One of the primary goals of the Woo Fighter’s first year was to raise funds to send its members, especially the CSUN students, to The Amaz!ng Meeting 8.
Each year I leave TAM feeling recharged and ready to face another year of teaching and promoting skepticism, science, and critical thinking. I strongly believed that the experience would leave these new skeptics with a similar feeling, motivating them to recruit (giving them something to recruit with, forming bonds with other skeptics, and giving them ideas for events and products to promote the cause.
However, a late start to becoming a recognized organization, the poor timing of TAM (which prevents us from applying for grants from the school, which could only be used for current students anyway), and a general lack of ideas for how to raise these funds has left us with less than a month to go and no goals met.
This morning I discovered that, upon hearing that her proposal for a Sunday presentation was accepted, Blag Hag Jennifer McCreight managed to raise over $1500 in less than 8 hours, simply by asking.
Well, gee. It did not actually occur to me to simply ask people to help out. I assumed that people who wanted to help would donate to the TAM scholarship fund, but of course it is not possible to know whom you are sending to TAM when you contribute to such a fund. So, it occurred to me to test the community’s commitment to encouraging a new generation of skeptics to strive for quality activism by finding out if we can match in 2 weeks what McCreight did in a few hours.
I have 4 well-trained young Woo Fighters – all scientists – who, if they could afford to go to TAM8, would jump at the chance and would use what they learned wisely. None are scheduled to speak this year, but I will make this promise: every Woo Fighter who is able to attend TAM8 because of you will submit a proposal for a Sunday paper next year, and I will personally oversee this process to ensure that they produce a high-quality presentation on a relevant topic or original research.
Furthermore, if at least 2 of them are funded I will personally guarantee that Bigfoot will make an appearance at TAM8.
So, if you want to meet Bigfoot, Please help us out.
By my calculations, if they are able to share a room and carpool, each Woo Fighter will need ~$700 for conference fees, hotel, gas, and food.
You would be helping to send, in this order, the following people:
Christos Korgan: An enthusiastic and intelligent undergraduate psychology student who will be applying to graduate schools next year and will serve on the board of Woo Fighters of CSUN in the fall.
Matthew Newton: A recent graduate and our most popular blogger, Matt will be attending Old Dominion University in the fall, working toward a PhD in Applied Experimental Psychology.
Dylan Keeberg: Also a recent graduate and another popular blogger, Dylan is starting his doctoral studies in the fall as well, at the Chicago School for Professional Psychology, where he hopes to conduct research in an effort to develop evidence-based therapies from humanistic and existential theories.
If we get this far, you will get to meet Penn Jillette’s doppelganger!
Isn’t that an incentive? no? Well, how about Lawrence…
Lawrence Patihis: Also a brilliant recent graduate, Lawrence will be pursing his PhD at University of California, Irvine in the fall, working with Dr. Elizabeth Loftus – false memories, anyone?
But sadly, if we do not raise the funds, none of these students will be able to attend TAM8 this year. If we raise enough for these students, you will have shown me that this community cares about more than just having a good time – you care that the torch is passed, and that the torch itself is important, too. These are the skeptics who will show people that candle in the dark that Carl Sagan always talked about 20 years from now and, I hope, pass it on to their students.
Please do not let us down!