Thursday, September 15, 2011

Minutes from the last two meetings

Sep 1

Sep 8

Secular Student Week!

The week of September 19th through the 22nd, SANE will be hosting the largest secular event ever seen on the ETSU campus!  On Monday the 19th and Wednesday the 21st, we will bring back our popular "Ask an Atheist" table which was well-received and led to a lot of interesting discussion when it was previously held.  On Tuesday the 20th, we will host an event called "Stone the Heathen" in which we will put ourselves at the mercy of our fellow students (armed with water balloons) to raise a bit of money.  To top off this action-packed week of secular awesomeness, we will be host to one of the atheist community's most outspoken voices: JT Eberhard!  JT is the campus organizer for the Secular Student Alliance (SSA) and one of the co-founders of the popular skeptic convention Skepticon.  The topic is " Morality Without Religion: An Introduction to Atheism."  We are proud to have JT with us and extremely excited that we are getting the chance to expose other students to a secular worldview and hopefully dispel some of those nasty myths about us eating babies!  The event will be held in Rogers-Stout room 118 at 7pm.  For more information, check out our facebook (links to events are below).  It will truly be a week beyond belief! -Day 1
confirmation pending -Day2 -Day 3 -Day 4

Monday, August 15, 2011

Secular Student Alliance Conference 2011!!!!

On the final weekend of July, Ben Luther, Dini Williams, Joseph Rasch and myself had the utmost pleasure of attending the 2011Secular Student Alliance national conference in Columbus, Ohio. It was on Friday morning that we embarked on our 7- hour journey from the comfort of our homes in Johnson City. I actually thought I would sleep for the vast majority of the trip, considering the intense amount of excitement and anticipation that had given me a rather difficult time falling asleep the night before. However, this would not be the case.

We passed through Kentucky, which was entertaining in the way that you might think blindfolding a wolverine and shoving it down your trousers would seem a good idea. Fortunately for us, Dini just so happened to have The Book of Mormon: The Musical on CD and thus commenced the hilarity and hijinks of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. It was almost annoyingly catchy with songs like “Two by Two” and “Hasa Jeeba Eebowai.” It definitely did the job of keeping us thoroughly entertained, as we couldn’t resist singing along in hilarity. Here and there, as we journeyed, we contemplated existence and reminisced over past experiences.

Once we arrived in Columbus, it took us a bit of time to figure the approximate location of our destination. Whether you choose to entertain the idea, “How many atheists does it take to find an engineering building?” or just merely imagine herding cats, it can go on the record that the map of Ohio State was very difficult to interpret. Many of the roads and buildings were unnamed, thus adding a wedge in our ability to quite figure out where in Hell we were going (no pun intended). On the bright side, while being a rather hot day in Columbus, we did get a good tour of the entire campus. The university was actually very nice and had many exquisite places of recreation, such as a pondthat was surrounded by very beautiful landscaping. It made me think of students studying by the waters on a pleasant, sunny day. Eventually, we arrived at the Hitchcock Building and found a vast number of conference attendees and speakers mingling outside of the auditorium where we would enjoy seeing Hemant Mehta being presented with a pie resembling the typical diet of an atheist: babies!!! Oh the blasphemy…

Later that same evening, Annie Callicotte would presentideas on networking, followed by David Silverman, giving his “rally the troops” speech. We would also have the privilege of listening to Jamila Bey’s speech, motivating others to not deny who you are, but to be proud of it. The presentations would end with an awesome jam session with Dan Barker, Lyz Liddell and the ever so infamous JT Eberhard.

We were quite starving by the end of the first night, so we made our way to the first thing any good atheist would conceive: pizza! Apparently, great minds think alike, for we were to be joined by a large group also attending the conference. Our poor waiter was the only one serving tables at this time of night. Hopefully, he went home with a rather nice tip.

Friday was quite a tiresome journey, so it would be a somewhat early night for us. Saturday morning, however, we were primed and ready to go. We put on our best outfits and prepped ourselves for a highly motivating day of presentations on numerous topics from organizing events and fundraisers, to reaching out to other groups and networking. Since there were normally two presentations going on at one given time, we decided to split up and take notes, so we would be able to fully utilize our time at the conference. After a pleasant lunch at Jimmy John’s, we would return to the main conference auditorium and listen to Hemant discuss teaching critical thinking skills and the shortcomings of standardized testing in our school systems. We also got to hear firsthand Amanda Knief’s accounts of lobbying as an atheist. It was surprising considering that she had actually had the privilege of speaking with President Obama anddiscussed strategies regarding contacting government representatives.

More presentations would ensue in the downstairs lecture halls, discussing sustainability, tabling and becoming a media pirate (minus the scurvy). This would be a short stint of lectures. Before we knew it, we were returning to the conference auditorium to listen to Dan Barker discuss his former years as a Christian songwriter and preacher. I thoroughly enjoyed his lecture in particular because I could relate to it, coming from a religious background myself and having previous experience in ministry. I had always thought of myself as a late bloomer to the atheist movement but I had nothing on Dan Barker, considering he had spent decades in ministry work before denouncing his faith. Professor Tony Pinn gave a very interesting perspective on reaching out to minorities. It was highly enjoyable listening to his rant regarding his utmost love for Tupac. Apparently he knows something I don’t…

Afterward, group photos would ensue followed by dinner. When we returned, it was time for the awards and honors ceremony, where we would be presented with the Best Service Award for our fundraising and networking efforts during Japanapalooza. However, that would not be the highlight of the night. We would have the privilege of sharing the podium with so many inspiring people! Listening to the accounts of other groups and individuals pushing forth and persevering was fantastic, especially some of the high school individuals such as Zack Kopplin, who is currently fighting the recent creationism law inappropriately named the Louisiana Science Education Act and who made an absolute fool out of presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann who supports the act. Not only obtaining the support of many national science communities and organizations, Zack also mustered up the support of over 40 Nobel Laureates, a number that disproves Bachmann’s claim that she could match it (hint, the number of Nobel Laureates Bachmann has supporting her is the same number of unicorn sightings over the past decade… none).

Then there was little Jessica Ahlquist, who despite being harassed, not only by other students at her school but also by adults that you would think would act in a mature and professional manner, has entered in a legal suit against her high school that despite warning from the ACLU has refused to remove a religious banner from their gymnasium entitled “School Prayer.” Jessica’s story was incredible and nothing short of inspiring and motivating, a testimony of true perseverance and all the more reason why organizations such as ours are critical for future generations to come.

On top of getting to hear Jessica’s firsthand account of the situation, we would get to hear great speeches by writer Greta Christina and the notorious PZ Myers. Greta would speak to us on how debating religion was actually fruitful while Myers would preach the good word of godless, fierce science!

It was then time to commence the celebrating and shenanigans at Buffalo Wild Wings. It was there I would have the privilege of sharing a few beers with PZ Myers and many others while discussing topics such as funding for the James Webb Space Telescope, preserving the environment and the necessity of reaching the stars. Also, another little hint: If you want to buy PZ a drink, buy him a Guinness!

Sunday was a sobering day (in more ways than one). We would enjoy a few more presentations in the lecture rooms and finally begin saying our farewells and departing on our journey back to Johnson City. On a lighter note, we would enjoy experiencing the absurd hilarity of comedian Patton Oswalt on the way back from Ohio, and once again indulging in moments of storytelling with brief intervals of incapacitation (all but the driver of course). All in all, the experience we had at the national conference was one that will keep us moving into the fall and spring term with optimism and determination. After witnessing the feats of others, and recollecting on our own experiences, a cause like ours is unstoppable. With each day comes a promise of tomorrow and a brighter (once again, no pun intended) future for others, a future of compassion, reason and logic. Here’s to the Secular Student Alliance!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

S.A.N.E Receives Best Service Award given by the Secular Student Alliance

Ladies and gentleheathens, it gives me great joy to announce that S.A.N.E. is to be the recipient of the Best Service Award given by the Secular Student Alliance. Next weekend a few of us will be embarking on a three day trip to the national conference to be presented with the award, and that's just the icing on the cake. While at the conference taking place in Columbus, Ohio, we will be enjoying the company of like-minded organizations, and the privilege of meeting such great intellectuals and speakers as PZ Myers, professor of biology at Minnesota Morris; Hemant Mehta, author of I Sold My Soul on Ebay; Campus Organizer for the SSA, JT Eberhard and many many more! It's going to be an absolutely life-changing experienced and I can't be more thrilled and honored to be making our "pilgrimage" with my fellow comrades in reason and rationality.

I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible in such short time. I could've never dreamed to have accomplished what we have in such little time. I remember starting as a social gathering at the Acoustic Coffeehouse, and we have now blossomed into a forefront organization within our community seeking to make a difference and lead by example. I know that this is only the beginning and I couldn't be happier to be in the company of dedicated, ambitious individuals. Each and every one of you is invaluable and irreplaceable, and I cannot express enough gratitude and honor that we share this common endeavor, to lead a new paradigm of thought and reason, to go beyond all odds to be the educators and bringers of progress and innovation.

Perry Winters

"Shake off all fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God, because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson

Friday, July 1, 2011

S.A.N.E. Goes to Bays Mountain!

This last Wednesday June 29th of 2011 the Skeptics and Atheists Network at ETSU (S.A.N.E.) had an awesome outing to the local Bays Mountain Park. Several members attended to take part of the awesome surroundings of nature and fill our minds with rationality. The park is chock full of opportunities to better understand science and nature.

The first thing we did was carpool from the ETSU campus to the local Earth Fare to purchase some snacks for our picnic style lunch in the park. The park has a few tables that allowed us to not have to leave the park literally for the entire four hours we were there. We went from Earth Fare in Johnson City straight to Bays Mountain and upon arriving went straight to the Nature Center.

The Nature Center is where you can go to check things like the gift shop out as well as various dioramas and cool science related things. It is a cool place to get out of the warm weather and to also purchase the needed tickets for things like the Planetarium Show. I was able to get six passes to the Planetarium show from my family membership to the park and I purchased on extra to make up the difference in attendees. We also got to check out the indoor aquariums and beehive areas. The beehives were an interesting look into the social characteristics of bees from a safe area with glass between. The aquarium was great to see the various local wildlife in the area held within the aquariums so we could see that Tennessee is full of valuable lake life.

Right after getting the tickets and checking things out indoors we went straight to the animal enclosures to take in the awesomeness of the park. We made our very first animal stop to the turtle habitat. The turtles were quite playful and fun to just watch within their area. We then went to the nearby raptor bird enclosures. We got to get fairly close to Bubo the Owl as well as check out the other birds hanging out in their cages. It was a great initial experience that then led us to the bobcat, wolf, raccoon, and deer enclosures. We really spent about an hour or so checking out these various enclosures and animal habitats before going to the area known as Lilypad Cove where you can relax in the sun checking out the bridge that goes fairly deeply into the lake within an alcove. After relaxing there for about ten minutes we then headed to the not so playful otter habitat. It seemed with the weather being somewhat warm most animals were mor than fine with staying in the shaded areas away from out prying eyes.

After checking out the awesome animals for about two hours total we then headed back to the parking lot to eat lunch at the picnic tables before heading off to the Planetarium Show at 1pm. We then headed back to the Nature Center and much to our surprise our guide for the Planetarium Show was one of our very own members Joel Shelton. He is currently employed at Bays Mountain and is the individual that does the interactive show in the planetarium. We were served with a treat because not only is he a member but is able to provide science to younger crowds as we experienced that day.

We happened to attend the same day that Coalition For Kids was there with several busloads of excited children ready to be immersed in science and nature. When we went to the planetarium show we were met with about fifty of those kids super excited about space and science anxiously awaiting the impending show. The show is an interactive trip through our Solar System in the guise of being transported in a spaceship. We got to see the excited faces of young people witness what it is like to travel through the Solar System virtually via the awesome 360 degree view of the planetarium. We also got to get some basic information about the planets in our system and some information on the other objects within our system like the Oort Cloud. It seemed by the responses everyone had an amazing time at the planetarium show and left with full smiles ready to tackle the future.

After leaving the theater we then headed back to a few of the animal habitats to check out some of the animals some more. We got to witness the feeding of the wolves and see the kids reacting to that event. After watching that for a bit we then headed out of the park to head back to Johnson City but not with great excitement. It was truly a fun experience to see the various animals and local wildlife available to us from a great vantage point. This might have to be a yearly event with eventually leading to us perhaps volunteering or bringing more local people so they can be more in touch with our local nature.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

S.A.N.E. at Cloister's Co-op Benefit Concert

The Cloister's Co-op Benefit Concert was held at the Next Door right next to the Acoustic Coffeehouse to help raise money to help open the co-op art gallery in downtown Johnson City. S.A.N.E. was privileged to be asked to have a table with our info available. Of course this was an opportunity not to be missed.

We had lots of information available as well as open discussion encouraged. I personally had several lovely discussions regarding atheism/agnosticism. We had several people show interest by signing up on our email list so we are steadily growing.

Overall it was respectful and fantastic to have the chance to build more community relationships. Be on the lookout for further events where we try to foster further respectful discussions on these important issues. Free speech is pinnacle to a rational society and we should be at the forefront at facilitating that speech.

Are you S.A.N.E.?

Joseph Rasch
(423) 218-2245

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

CFI Recognizes S.A.N.E. as an Affiliate!

We recently become recognized as an affiliate with the Center For Inquiry! A CFI intern contacted me personally to see if anyone was going to the 2011 Student Leadership Conference in Amherst, NY on June 23rd-26th. This awesome person also wanted to inform me that we had been a previous affiliate but just needed to update the information to make the affiliation fully active once more.

We now should have access to the various support channels and resources afforded to affiliates of the CFI. This should allow us to have many more events planned to really take this group forward. With both CFI and SSA along with our passionate members there is very little we cannot accomplish. As it stands we are really keeping a good vibe going within town and on campus so the best thing is to really keep this going.

As we grow internally and externally, I would encourage everyone to be as involved as they would like and the more the better. Even a few minutes a week will help take the entire group forward thus advancing the ideas of rationality, logic, and reasoning in the framework of respectful free speech.

Thanks for everything our members are doing and if anyone has ideas or wants help growing within the group just let me or anyone on the executive committee know. We will do our best to meet your needs as well as do our best to help you grow however you best see fit. The more we can help each other while growing our membership the better we stand at having a meaningful discussion with our community and our campus. Thanks!

Joseph Rasch

Recent Blue Plum Festival Excitement on June 3rd&4th!

This past weekend, (Friday&Saturday June 3rd&4th) S.A.N.E. had a tabling event at the annual Blue Plum Festival hosted in downtown Johnson City, TN. Majestic Park hosted the various non-profit groups/entities to give ample space for engaging the masses. Several members helped to give a face to the Skeptics and Atheists Network at ETSU both by being at the table and by actively meshing with local people. We had at least a couple members stay the entire day on Saturday which is to be highly commended. Having several members at these tabling events is crucial to making it a success and this seems a good example of just that.

There were a few highlights of the day's events, on Saturday, such as having a meaningful and respectful conversation with a local pastor from the New Harvest Missionary Baptist Church in Johnson City. After about an hour's worth of deep questions Jon Webstar cordially asked if he would be interested in continuing the discussion via the web as well as hopefully leading towards having a future debate with the pastor. The responses seemed to be warm from both ends of the discussion even when being confronted by myself, Jon, and Perry Winters. The pastor was a genuinely nice guy and wasn't abrasive whatsoever. Overall it seems to be where we should be headed with regards to having an open dialogue with people of all belief structures.

We had people of different viewpoints pop by and gander at our distinctively different material while some cautiously snuck a few pamphlets and fliers from the table when we weren't looking. It seemed as though most people either took one of two approaches when dealing with our table: either they blatantly ignored us completely, or they chose to make some effort at getting material or having a conversation of some sort. While there were the few errant folks that snuck some materials from the table in hopes of not being seen, the sense I and other members got was that we had a place in our community and that the issues are worth openly discussing without fear.

It was exciting to be situated across from several christian based table setups that ended up being an almost competition of ideals. Nothing hostile in the intentions of either side and to some extent it was healthy and exciting. I actually found myself being given pointers from one of the coordinators from the church group directly across from us to elicit more people to our table. It was really electrifying to caterwaul phrases such as, "free atheist material" and "you might be an atheist but not yet realize it" towards the crowds and the reactions we received immediately afterward. To be fairly honest it was nowhere near the wicked looks I half expected. If anything it seemed to embolden me and a few other members to be more outright in our being a member of the S.A.N.E.

The responses we received overall seemed wonderful considering it was our first venture into the community in the thick of it all. We literally went into the belly of the beast as it were of Johnson City and fared exceptionally well. I am quite optimistic that we will have future tabling events around town. I look forward to having more discourse with people in the community and make aware competing views of all kinds to get the mental juices flowing. The more we can openly discuss these matters the more we can have a healthy community that truly cares about one another.

If you have any thoughts regarding our event and how we did well or could do better then please leave feedback either in the comments below or shoot an email to any of our executive board. All ideas will be carefully looked at and perhaps your ideas will be the basis for our next event.

Joseph Rasch

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hands On! Museum Adventure

Several members of the group went excitedly to the Hands On! museum in downtown Johnson City on a chilly May the 18th. The adventure that took place was well worth recording. For about $8.00 you can have a great time in a science filled setting. It is filled with science exhibits that make science fun and educational.

We ended up having about six members show up that traversed every inch of that wonderful place. We checked out everything from the ideas behind coal mining to checking out how a faux bank and faux grocery store. They had everything from the inner&outer workings of a vehicle to a scale to educate the average person on how to budget money. They even had a dark room comprised of wall plates comprised of a phosphorescent composite that when flashed with the light source, every fifteen seconds, would temporarily store your silhouette and was quite fun. The bubbles in the basement section were fairly difficult to manage but fun. The highlights of our adventure were the large scale replica of an ark and a huge self-standing pin art piece.

The pin art was molded carefully molded into an awesome image of Abraham Lincoln trapped in carbonite. The resemblance was uncanny and displayed how a toy can be turned into an even greater learning tool. Granted after going through the museum a bit more the image was disheveled by the other museum-goers but it was fun while it lasted. The sidebar image is of the awesome artwork created.

The ark was a huge replica of what the actual ark was supposed to look like. Of all the exhibits we enjoyed this is by far the one we ended up going through the most. We went through to get a smirk several times and looking back we should have taken a picture or two. The quarters for the animals were cramped and easily didn't have every species possible. The interesting item to note is that they only had one of the various species and not two of each one as the Bible claims.

Overall it was a great time had by all in attendance. I imagine we shall have several more similar event this summer. Next up on the agenda of science events is to visit Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium for our summer of science and reasoning.

For anyone interested in this or future events check out our Facebook group page as well as messaging our group at We will respond as quickly as we can and look forward to future events.

Joseph Rasch

Saturday, May 7, 2011

April 19th & 27th Meetings

April 19

Meeting began at 5:32 pm. Officers present President Joseph Rasch, Vice President Perry Winters, Secretary Sheree Jackson, Treasurer Dini Williams, Social Media David Carroll.
  • Nominations for officers were discussed. Positions available are: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Social Media, Audio/Visual.
  • Japanapalooza was a great success, and we raised over $1,000 in humanitarian aid.
  • Ask an Atheist/Agnostic booth was successful, with many interested people stopping by with questions.

Meeting adjourned at 5:48 pm. 

April 27

Meeting begun at 5:32 pm. Officers present are President Joseph Rasch, Vice President Perry Winters, Secretary Sheree Jackson, Treasurer Dini Williams and Social Media David Carroll.
  • Discussed the constitution, which is in desperate need of a re-write.
  • Discussed upcoming elections, which will take place next meeting; also electing an officer for the position of Events Coordinator
  • Discussed “Are You Going to Hell?” booth, and the people who stopped to talk to the volunteers.
  • Officers nominated and in office for fall semester 2011: President Perry Winters, Vice President Bryce Watson, Secretary Ben Luther, Treasurer Dini Williams, Social Media David Carroll.

Meeting adjourned at 6:00 pm. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

First official charity event of S.A.N.E: Japanapalooza

It was a phenomenal weekend helping raise money for the humanitarian effort in Japan. We had an incredible amount of help and support from the Japanese Cultural Society, the BUC Anime Club at ETSU, The Dharma Community at ETSU, Vegans and Vegetarians of the Tri-Cities, and Campus Crusade for Christ.

We kicked off Friday night with fantastic performances: the night started with acoustic acts such as Revelator Station, St. Dominic and A Great Disaster. As the night went on, the music would gradually go from one dynamic to another. Black Roof Country played some fantastic classic rock tunes familiar to us all. Wayne Quasar and the Solar Flares would be followed by such equally impressive acts as The Lovely Goodbye and a solo act from Via la Vulture. Up next would be the notoriously entertaining Kryss Dula & Friends, with whom I had the pleasure of performing two songs. Finally, we ended the night with yet another fantastic performance by Contact the Militia. After all was said and done, we had raised over 800 dollars in the first night!

Saturday night featured some acts tailored to the heavier music scene in the Tri-Cities. We started off with To the Bitter End, followed by Matriculation. Unfortunately Sons of Cronos were unable to attend but thanks to Steven Garnett of the Vegans and Vegetarians of the Tri-Cities, we were able to get his very own band, The Velvet Cowboys to perform. Insanitarium and the equally brutal A Soul Disowned rallied the masses for some heavy metal mayhem. Later on, I would have the privilege of performing with Decade of Deceit. Finally, we ended the night with the fantastic energy of Plagueworn and Bacalou. By the time everything was finished, even after deducting our expenses, we wound up raising a total of over a 1050 dollars!

All in all, Japanapalooza turned into a success story that went above and beyond expectations. Many people took the opportunity to enter for the prize of a specially made electric guitar, donated by the ETSU Guitar Building community. Besides raising money for a good cause, we showed the power of unity; we showed the world that despite the vast differences that people may have, we could still work together as one to help our fellow man in crisis. This is a message that I think the world needs, especially at a time like this.

There is an incredible amount of people I cannot thank enough for their help and support. Jamie Dove of the Galaxy Lounge and his staff helped us incredibly, and I thank them for their enthusiasm. I also would like to thank Jim of the Acoustic Coffeehouse for giving us a venue to host the Saturday event. Another special thanks to Keith Smith of EKS for his sound engineering, and to Gregg Searles and DJ Non-Stop for Djing both events. Another big thanks to the ETSU guitar building community and BUCtainment for promotions. To all our volunteers and sponsors who helped at Japanapalooza, I thank you dearly. I would also like to thank the incredible bands that came out and gave the masses a good time for a good cause. We could not have had such a great success, were it not for the hard work and effort of every single person involved.

I hope with success stories like this that our organization may continue to flourish and host similar events in the future. Congratulations everyone!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

March 23rd & 30th Meetings

March 23

Meeting begun at 5:39 pm. Officers present President Joseph Rasch, Vice President Perry Winters, Secretary Sheree Jackson, Treasurer Dini Williams, Social Media Director David Carroll.

  • Discussed relief concert for Japan; groups that are interested in working with S.A.N.E include the Japanese Cultural Society, The Well, Crew, R.U.F., FMLA. It would an off-campus event: The Next Door or Galaxy Lounge downtown. Dates discussed were April 15th and /or April 16th, 2011. Discussed dividing up the event into: rock (hardcore, punk and ska) and acoustic nights. Also, have sidewalk booths for the groups represented in the event.
  • “Japanapalooza: The Benefit Relief Concert for Japan” was chosen for the name of the concert.
  • Discussed group flyers and possibilities for a group logo; David volunteered to create several options and post them on the blog, so it could be put to a vote.
  • Discussed the “Ask an Atheist” booth, especially now that we have flyers and information to hand out, provided by the Secular Student Society.

Meeting adjourned at 6:32 pm.

March 30

Meeting began at 5:38 pm. Officers present President Joseph Rasch, Vice President Perry Winters, Secretary Sheree Jackson, Treasurer Dini Williams, Social Media Director David Carroll.
  • Flyers handed out to establish a Secular Student Alliance on campus.
  • Discussion of Japanapoolza’s progression – potential new venue, as well as catering for the event, including advertising through Buctainment, radio and local news station.
  • Discussing the presentation given a couple months ago, including its pros and cons, and ways to improve it.
  • East Tennessee Freethinkers Group is meeting at Barnes & Nobles at 7 pm. Everyone welcome.

Meeting adjourned at 6:03 pm. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

JAPANAPALOOZA Benefit Concert for Japan

JAPANAPALOOZA Benefit Concert for Japan

Friday, April 15 at 4:00pm - April 17 at 2:00am

(FRIDAY) The Galaxy Lounge, (SATURDAY) The Next Door
216 E. Main Street, 415 W. Walnut Street
Johnson City, TN

Created By

More Info

In order to raise money for the humanitarian effort that continues in Japan, S.A.N.E. will be working with numerous other campus organizations to host a spectacular weekend event of music and fun. On the 15th of April we will be having our "light" night and on the 16th we’ll be having our "heavy" night. The event is for all ages. Bring all your friends and gather in this community opportunity to make a difference and have a positive effect on the lives of the Japanese people.

Current acts include:

Contact the Militia
Via la Vulture
Lovely Goodbye
Kryss Dula & Friends
A Great Disaster
Revelator Station
Wayne Quasar and the Solar Flare
Black Roof Country
St. Dominic

Decade of Deceit
A Soul Disowned
Sons of Cronos
To the Bitter End

Japanese Cultural Society
Vegans and Vegetarians of the Tri-Cities
Reformed University Fellowship at ETSU
ETSU BUC Anime Club
ETSU Campus Crusade for Christ

Since this is a charity event,donations fo 5 dollars are greatly encouraged and appreciated at the event. Look forward to see everyone there. Let's go out, have fun and make a difference!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 16th Meeting

Meeting started at 5:44 pm. Officers present are President Joseph Rasch, Vice President Perry Winters, Secretary Sheree Jackson and Social Media Director David Carroll.
  • T-shirt designs were discussed. 
  • Layouts for shadowbox was discussed, including seeking permission to place the group’s information there. 
  • Booth ideas were discussed, including what information might be handed out to people, to send a positive message about the society to the campus. 
  • Discussed a project, “Send an Atheist to Church” to raise money for charity. 
  • Raising money for Japanese aid was discussed, perhaps partnering with Second Harvest for a food drive, or by raising monetary aid. 
  • A Milligan College group is interested in sitting in on one of our meetings, and “observing” the group’s activities. 
  • We have been recognized by the Secular Student Association. 
  • The Philosophy Club at ETSU and the Department of Philosophy will be hosting the Philosophy Conference at the Carnegie Hotel on Friday at 2 pm and beginning Saturday at 8 am, where philosophical papers will be presented to the public.
  • A discussion of “what atheism is” commenced.

Meeting adjourned at 7:15 pm. 

March 2nd Meeting

Meeting started at 5:33 pm. All officers present.

  • The meeting begun with a discussion of the presentation given last night by Perry Winters, Jon Shell, April Alexander and Joseph Rasch. The presentation went well, and was successful. It was suggested that the presentation slides should be reduced so that the presentation can be utilized productively in a classroom setting.  The presentation gave the presenters an opportunity to show the fallacy of atheists trying to push some kind of ‘agenda’.
  • A booth/tabling event on campus was discussed, and the list of volunteers was updated. An emphasis was placed on promoting the group, increasing campus awareness.
  • Re-naming the group was discussed, to give us a more professional appearance to those on campus. 
  • Voting was taken on these various names: “Secular Association of Atheists & Freethinkers” (S.A.A.F.); “Atheist and Freethinker Club”;  “Society of Atheists, Agnostics and Freethinkers”; “Skeptics and Atheists Network at ETSU” (S.A.N.E); “Atheist Freethought Society at ETSU”.  
  • “Skeptics and Atheists Network at ETSU” (S.A.N.E) was chosen as the official name of the group, replacing the name “ETSU Atheist and Freethinker Club”.
  • Attendance was encouraged for several upcoming campus events, to bring campus awareness to the group. 
  • It was discussed setting up a mock voting booth, where a person could vote what their religion is, and what religion they were raised in - anonymously. The data would be utilized to raise awareness of the group, and to begin a discussion.          
  • A list was made of professors responsive to or open to the concept of the group, and be willing to associate their name for events, etc.          
  • It was proposed that the last Wednesday of every month, we go to a social venue and/or watch a movie as a group. This proposal was accepted.         
  • The group now has a shadow box in the Culp Center, which is locked and cannot be vandalized. Members are encouraged to create different posters for this box.
  • To help legitimize the group off-campus, it was proposed that we gain recognition from the Secular Student Alliance.  This proposal was accepted.          
  • Sheree Jackson was assigned with creating a logo for the group, which will be submitted and voted on.

Meeting adjourned at 7:00 pm. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

ETSU Dharma Community presents "Wandering Mind" (2011)

Our highlighted member of the week is Jon Shell. He attended an event hosted by the ETSU Dharma community with an open mind and came out with a thoughtful review. here is his review and is worth discussion. Take the time to read this and if you have a chance go to an event yourself to come to a rational conclusion.
We look forward to future events where more people can attend and have open minds to come to their own conclusions on these hot topics.

So I had the wonderful...well, I take that back.


I had the interesting experience of watching a presentation by the dharma community and another group at ETSU, shown in the ball hall auditoruim just an hour ago.

The movie started describing some guy who couldn't enjoy his life, and so he goes to practice zen buddhism to find some sort of meaning for himself.

There's a lot of vague nonsense in the presentation that often contradicts itself. Such as the "don't think" philosophy, and yet they are thinking all the time to prove that you shouldn't think.

Long story short, the conclusion the young man arrived at was that he wanted to find his "not self".

what the?

Maybe I'm too much of a practical utilitarian realist, but... I don't see the point behind it all."

This post doesn't reflect the views of the entire ETSU Atheist and Freethought Club of and is provided as is for your viewing pleasure. We neither endorse nor oppose the views of the ETSU Dharma Community or the people that attends their events.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Feb 23rd Meeting

Meeting started at 5:42 pm.  Officers present: President Joseph Rasch, Vice President Perry Winters, and Secretary Sheree Jackson. 
  • A blog (this one) has been made for the group, to be utilized outside of the current Facebook page. 
  • Presentations will begin next week for the Public Health class, outlining how atheism/new atheism, theism, deism, agnosticism, polytheism, pantheism, animism and free thought are defined. 
  •  Email addresses were updated and/or added to the contact list. 
Meeting adjourned at 7:35 pm.

Thanks to Sharee for keeping the minutes!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Atheism Presentation PowerPoint

Here is a link to the revised and updated PowerPoint presentation that some of our members will be presenting on Tuesday.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

First and Second Meetings

Feb. 9 - In our first meeting, we came up with ideas for the goals of the club and possible events for the club to take part in. These goals and ideas may be viewed here.  There were 10 attendees at this meeting.

Feb. 16 - In our second meeting, we further elaborated on ideas from the first meeting and elected a council of six members.  The council are listed in the sidebar information. We also made lists of volunteers for a presentation about atheism/agnosticism for Roger Blackwell's class.  The previous powerpoint used may be viewed here. There were 13 attendees at this meeting.

The next meeting is Feb. 23 in Rogers-Stout room 118 @ 5:30pm.