In 1996, the Council for Secular Humanism, North America’s leading organization for ethical, non-religious people, brought seven college students to its headquarters at the Center for Inquiry-International in Amherst, New York. These seven students wanted to establish a network of non-believers and critical rationalists on university and college campuses across North America. They were concerned by the rising tide of religious-political extremism and anti-scientific outlooks among members of their generation, as well as the lack of a strong and supportive community for young freethinkers. Some came from families or communities that were openly hostile towards religious unbelievers.
The students agreed that there were dangers inherent in the present religious assaults on academic freedom, civil liberties and scientific literacy in the United States. They outlined their concerns in a Declaration of Necessity, which they then distributed via the Internet. The results were astounding. Within a year, seven students' dream had become a successful reality: forty campus groups were soon established or affiliated with what was then known as the Campus Freethought Alliance. The founding students set a goal of adding one hundred new student groups to CFA during their second year.
Since then, the movement has continued to grow, and has received strong support from the Council for Secular Humanism and other programs of the Center for Inquiry. In 2004, CFA changed its name to the Center for Inquiry - On Campus to better reflect its commitment to the ideals put forth by the Center for Inquiry. The Center for Inquiry - On Campus now has two full-time coordinators at its international headquarters at the Center for Inquiry. In addition, the Center for Inquiry - On Campus is run by a ten-member Executive Council of student volunteers, who are supported by scores of student volunteers involved in various the Center for Inquiry - On Campus programs, campaigns and development activities.
This group, the Kent State Freethinkers, was founded in Fall of 2008 to give a voice to those that stand up for science and reason. We hope to build a community of freethinkers, skeptics, rationalists, naturalists, atheists, and secular humanists on Kent State's campus network. If you would like to learn more, please check our events page and attend one of our weekly meetings.