Another Atheist Group Tries to Form at a Religious University

Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania — affiliated with the Presbyterian Church — could be the next home to a Secular Student Alliance group… but there’s still work to be done.

A recent article suggests that the group is already official:

Those not practicing religion are not excluded on campus. A new organization has recently been created. The Secular Student Alliance is for students who consider themselves atheist, agnostic, skeptics, and humanists to express what they believe in a nonjudgmental environment. The college has a loose affiliation now with the Presbyterian Church so students are not pressured to believe a certain way or are not forced to attend religious ceremonies.

That’s not really accurate… Jeremy Geddis and Neil Guman have been working on getting the group official recognition for months now — a tough road at any religious school, as we’ve seen elsewhere — and the body that approves of new groups has tabled the discussion up to this point. The next meeting is December 8th.

Hopefully the last hurdle will be cleared in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, if you attend the school or live close to it, please consider checking out the SSA’s upcoming meetings.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Lof2012

    Another win for free thinking and the voice of reason.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    There are hopeful signs, but don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.

    One important function of school administrations is to take plenty of time before postponing the procrastination of tabling the idea of putting off waiting a while before dithering over whether it’s either premature or very premature to hesitate and then after much deliberation in due course be circumspect about vacillating over dawdling on the idea that it’s too early to take a wait and see attitude.
    Perseverance
    and tenacity will win the day, not polite patience.

  • Erp

    I would think it would be far easier at this school than a Catholic school.  It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA (which is fairly liberal and has recently approved ordaining gays and lesbians in relationships).   They list the local UU church (well not so local, it is nearly 20 miles away) on the campus web site as a place of worship.   On the other hand they don’t have many religious student groups at all so the hurdle for approval may be fairly high for any group.

    • Anonymous

      This, and the fact that, while the school has a chapel on campus and is affiliated with the PC USA, it is not a religious school in the same ways that we normally think about.

      This, of course, does not mean it’s a slam dunk.


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