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Campus Atheists and Secular Humanists (CASH) is a non-profit social and educational student organization based out of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. CASH represents freethought on the campus. It was founded in 1991. It has around 60 members and an annual budget of about $6,000.

Mission Statement


The Purpose of CASH is:
  • To provide campus freethinkers with community and intellectual support through social events, regular meetings, and educational events and materials.
  • To educate the campus community about freethought issues, including:
  • The Constitutional principle of state/church separation.
  • Religious and civil rights.
  • Critiques of supernaturalistic, pseudoscientific, and paranormal worldviews.
  • Origins and developments of religions.
  • Positive, secular alternatives to religious systems and worldviews.
  • To fight threats to secularism, atheism, humanism, non-belief, or freethought and threats to religious and civil liberties, especially at the local and collegiate level.
  • To promote an ethical change that repudiates indoctrination, especially the indoctrination of people into any sect or dictatorial belief system. To create society-wide awareness of brainwashing, especially by religions, sects, and dogmatists.
  • To work for a day in which critical, creative, independent, scientific, and skeptical thinking is institutionalized in our public education system, taken as a right of minds, and as a goal of families and teachers.
  • To advance society towards a reality where reason, skepticism, and the scientific method are seen as the natural and best available common means to examine the world, educate our pupils, acquire knowledge, solve societal problems, and understand humans’ place in the Universe.


  • Meetings


    Meetings tend to have a lecturer talk on some topic of expertise. Events (except members-only events) are open to all regardless of personal religious, social, or political views. The location of regular meetings is in Coffman Memorial Union at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus, East Bank, on the third floor. The time of regular meetings is at 6:30pm on Thursdays.

    Membership


    Membership in CASH is open to all, regardless of whether you are a student, or a staff or community member, and regardless of your religious affiliation (or lack thereof). Cost is a $5 (USD) minimum donation ($10 (USD) for non-students). CASH membership comes with many benefits, including free access to the CASH Library, invitations to members-only events such as the popular CASH Year-end Picnic, and sometimes even free pizza! Also, only members may apply for officer positions within the organization.

    History


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    Name


    The organization was founded in 1991 by Michael Valle under the name University of Minnesota Atheists and Unbelievers (UMAU). The name was changed in 1992 by Eric Snyder to University of Minnesota Atheists and Humanists (UMAH).

    The University of Minnesota Student Actvities Office decided that the practice of student groups putting the University's name at the front of their official name might imply an endorsement. Hoping to avoid any legal ramifications, in 2002, non-athletic student groups were no longer allowed to place the University's name at the front of their own name. Placing it at the rear, as "at the University of Minnesota" or "of the University of Minnesota" was acceptable.

    It was unclear whether old groups would be grandfathered out or not. However, in October of 2003, UMAH was informed that failure to change their name would render their constitution void. In a meeting where several alternatives were discussed, "CASH" was finally decided upon in a vote.

    Leaders


    Structure


    In April of 2004, CASH revised their constitution, drastically changing the organization’s structure. Previously, CASH had always been led by a president. In the new constitution, the organization was led by a three-person executive board (a.k.a. triumvirate). The reasons for this include division of labor and responsibility, avoidance of “cult of personality” administrations, and inter-term consistency.

    Presidents

  • September 1991 – May 1992, Michael Valle
  • May 1992 – May 1993, Eric Snyder
  • May 1997 – May 1998, Catalina Chadbourne
  • May 1999 – August 1999, Jende Huang
  • August 1999 – 04 May 2000, Gabriel Carlson
  • 04 May 2000 – 22 February 2001, Michael Johnson
  • 22 February 2001 – 06 May 2001, Joshua Spotts
  • 06 May 2001 – 04 September 2002, Jamis Ahern
  • 04 September 2002 – May 2003, Chris Weiss
  • May 2003 – October 2003, Ryan Hayle
  • October 2003 – May 2004, Michael Jones


  • Executive Board Members

  • May 2004 – 26 January 2005, Kara Johnson, Activities Coordinator
  • May 2004 – present, Jenny Werness, Publicity Coordinator
  • May 2004 – present, Joseph Foley, Treasurer


  • Associations


    Affiliations

  • American Atheists
  • American Humanist Association
  • Campus Freethought Alliance
  • Secular Student Alliance


  • Other National Organizations (not officially affiliated)

  • Americans United for the Separation of Church and State
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Center For Inquiry
  • Coalition for the Community of Reason
  • Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
  • Council for Secular Humanism
  • Freedom From Religion Foundation
  • Institute for Humanist Studies
  • Internet Infidels
  • Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers
  • National Center for Science Education
  • Quackwatch
  • Scouting For All
  • Skeptics Society
  • World Transhumanist Association


  • Local Organizations

  • Atheists for Human Rights
  • Camp Quest of Minnesota
  • Critical Thinking Club of Minnesota
  • Freethought Band
  • Freethought Toastmasters
  • Humanists of Minnesota
  • Lake Superior Freethinkers
  • Minnesota Atheists
  • Minnesota Civil Liberties Union
  • Red River Freethinkers
  • Rochester Area Freethinkers


  • Internal Links

  • Atheism
  • Humanism
  • Secular Humanism
  • University of Minnesota


  • External Links

  • Official CASH Website
  • Official University of Minnesota Website


  • Sources

  • CASH Constitution
  • Michael Jones, former President of CASH


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