half hour drive... You know what that means -- ROADTRIP! With many awesome speakers on the roster (most notably Christopher Hitchens), this get-together promises to be worthwhile! Generally speaking, conferences are oodles of fun, and a great way to get to know your fellow members better! More details about the event here. If you're interested put your name and info on our sign-up sheet

Want to help make ISSA awesome?
As strange as it sounds, it's already time to start thinking about elections for next year! If you think you may want to be involved and have questions/comments/concerns, simply respond to this email or talk to Franklin (or another officer) sometime, and we can discuss what positions might be right for you.

Open call for blog entries -- ONGOING
Got something secular(ish) on your mind? BLOG ABOUT IT! Posts from members are always welcome and wanted -- email illiniSSA@illinois.edu if you're interested.

Love,
ISSA

_______________________________________________________
Can't get enough of us? ISSA online!

Monday, March 14, 2011

National Ask An Atheist Day

Last month, ISSA decided to organize our very own Ask An Atheist Day after hearing of Purdue University's success with a similar endeavor. The event was intended as an opportunity for the general public -- particularly people of faith -- to approach us and ask questions about secular life. We solicited volunteers from our membership to man a booth at which we prominently displayed an FAQ sheet clearing up some of the most common misconceptions about nonbelievers. We outfitted these members with stickers reading, "Atheist... Ask Away!" and distributed flyers with information about our group. The experience was generally rewarding, but perhaps the greatest gauge of its success came when one of our own found himself answering questions from campus cafeteria workers while standing in line for pizza later that evening. Encouraged by the experience, we were inspired to create National Ask An Atheist Day 2011 on Wednesday, April 13th -- a day on which secular student groups across the country can work together to defeat stereotypes about atheism and encourage courteous dialogue between believers and nonbelievers alike.

We're hoping that, by asking secular groups nationwide to join us in celebration, we can draw more attention to the event as a whole and increase awareness -- maybe even help Ask An Atheist catch on within the larger secular community!


Are you an officer or member of a secular group? Here's how you can get involved!
  1. Table during the day and hand out flyers, FAQ sheets, etc. Gather volunteers to answer questions for passersby.
  2. Print (or contact the SSA for) some of these snazzy "Atheist... Ask Away!" stickers and distribute them to your membership (and/or any willing members of the secular community) before the event. Ask them to wear the stickers Wednesday, April 13th as they go about daily routines.
You can download a PDF of the sticker design HERE.

The stickers are aligned for printing on Avery 5395 Name Badge Label Paper (or any label paper which explicitly states that it's equivalent to Avery 5395). We suggest Matte White. Please note that normal printing will offset the alignment -- you must select BORDERLESS printing. You can usually find this setting under [Print Properties].

RSVP via our Facebook event page, and help spread the word!

Together, we can work towards a more peaceful world, free of the prejudice that so often plagues nonbelievers. Join us in celebration, and there's a distinct possibility you'll be able to look back on this and say you participated in the first ever National Ask An Atheist Day -- the event that started it all!

UPDATE: For additional resources, click here.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Church-State Crusader Cleanses Creationism from Classroom

From the Chicago Tribune via Skeptic Money.

 Rob Sherman continues his tireless efforts to keep religion out of schools and government.
Libertyville High School officials have confirmed that a teacher was referencing creationism in a science classroom, and said steps have been taken to ensure the religious views are eliminated from the curriculum.
Community High School District 128 administrators were responding to comments during a recent school board meeting, where Buffalo Grove-based activist Rob Sherman said he had been contacted by a student's older sibling. The student had complained that a biology and human genetics teacher, Beau Schaefer, had been promoting creationist beliefs and attempting to discredit evolution, Sherman said.
Active members of the group may recall that we brought Sherman to speak about his activism last semester. Some highlights include fighting the mandatory moment of silence in Illinois schools, challenging a Ten Commandments monument in Marion, IL, and suing over a state grant to the Bald Knob Cross in Southern Illinois. Unfortunately, it seems that he's had some setbacks lately, so this victory is heartening.

The full story is here.

Sherman's website

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It would be inadvISSAble to miss this week's meeting.

Greetings, gnarly non-believers!

We hope you thoroughly enjoyed your Unofficial! Now that you're (hopefully) sobered up let's take a look at all the exciting things we have going on:


THIS WEEK (READ ME!)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DIFFERENT LOCATION!
Yep, you heard right! This week's meeting (and only this week's) will be in Gregory Hall, room 319. Same day of the week and time as usual though: Thursday, March 10th at 7pm. The building is on the quad, right next to Foellinger. Click here for a map.


On the agenda...
This week we're having Greta Christina, atheist/LGBT blogger, coming in to talk to us! She's written a lot of interesting stuff, some related to atheism and some not (for a short sample of her work, check out Are We having Sex Now or What?). She'll talk about scripture, spirituality, secularism, and sex, and explore such questions as, "How can individuals view sexual ethics without a belief in God?" and "How can people view sexual transcendence without a belief in the supernatural?" Invite your friends and say you're attending through the facebook event!


ISSA at Murphy's (with Greta!)

After the meeting Greta will be coming with us to Murphy's, so if you want to talk to her more come along!


UPCOMING EVENTS (NEW THINGS ADDED!)-------------------------------------------------------


Michael Shermer -- April 12th
We could not be more pleased to announce Michael Shermer as one of this semester's speakers! Mr. Shermer is a very active member of the skeptic community, author of Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time, and even gave a rousing TED talk a few years back! 

American Atheists Conference- April 22st-24th
This April we are going to drive to Iowa to go to the annual American Atheists conference, this year in Des Moines, Iowa. It's about a five and a half hour drive, so we will be having a ROADTRIP! Among many awesome speakers will be none other than Christopher Hitchens, so you will definitely want to come. Conferences are a great way to get to know your members better and are a lot of fun in general. More details about the event here, and If you're interested put your name and info on our sign-up sheet

Want to help make ISSA awesome?
As strange as it sounds, it's already time to start thinking about elections for next year! If you think you may want to be involved and have questions/comments/concerns, simply respond to this email or talk to Franklin (or another officer) sometime, and we can discuss what positions might be right for you. I hear they hang out at Murphy's on Thursday nights.

Open call for blog entries -- ONGOING
Got something secular(ish) on your mind? BLOG ABOUT IT! Posts from members are always welcome and wanted -- email illiniSSA@illinois.edu if you're interested.

Love,
ISSA

_______________________________________________________
Can't get enough of us? ISSA online!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

We find your lack of faith dISSAturbing.

Greetings, tipsy heretics!

If you made it to last week's ISSA Barcrawl, you're probably almost sober again by now... Just in time for Unofficial! We beseech you -- stay with it another 48 hours! Good stuff to come...

THIS WEEK --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This week's meeting will be at the usual time in the usual place: Thursday, March 3rd at 7pm in Mechanical Engineering Building, room 253. Click here for a map.

On the agenda...
We are delighted to welcome ISSA's founder, Chris Calvey, back for what promises to be a fascinating presentation on his area of academic expertise! Specifically, Chris will address the study behind a paper he recently helped author (Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome) and the implications it has on the question of God's existence!


On another note, CLUB TEES ARE IN! Get yours ASAP! Only $12, cash or check. Please make checks payable to Ben Ostick.


ISSA at Murphy's!

After the meeting, we'll adjourn to Murphy's, as is our tradition. We welcome anyone and everyone who can make it, regardless of whether or not you plan to drink. It's a great chance to get to know us -- your officers -- better!

Food for Freethought @ Karthik's -- March 6th
Food for Freethought will be at Karthik's apartment this week! Whoa! Brace yourself for some yummy Indian and/or vegetarian fare at 12pm, Sunday. If you want more info (rides, location), just reply to this email or request to join our Food for Freethought email list!
UPCOMING EVENTS ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Greta Christina -- March 10th

We're thrilled to welcome atheist blogger, sexpert and LGBT advocate Greta Christina to the U of I campus! A few of our members had the honor of seeing Ms. Christina speak at Skepticon this year, and are raving about her even now! For this speaking event, our weekly meeting (7pm Thursday) will be in the roomier Gregory Hall 319.

ISSA Party - March 12th
Our party has been pushed back a week. Note the change! Details and a Facebook event page to come.

Ask An Atheist II - April 8th
It's baaaaccccckkkk! And this one's gonna be bigger and better! Further details pending, but we want to get each and every one of you in on this round of Ask An Atheist -- stickers and all.

Michael Shermer -- April 12th
We could not be more pleased to announce Michael Shermer as one of this semester's speakers! Mr. Shermer is a very active member of the skeptic community, author of several books, including Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time, and even gave a rousing TED talk a few years back! The talk will be held in MSEB 100.


Open call for blog entries -- ONGOING
Got something secular(ish) on your mind? BLOG ABOUT IT! Articles from members are always welcome, and much appreciated -- email IlliniSSA@illinois.edu if you're interested or have any questions!


...And much more to come!
Keep up with our emails! This is shaping up to be an eventful semester, and we want you on board.

<3 <3 <3
Your ISSA Officers


_______________________________________________________
Can't get enough of us? ISSA online!