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And I’m done!

April 21st, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments


What a week! Rationalist Week has been an unbelievable success, a success far beyond even our most optimistic expectations. We were hoping for maybe one or two members and a few people coming into the tent. Instead we filled a membership book, raised the awareness of the society to the point that we are pretty much the talk of the union at the moment, we also managed to be full pretty much every day. Early indications suggest we were attracting a hundred people a day with about a 50% return rate in terms of people coming back over and over. The debates were in depth and relavent most of the time and the effort that most of the A-Soc membership put in was phenominal.

A massive thanks to the crew: Chris (El Presidente) for pretty much organising and funding the event singlehandedly; Claire for her constant cheerfulness – even in the face of adversity – and total support; Paul for his input, which although contraversial at times really sparked debate; Moz, for the tents and his help with really getting people involved and active in the discussions; Rich, for his enthusiasm and desire to be involved; finally, every person over the week who sat down and spoke to us, those who got involved and those who gave us the feedback we need to ensure that next year is even better! We couln’t have done it without you!

So a run-down of the events.

Monday was ok, quiet for the most part, but we did get some interest and learned a lot very quickly about what we could and couldn’t do. The talks attracted a few people, but by far and away this was our worst day in terms of turn out.

Tuesday saw a massive pick up in attendence. The word was getting out. We were attracting a real mix of people. A lot of atheists popped in to talk and see where and what we stood for. We attracted a lot of Christians – a theme that continued throughout the week – who wanted to ask us many things. The debates were starting to heat up and the biscuiots were starting to disappear. Unfortunately, we had to cope for a second day without a generator. The evening talk from Chris was not well attended, we got about six people. We needed to push these evening events, they were our flagship after all.

Wednesday was our best day to date. We were full for the first time, we had standing room only and quite a few people were! The discussion was getting deeper and the feedback we were getting was very very positive. We also had a new generator! Things were going well. Mike Lake, the guest speaker from Derby Secularists, spoke at the evening event. This was slightly better attended than Tuesday, but still a disappointing turnout. The talk was excellent. He really knew his stuff on why ideas should always be open to ridicule, mockery and insult. I recommend you watch the video when it becomes available.

Thursday continued in the same vein as Wednesday, we were swamped all day. The work was really starting to pay off now. Thursday night saw the much anticipated debate with the CU. Chris and I had been preparing all day and were as up for this as anything. The debate was amazing, great arguments were put forward by both sides on the motion “this house believes there is enough evidence that Jesus was the son of god.” Felicity, the Debate Soc president, chaired the debate and was simply brilliant. She kept everything running smoothly and even managed to control unwanted outbursts from the audience. A-Soc lost the vote on the motion unsurprisingly – the CU had brought a contingent of about 100 people! The turnout was great, it was really overwhelming to see a full lecture theatre! The feedback we got in the pub afterwards suggested that we had won the argument as well!

Friday, the final day, was relatively quiet in the morning. This gave us a good chance to reflect on the week and start to put together some findings. Business picked up in the afternoon and we started to really see the benefit of having week long events, The continuity and depth of the debate was really evident by now. I think we were really effecting people and, more improtantly, effecting change. A couple of trips to Tesco later and we were ready for our final event – the all night debate.

We were dead until about midnight when it really kicked off. We probably had twenty people in the tent at any one time. We got through 40 cups of tea, uncountable cold drinks and 160 hotdogs! The event was a massive success! We really made a difference. Thanks to those of you that stayed up to 4am to help out. We couldn’t have pulled this night off without you.

Rich, Chris and I then set about dismantling everything, tidying up and storing all the equipment. It was a good time, we really noticed the bond that had grown after a week together. it got to 9am before Chris and I finally finished.

Now I could sleep!

  1. April 21st, 2007 at 15:42 | #1

    Wow sounds proper good! :) Now I know what th hell ya on about :P
    Lizzie must come and debate with you .. if I was any good at it :S I have opinions but I cant get them across. I suck!
    Well back to personal statement ..


  2. April 22nd, 2007 at 10:03 | #2

    Congratulations on a well run and successful event, you did a great job.

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