Tag Archives: rutgers


The Chaplaincy is proud to announce the new Faculty Board of Directors!  You can check out a description and bio’s of our first three members in the link.

The idea of the Board is, first, to simply provide a degree of awareness among Rutgers students of like-minded professors.  Part of the mission of the Chaplaincy is to provide a sense of community on the Rutgers campus.  And part of community requires being acquainted with who the other members of that community are!  Second, Board members will be encouraged to have informal dinners with students, that the Chaplaincy will help arrange, and to submit pieces to the Rutgers Humanist blog Applied Sentience.

Our first three members are all professors in the Psychology Department: Professors Gary Brill, Julien Musolino, and Daniel Ogilvie. To see their biographies and some of their current research, TED talks and interviews check out the link!

Though this is a good start, keep checking the page.  We’ll be approaching many more professors over the summer and coming term!

Have any ideas or recommendations?? Make sure to put them in the comments below?

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Rajesh Sannidhi

The Chaplancy’s blog Humanist Issues is planning some BIG CHANGES.  We’re hoping to develop more and better content, reach more readers and attract more involvement from Rutgers students and alum.

To help with this expansion, I would like to introduce and welcome Raj Gopal, the blog’s new Co-Editor in Chief!

Raj is a Rutgers Philosophy major who (more…)

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By Ben Davis
First Mate (VP) of RU Pastafarians

Rutgers University Engineering Student

My religious background was the best I could’ve asked for.  I am a proud Unitarian Universalist, and if you’ve ever heard of that, you are a rarity indeed.

Mine is a religion based not around deities, but around individual search for spiritual growth.

The Seven Principles we share revolve around the inherent worth and dignity of all people and more ideas of the like.  Yet while we discuss viewpoints that we all have in common, my congregation’s Bond of Union talks of “reserving to each individual the right to his or her own beliefs as to the nature of God and the universe.”

The quest for those beliefs can be a confusing one.  I never have and never will even consider renouncing Unitarian Universalism, but I’ve had dealings with other religious groups.


In high school, my first girlfriend – Christian to the core – invited me to join her youth group’s activities.  She assured me that (more…)

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By Ibrahim
Ex-Muslim at Muslim-ish of NYC

My name is Ibrahim. My parents are muslims, so they taught me islam as a child.

Around the age of 8 I got annoyed with the idea that I am muslim simply because my parents are muslim.  So I started researching the only other religion I had contact with at the time, christianity, and it sounded so ridiculously stupid that it confirmed my belief that islam is the true path to connect with the creator of the universe and ensure a blissful eternal life after death.

Around the age of 13 I started researching other religions like judaism and eastern religions.  I eliminated them one by one because none of them made any sense to me. This again confirmed my belief that (more…)

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By Boris Yakubchik
President of
Giving What We Can: Rutgers

One thing that makes life meaningful is our relationships with others, especially so when we feel our position within the social fabric is appreciated by others.

Perhaps the easiest way to feel valuable within this wondrous universe is to help others, and the demand for help is so high we can be busy for the rest of our lives. There are few issues you can look at without seeing room for improvement.

Humanists, non-religious, and atheists are no strangers to charity: it’s obvious we are very generous and eager to help others. Kiva.org distributes micro-loans to people in developing nations and the self-identifying group of people who have contributed by far the most are the non-religious.

I don’t mean to argue about which group gives more to charity – I simply mean that anyone who thinks those without religion are not ready to help a fellow human are mistaken.

I encourage you to get involved in helping people, but I urge you to do it methodically. For me, helping others isn’t about how good I will look in public, or how good it will make me feel once I am done (though I assure you it’s the most rewarding experience); for me, helping others means helping as many people as I can with the limited resources I have available.

For example, (more…)

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By Jimmy Palmer,
President, RU Secular Humanist Club

'Humanists Against Malaria' Bakesale

Every time I am asked in front of Brower Commons, a known hotspot for fundraising and protest, to sign a petition I ask the obvious question, “What does this petition support?”

So I would be doing you a disservice if I were to ask you to join Rutgers University Secular Humanists (RUSH) and ask you to be a student Humanist without backing up what these items entail.

This will give you a good idea what to expect of RUSH, Humanism, and me, if writing is of any indicator.

RUSH is a brand new student organization which has its main goals in mind to, “…understanding the nature of humanity, promote humanism, and bettering the world through community service.” Taken from our Facebook page, we have outlined (more…)

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Check out and rate Professor Dan Ogilvie’s funny and intimately engaging new TED Talk speech!

Although a materialist, Ogilvie has been leading a research team at Rutgers University called the Soul Searching Project.  The project has been investigating a wide range of interdisciplinary questions on what people believe about the soul.

As TED describes the talk,

Rutgers University Professor of Psychology Daniel Ogilvie is researching what causes people to believe in souls and the afterlife.

But as atheists and materialists, why should we care about the soul and (more…)

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The Chaplaincy is finally finishing up its plans for the Fall Schedule.

Below are our current plans for the semester’s events.

Let us know what sounds good or what else you might like to see.  Suggestions, comments, squeels of excitement?  Write them in the comments below!

Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans

Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular AmericansMonday, September 17, 2012, 7:30pm, Rutgers Student Center

David Niose, President of American Humanist Association, discusses his new book, Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans, about “how public policy has been decimated by the rise of engaged religious fundamentalists since 1980” and how the modern secular movement (more…)

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Student Orientation Schedule – June-Aug 2012

If you can attend, we would love to have you.  If you’re showing up just to see the tables, make sure to stop by!  You can either help us set up or just keep up company.  Please send us an email if you would like to come.  Thanks!

Tuesday, June 12th (Transfer/Adult)
Wednesday, June 13th (Transfer/Adult)
Monday, June 18th (First-year)
Thursday, June 21st (First-year)
Monday, June 25th (First-year)
Thursday, June 28th (First-year)
Monday, July 2nd (First-year)
Monday, July 16th (First-year)
Thursday, July 19th (First-year)
Monday, July 23rd (First-year)
Wednesday, July 25th (Transfer/Adult)
Thursday, July 26th (First-year)
Monday, July 30th (First-year)
Thursday, August 2nd (First-year)
Monday, August 6th (First-year)
Thursday, August 9th (First-year)
Monday, August 13th (First-year)
Wednesday, August 15th (Transfer/Adult)
Wednesday, August 29th (Transfer/Adult)


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Barry to Teach at Funeral Directors’ Edu Course

This weekend, Barry Klassel, the Rutgers Humanist Chaplain, will be one of the speakers at a Continuing Education course for Funeral Directors taking place on Tuesday, May 22, in Queens, New York.

The course is called “Serving Today’s Diverse Funeral Client: Tradition or Personalization? Is there room for both?” Barry will describe how to use ceremony to promote healing in a talk titled “Stenghtening Human Connections.” Barry has been officiating at end-of-life ceremonies since 2004.

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New Website Content Added!

The website is almost complete!

We’ve added loads of new pages and posts, such as Student Clubs, In the News, Further Resources, COHE Online Humanism Course, Humanist Organizations, and others.  The Donate page and feature, while up, is still disconnected as we are changing our PayPal account. Everything else, however, is up and open.  If you haven’t already, please subscribe!

The Chaplaincy is also planning a few new pages, such as a Hear from Our Students page, in which you can read more about what Humanism means by listening to students working with the Chaplaincy.

If you have any ideas, let us know!  We want to have as much information and features up as we can.  We are always looking for new ideas.  And of course, especially ones which you would like to see up!

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Religion, Conflict & Cooperation, Recent Study & HCRUs Approach

A recent article was published in the journal Science about the effects that religion has for both encouraging conflict and in group trust.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  However, the research in the article also discussed the possibilities for religion, or in-group identifications around the ‘scared’, benefiting inter-group reconciliation.  Science Daily published a review of the article as ‘Religion is a Potent Force for Cooperation and Conflict, Research Shows‘ here.

What struck me about the article is what it said about how to approach people. It reinforced the Humanist Chaplaincy’s view that humanists/atheists will get more cooperation from religious people if we show some respect and humility rather than confront them aggressively. If our objective is, as I think it should be, peace and mutual tolerance with the religious, then this tells us how to proceed rationally to achieve that objective.

Gary Brill

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Tabling at RU New Student Events – May-Aug 2012

The Humanist Chaplaincy regularly Tables at Student orientations throughout the summer.  This year we have over a dozen events planned and will be sending out more information as they approach.  Most events are for either Incoming Freshmen or Transfer Students.  However, like this previous weekend, we also set up tables for Alumni events.

Even if you don’t know what ‘Tabling’ is, you’ve likely already seen it.  The Chaplaincy sets up a fold-able table, among sometimes dozens of other organizations, and then sets up poster boards, pamphlets and other information about the Chaplaincy.  In past events we’ve also had games, like Guess the Humanist.

We could always use help setting up for events or you could come by just to keep us company.  If you are already familiar with the Chaplaincy, please come and talk to students that stop by to ask questions.  If you are an incoming Rutgers student, please stop by as well!  We would love to have conversation.

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