Free Inquiry
Appeared in Secular Humanist Bulletin, vol 13 issue 4

Striving For One Hundred

by Dave Schummer

The weekend of September 20 & 21 saw student Campus Freethought Alliance leaders converge upon the "Celebration of Freethought" seminar in Cincinnati, OH. They had good news to report. The number of CFA affiliates has steadily grown since university classes resumed in September and the number of freethought campus groups now stands at 42. Even more promising than the growth of affiliated groups is the steady influx of inquiries from students and faculty members interested in establishing new organizations at their respective colleges.

The CFA averages 10-20 new inquiries per week. Many of these represent multiple interests from a particular college. With over 200 students and 25 faculty members interested in starting campus freethought organizations CFA is well positioned to meet and exceed it's goal of 100 affiliates by the end of the '97-'98 academic year.

In addition to providing materials and support to future affiliates the CFA now has ability to search it's databases when new inquiries arrive and bring people at the same college together. It is very unlikely that these students know one another or, in most cases, will even have the opportunity to meet for the duration of their college years without our help. When multiple students from the same campus contact us here at the Center for Inquiry we have the makings of a very strong freethought group. We can't expect all students to have the time available or necessary leadership talents required to start a group on their own so this part of CFA's work is critical.

By bringing freethinking students together, CFA is fostering lifelong friendships as well as strengthening the future of the secular humanist movement. Our goal of 100 campus groups by summer 1998 seemed incredibly ambitious when we set it in June. But now with over 200 college campus contacts our goal of 100 groups looks like a strong possibility.

Dave Schummer is the Campus Freethought Alliance Coordinator for the Council for Secular Humanism.

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