The University of North Georgia Vanguard reported that the university has a new gang in town, the local atheist student group. Jeff Burt, a freshman biology major in pursuit of a second bachelor degree, said, “Atheism is simply the lack of a belief in a god or gods.”
Burt has self-identified as an atheist for some time now. However, he was raised as a Seventh-Day Adventist in his earlier years. Seventh-Day Adventists believe the Earth was created in 6 literal days with God resting on the seventh.
The University of North Georgia, or UNG, has a total of 200 student-led organizations with as many as 29 registered as faith groups and zero as non-religious groups. Their atheist group may be the first one at the university for atheists.
At the UNG Gainesville campus, Burt is in progress of making that a real transition from the no atheist groups to a whopping one.
Burt, who earned his first degree from Full Sail University, has considered himself an atheist for students there. “It is important for other atheists who live here,” Burt said, “and who go to this school to know that there are other atheists out there.”
The founding members of the atheist group are “Jeff Burt, adviser James Grindeland, Jenya Rector, Caleb Brookshire and Mason Carlisle.”
The group held its first unofficial meeting on February 21 where three students discussed “the creation of the club, write a constitution, generate ideas for meeting activities and think of possible names for the organization.”
Some prospective names floating around were UNG Atheists and The Atheist Nighthawks. Some events that the UNG atheist group may hold on the campus may be “Does God exist?” debates and “Ask an Atheist Day,” which is used to reduce the stigma and create more understanding on the part of the student body of atheists.
The group is open to a bigger umbrella of the non-religious with agnostics, skeptics, and others, even those who believe in God too. Burt wants to “know and understand students of all backgrounds.”
Photo Credits: The Harvard Crimson