It's a little bit confusing to think about, my involvement with MARSH. When Zach informed me about his plan sometime in February 2011, I was barely within the atheist movement. Really, I'd just found out about r/atheism a few weeks ago, rekindled my old passion for sensibility and secularism, and adopted a mild flavor of antitheism. I never imagined myself as anything but the lowest of pawns, a mere supporter, in this movement, this aim I have grown to care very much for.
I'm not even sure what the context was at that point or what spurred the mention. It was Webmastering class and we talked about a lot of stuff, most of which I've forgotten by now due to the glory of my amazing North Korea-themed websites. All I know is that he brought up some of DarkMatter2525's videos that day in the middle of some Armagetron Advanced, I liked them, suddenly realizing that I was not alone. I think I pointed out something about the God Fight videos at that point, and then he informed me that he was in the process of founding a Secular Student Alliance at our school.
Part of me felt a little disappointed, as I'd been wanting to establish one as well. The other part of me was overjoyed and seized the opportunity to offer my help in making flyers and other materials. So then I was tied to this project, making a Facebook page ("MHS SSA- Imaginary friends are overrated") and waiting very eagerly for our first meeting.
The original logo, reflecting my fervent antitheism at the time
Then came the announcement that he'd managed to find a sponsor (who is a really awesome teacher of mine). After an entire summertime of waiting (in which I'd read a few atheist books, accidentally "came out" to my parents after they saw god is not Great, and made 50-60 flyers, including a few that got me a lot of reddit karma), school started again. Facebook switched the format, and we had 7-8 active participants. We had a pre-meeting in the cafeteria one morning, put up flyers, and then we had our first meeting sometime early in September. I still refer to it as "Atheists Anonymous," because that's kind of how it went- everyone who attended introduced themselves in that fashion.
It grew a little bit awkward because of a growing aversion to "descending" into the realm of "atheist club." When we got our second sponsor, he voiced the same concerns. Anyhow, the year went well at that point with discussion meetings, a new Club Constitution (modeled after the SSA example), a formal leadership system (I was Chancellor) and our first event- the *surprise* Club Fair.
Club Fair went fairly (get it?) well, although some freshman jocks were a nuisance (seriously, guys- proving god with the Bible is like proving Superman with Action Comics No. 1). We really cruised through that semester with regular discussion meetings, although our dwindling attendance prompted rather strange elections, in which I remained Chancellor but Zach was replaced by Josh. Since those elections were rather weak in their legitimacy, we held new ones in February 2012 (a whole year in this post so far!) and I ended up being President, representing us at the HFA Freethought Social on the 12th alongside one of our coolest members.
From that point on, however, things became a little bit messy (although we were still able to enjoy a rather awesome Darwin Day party thanks to our new Chancellor). Due to some issues during the elections, we lost some freshmen, and then things got rather eerily quiet. And thus we entered the Hiatus Period, which ends this Friday, with the same issues that fraught us first semester- mostly with participation.
Really, I've summarized and omitted a lot, and I'll try to go over all of that in the actual Reflections post (pt. 2). I'd just like our new leadership and the influx of views from secularstudents.org to be aware of what we're doing and what's going on.