Recruitin' the freshmen

This morning was Purdue’s big activities fair, where freshmen get to go scope out all the different student organizations they can join. We were there, representing the heathens:
Last year we were stuck with the religious clubs, but I think they got the hint that we didn’t belong there and we were just with some other random clubs this year. Though behind us were all of the religious clubs, and they got to see the back side of our sign – “There probably is no God, so stop worrying and enjoy your life.” We didn’t get too much trouble from freshmen. One felt they need to go give us a flyer from another booth about finding Jesus, one started swearing loudly about how dare there be atheists here, and one kid from France tried to debate us for a half hour. We got about 30 signatures for our mailing list, which is pretty good and about what we accomplished last year. Many more people were interested but didn’t sign up, so hopefully they’ll check out the website and come to the callout. We passed out about 1,500 flyers, though apparently when people actually read them, this is what happened:
Yep. 90% of the flyers on the floor are ours. I’m sure their thought process went something like, “Hmm, what’s this? Gah, atheists?!?! I MUST LITTER!”

Oh well. I’d consider the day a success!


  1. Erin... says

    Was the event held in a cave? Geesh. Anyhow, a whopping 90% of my and Chris’s Obama flyers ended up on subway tracks in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (well, 90% of the ones that weren’t thrown into our faces), but we all know how that story ended.

  2. says

    You give me some hope; I have to do a similar event on Friday. If I may ask, what sort of things do you have on your table? We have brochures, but I see many different items on your table. Thank you in advance.

  3. says

    Chris, a lot of the stuff on the table were random brochures and magazines that we were sent for free by the Center for Inquiry. Oh, and candy, people will come talk to you if you give them candy =P

  4. says

    That’s the best and true-ist advice I’ve heard yet. That’s how I won an election back in my University days – candy-based bribery.

  5. says

    I used to help run Sheffield University’s Atheist Society stall at the Fresher’s Fair. We used to get about 60 people signing up, but we could never get anywhere near this amount of people turning up to our events. We would get about 10 or so new people from the 60 that signed up, and then the numbers would dwindle throughout the year. Do you have any advice of how to get these people to actually come to the meeting, because although I’ve graduated I am still in contact with the people running the society!We never got shoved with the religious people (only been running 2 years now), we were next to the debating society. The Christian Union did made a point of putting people giving ‘free hugs’ right next to our stall though!

  6. says

    San Marcos! Ha, I went to school there, and in fact that is when I became an Atheist, though I wasn’t active per se at the time. It’s not as bad as College Station and A&M at least. And there is a healthy secular group at UT, Atheist Longhorns.Anyway Jen you are a hero. A fucking hero I say.

  7. says

    I’m just starting at UIUC (probably the one of the oldest transfer students here) and I was glad to find the booth for our SSA organization. I’ll very likely be doing the booth thing next year.As far as the discarded flyers, at least your flyers were taken by a few who will actually consider joining and participating in the organization. As far as the litter goes… shows you how uncaring some theists can be. They should take my approach and when confronted with something that I know I’m not interested in, just say no thanks to the flyer and walk on. Don’t waste the resources of another student org!

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