“….Similarly fervent about their club’s cause is the UC Davis Agnostic and Atheist Student Association (AgASA). A three-year member of the organization and now serving as president, fourth-year biological sciences major Shiva Kasravi is eager to explain the club’s overall drive.
“AgASA has only one mission and that is to serve as a meeting place for like-minded people who somehow identify with being atheist or agnostic. Beyond that, all of our other goals are secondary,” Shiva notes. “As atheists and agnostics we tend to have certain viewpoints in common, like wanting a secular society, but we don’t expect any of our members to have a certain feeling or conviction. For that reason, we don’t have a mission toward the proliferation of any certain idea or cause.”
According to Shiva, weekly meeting discussion typically revolves around the life experiences of atheists and agnostics living in a predominantly religious society. They touch on everything from personal testimonies to world-related, religion-based catastrophes. Allison says, “To atheists, it still very much feels like it’s a religious world and we just live in it. This gives us a lot to talk about. We talk about our relationships with our families and friends, about the creationism versus evolution debate, and about why we are atheists or agnostics.”
AgASA also participates in activities outside of weekly club meetings. Last year, they were responsible for hosting an event that drew a massive student crowd of more than 400 people. Prominent American atheist and activist Dan Barker served as the guest speaker.
During any given quarter, AgASA will participate in panels and debates, group movie and potluck nights and mixers with other clubs on campus. In recent years, the club has gained a significant amount of campus attention, and has drastically grown in size.
The group meets on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in Olson 6 and, often, they merely enjoy good company and good conversation. “We are a very open-ended club,” Shiva stresses. “We try to run the club like a group of friends hanging out and talking. We keep it very honest and uncensored. AgASA is really what you choose to make it, and we like it that way.” “