Officer Change

Greetings fellow SSUers!

Our meeting today was primarily to cover administrative tasks, most notably a change in officer structure. In addition, there will be upcoming changes to the way the SSU distributes information about upcoming topics. More information on that is forthcoming. The new officer structure is as follows:

Chair: Olivia
Tiny Chairs: Max, Taylor, Lyssa
Desk: Jack (a.k.a. Webmaster)
Filing Cabinet: Supriya (a.k.a. Secretary)

We will be holding meetings for the remaining two weeks of class. Next week’s topic will be about penal systems and criminal rehabilitation.

We hope to see you there!

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10/28 meeting Holidays

Hey everyone! This week we will be talking about holidays and how/why both religious and secular folk celebrate the way they do. We’ll also cover what happens when another group’s traditions are borrowed and commercialization of these events. Since Halloween’s almost here, we’ll also be having a bit of a potluck after our discussion. Feel free to bring anything you like! Happy Halloween!

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Meeting Topic for 10/21

Good evening, fellow SSU’ers!

The topic for discussion tomorrow will be about the collective responsibility of groups. (Thanks to Brian for the effort putting it together this week.)

Further details and discussion about the topic for this week can be found at:

http://students.washington.edu/secular/forums/topic/1021-discussion-topic/

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Meeting Topic and Questions for Monday, 10/14

Hopefully the quarter is going well for everybody. The topic for tomorrow’s meeting is Drugs — legal drugs, illicit drugs, and everything in between. Some of the questions we will discuss at the meeting include:

  • Why does our society have such an intense stigma toward drug use?
  • Why do we abide the daily use of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol by many individuals?
  • Are prescription drug always a better option than alternative treatments/substances?
  • Should there be legal punishment for simple possession and use/abuse of drugs? If so, when?
  • When is punishment preferable to treatment and vice versa?
  • Is harm reduction a viable option in today’s urban settings? Is a “War on Drugs” a viable option?
  • How do perceptions of differing methods of ingestion affect the issue? (i.e. Norway bans only the I.V. use of Heroin)
  • How does our nation’s policies compare to others? [Portugal( full decriminalization and treatment) Vs. Thailand( life sentence for simple possession of almost any illicit substance)]
  • Thanks to our excellent officers Olivia, Tara, and Brian for the topic and questions!

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First Meeting Fall Quarter

Hopefully everybody has had a great summer. Just as the quarter is warming up, so is the SSU. Our first meeting this quarter will be in Smith 309 next Monday at 5:30.

Good luck in the first week of classes, and hope to see you there!

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Volunteer Event for PAWS!

Hi everyone!!

I’m so excited about our newest event just confirmed. We will be volunteering for PAWS, people helping animals.

It will be on Saturday, January 5th from 10 am to 2 pm. We will find out the details of actual event about a week before. As of now, we will not be working directly with animals and we will be getting dirty, so wear appropriate clothes.

If you are able to go, please let us know! We look forward to having you!

 

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Volunteer Event

Here is an event Saturday Nov. 25 that supports the Seattle Humane Society at the Seattle Marathon.
The site says 15 volunteers are needed to be Course Marshalls – neat! You just make sure the runners stay on path and they’re safe.
If you’re interested, please let me know on here or on the Facebook page, and I may be able to sign us up as a group.

https://volunteer.truist.com/uwkc/org/opp/10490326583.html

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Monthly update [October]

Hi everyone, hope the first month of school has gone well. Here’s some notes from the first few meetings.

At our our first meeting, we met some new faces, lots of new people from all different majors and fields. We also talked about dogma and how it applies to both religious and secular people. Conclusion: dogma makes everyone an asshole, atheists included.

At our second meeting we talked about what makes an explanation an explanation, and what its purpose is, depending on the situation. We did not really reach a consensus, other than to agree that explaining something in simple terms to a child or the uninformed is a very different thing from explaining in accurate, scientific or technical details to a group of peers with basic knowledge of the topic. We also explored the question of whether it was appropriate to give a simplified explanation if factually the information was incorrect, but functionally it explained phenomena in a way that could be understood or applied, even if not 100% accurate. Examples included the gravity equation, and the currently accepted model of the atom with orbitals.

At the third meeting we discussed what defines a moderate versus a fundamentalist, both in religious and non-religious terms. We seemed to agree atheists could not possibly be moderately religious. We discussed reasons why people might lean toward moderate attitudes, for example in order to better fit into society, lack of commitment to either belief or non-belief in God, a movement or an idea, etc. We also got into quite a fuss discussing the various dimensions of moderation  particularly as it concerns religion. We compared devout believers with strict observances of faith, such as  Amish, Mennonites and Quakers, with proselytizers such as Mormons, Baptists and other groups with an emphasis on missionary work.  Conclusion: we don’t know about the rest of this, but Quakers and Amish are pretty cool.

At the fourth meeting, we discussed how politicians and lawmakers use their religion to guide their decision-making, whether or not this is appropriate, what they should use in place of religion, and how we distinguish from moral and religious influences in policy-making. We considered what a completely secular government would look like, whether it already exists and whether or not someone atheist or from a minority religion could ever become president. We grumbled about Republicans using God as a rationale for their laws and policies and talked about dictatorships which have suppressed religion. (Or at least, this is how I assume the conversation went as I was at work.)

We (and by “we” I mean like five of us) also participated in a lecture called “A Skeptic’s Guide to Islam”, declined an offer to attend a political debate because the host appeared to want to militantly convert others, and did a spaghetti dinner with Seattle Atheists to support Washington United For Marriage. Upcoming events are a trip to the Reptile Zoo the first weekend of November (how appropriate, for godless sinners like us), and Interfaith’s “In God We Trust” event Thursday Oct 25th at 5:30 in some as yet unspecified location and phone banking in support of the Approve R-74 movement at Hillel in conjunction with Seattle Atheists. Also, a reminder to vote (not like you’ll be able to escape politics for the next fifteen days).

Sincere heartfelt closing message to people who are not actually reading this,

 

Lyssa

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First Meeting Monday

We will be having our first meeting of the year this Monday evening, October 1st at 5:30 in  Smith 309. We will be discussing the nature of dogma in the secular community and how it relates to facts, evidence, and common misunderstandings that lead people to dismiss secular ideals.

Please note, all subsequent meetings will be held in Smith 107. We’ll be having dinner on the ave after. Looking forward to seeing all the new faces!

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Upcoming Event – A Skeptics Guide to Islam: Heina Dadabhoy

Sunday, Oct. 14th @ 4pm

Kane 210

Heina Dadabhoy spent her childhood as a practicing Muslim who never in her right mind would have believed that she would grow up to be an atheist feminist secular humanist, or, in other words, a Skepchick. She has been an active participant in atheist organizations and events in and around Orange County, CA since 2007. She is currently writing a book tentatively entitled A Skeptic’s Guide to Islam. She will be joining us to share what it’s like to go from being an American Muslim to an atheist in a Muslim family as well as answer questions about Islam.

The SSU is teaming up with Seattle Atheists to welcome Heina Dadabhoy to Seattle. Suggested donation: $5 ($10 for non-students)

Please direct all questions to secular@uw.edu

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