Treva Flores | Staff Writer
It’s welcome day at Riverside City College and Terracina Drive is filled, end-to-end, with vendors, clubs, and activities.
There’s nothing unusual about a few religious clubs out, persuading you to join their club, but suddenly you notice a club for atheists, agnostics, and nonbelievers.
Adam Wright and Chris Stewart decided now is the time for change by creating RCC’s first Secular Student Alliance.
“The purpose is first and foremost to be able to provide a community for atheists, agnostics, and other non-believers on campus,” said Adam Wright.
This is the first group that Wright and Stewart have led, but they have had a helping hand in the process.
The National SSA sent Wright information, welcome packages and will provide funding in the future for certain events.
Wright is excited to start the first SSA on RCC’s campus.
“There are a lot of things that go into it such as communicating with a lot of people at one time, but if you surround yourself with good people it’s easier to get the job done,” said Wright.
Wright and Stewart plan on recruiting younger members so the club will continue after they are long gone.
They both want to make sure SSA is a permanent part of RCC, as the religious groups are.
The group is planning days such as “Stone an Atheist.”
This is where students will be able to throw water balloons at members of the club for a small fee.
All the money collected by the club will then be donated to a charity of choice.
Hug an Atheist Week, the first week of October, will also be an option for students to participate in.
Students will pay to hug an atheist during this week and the money raised will go towards lymphoma research.
The club plans to have many more events, speakers and charity works in the future to maintain a positive view towards the club itself.
“It gets the club out there, letting other non-believers know there’s someone out there for them, we’ll be helping the community see that we are not angry or mean, and we’re helping people who benefit from the research and worthy causes from all of the donations,” said Stewart.
Wright and Stuart think that non-believers have been hugely under represented on campus.
The SSA is going to be here to provide a safe haven for the small percentage of atheists, agnostics and non-believers of every kind.
The club developed to focus on the fact that there are other people around with a lack of faith and coming out atheists have a place to go.
Wright and Stewart want to make sure atheists have a place to go where they are comfortable and welcome.
They want students to be able to relate to people who are experiencing the same struggles.
They’re fighting for equality and the separation of church and state and are well on their way to becoming another one of the faces on campus.