Darcy is the Technology Chair of AHA. She is a sophomore from Rhode Island with a major in Mechanical Engineering. Darcy found out about AHA at the student organization fair. In her free time, she enjoys making origami, sewing, watching anime, playing board games, and badgering Mendel.
Religion has never been a big part of my life. My dad is technically Christian and my mom is technically Jewish, but I’ve never been to a church service with my family. The only synagogues I’ve been to were for my cousin’s wedding and my other cousin’s bar mitzvah. Most people were pretty relaxed about their religion when I was growing up, so even though I had a couple friends who went to places of worship regularly and more who only celebrated larger holidays of their faith, I always felt accepted. Then again, I wasn’t much of a vocal atheist, so I’m not sure how many people in my community knew I was one.
Going from Rhode Island to Wisconsin was a pretty big change in religious atmosphere. During my freshman year, I remember people on my floor loudly making plans to go to church together. It was such an odd phenomenon for me. Back home, I was pretty oblivious about the faith of most people I knew, because no one was particularly vocal about it. Sure, I assumed they were some form of Christian usually, but that’s not a difficult assumption to make, considering I live in America. I had an extremely basic understand of what a Creationist was until I was 16 and befriended someone who was one. Here, there are people talking about their religion on Library Mall with big signs and pamphlets to hand out. There are more than three churches just from one side of campus to the other. The majority of people here are more openly religious than anyone I’ve met before. It was definitely a big change for me that I didn’t really expect.
When I came to college, I saw AHA at the student organization fair and signed up immediately. I didn’t even let any of the officers give their spiel about AHA. I’m not sure exactly what drew me to the group. I wasn’t a new atheist looking for a community. I wasn’t afraid or spiteful toward my religious peers. I didn’t have a grudge against religion as a whole. Mainly, I just saw a group who I knew I would agree with. When I went to my first meeting a few weeks into the semester, I liked the atmosphere of AHA a lot. It was just a ton of people critically thinking about important issues. Going to Lakefront afterward was definitely a nice experience. It was my first time in college being out with a lot of people. It was my first real opportunity to make friends outside the dorms. AHA has been a great experience for me as a member and as an officer. I’ve made some great friends here, and I hope to make even more as time goes on.