There is an old Jesuit saying that goes, “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” The motto encapsulates the prime motivation of Catholic academic institutions in our country—indoctrination early on in life lasts. College is often the only place that allows the youth the freedom to abandon their religious conditioning and explore new ideas and challenge old ones.
Filipino Freethinkers understands the importance of universities in the formation of the philosophies and ideologies of the youth, which is why we are excited whenever freethinking students of universities come to us regarding establishing their own Filipino Freethinkers University Chapters. College is hard enough and being the sole doubter of religious dogma in a classroom sure doesn’t help. We’d like to fix that and get freethinkers in schools in touch with each other and build their own freethinking communities.
If your school does not yet have an FF university chapter and you would like to help found one, we have the following affiliation guidelines for organizations looking to use the Filipino Freethinkers name and our resources. We ask students interested in setting up University Chapters to clue us in on what the situation is for freethinkers in their campus. We’d love to hear your stories.
A Filipino Freethinkers University Chapter must:
- Promote reason, science, and secularism.
- Be consistent with the mission and vision of Filipino Freethinkers.
- Be civil rights-minded and non-discriminatory.
- Be comprised of enrolled students in the respective university.
- Have at least four officers forming an executive committee.
- Have at least one faculty adviser, preferably. (Depending on the composition of a school’s faculty, this may prove difficult for many school chapters. We will assess the situation on a case-to-case basis.)
- Prepare monthly or per meeting reports, whichever is less often. (These are just short narrative reports about your own meetups, which we may feature as articles on our site.)
- Have at least two members to personally meet with the Filipino Freethinkers Affiliations Director, or their representative, at least twice per term. If the location of a university makes this inconvenient, online meetings may suffice.
- Have a Chapter Constitution, to be submitted for review and approval. You may pattern yours out of the UP Diliman Chapter’s.
- Be university recognized/registered, preferably. (We understand that this is often impossible, especially for students in Catholic schools. Because of this, there will be some leeway regarding this rule.)
We are always looking for partners in setting up FF university affiliates. We currently have three university registered chapters in UP Diliman, UP Manila, and UP Los Baños. We have informal groups in De La Salle University as well as in Ateneo de Manila University. If you would like to join an existing university chapter or contact us to start one, you can get in touch with our Affiliations Director, Garrick Bercero at [email protected]
Help us make our schools reasonable and freethinker-friendly.