Saturday, June 11, 2011

What happened to BASS?

Long time readers know that last year I was president of BASS, the Bruin Alliance of Skeptics and Secularists, a student group at UCLA.  Of course, I want to compare BASS during my regime to BASS now.  If it's doing worse now, that means that maybe I wasn't so terrible a president as I thought.  If it's doing better now, that means things are looking up for BASS.  Since I'll feel good about either result, I guess I don't even need to know the results before feeling good!

Being in another city, I don't know what's going on with BASS most of the time, but I can still stalk them on Facebook.  Here are some of the events they held this year:

They had a UFOlogist come over to speak, AND they made a bunch of cool hand-drawn posters, AND they made alien-head shaped cookies for the event.

 They counter-protested the Westboro Baptist Church (the "God Hates Fags" people), who in addition to picketing funerals, also picket at the Golden Globes every year.

They had Rebecca Watson give a talk: "The Religious Right vs Every Woman on Earth".

They went to a Hammer Museum exhibit called Demon Hill, which was based on those "gravitational mystery spots".

Brian Dunning gave a talk: "Myth or Miracle: The Virgin of Guadalupe".

I'm sure I left other things out too.

If you were paying attention, you noticed that the Rebecca Watson poster mentions two student groups: BASS and Bruin Atheists.  Bruin Atheists is a new spinoff group, with some overlapping membership.  When I was at UCLA, there was a similar spinoff group called Infidels, but unlike Infidels, it appears that Bruin Atheists will survive past its first year.

I consider this a positive development.  As the single skeptical group and single atheist group, BASS served multiple purposes, which, while not in competition with each other, were hard to do all at once.  Bruin Atheists helps pick up some of the slack.  Also, if one of the groups goes defunct or fails to produce much activity, the other group will still survive.  On a related note, BASS is also considering renaming itself to Bruin Skeptics.

I am also happy to report that more women participated in BASS and Bruin Atheists this year.  They might even outnumber the straight men now.  A few of them were officers; I hope more become officers next year.

I believe the results show that BASS is doing better this year.  Big thumbs up to the co-presidents Tommy and Jenny!

1 comment:

Alan said...

I honestly didn't expect BASS to continue existing after Roy left. Instead it appears to be thriving. Great news.