Some frequently asked questions about RSS

1. Q: Do you have to pay to join/go to meetings?

No, everybody’s welcome to come to our meetings and other events. We have a small $2 membership fee to meet AUSA requirements and to help cover costs like printing, but you are welcome to attend a few meetings first before joining officially.

2. Do you have to be a science student/University of Auckland student/student to join?

No, anyone can become a member of RSS. Some of our students study science and/or philosophy, but others study a range of topics such as engineering and law. In fact, almost any academic discipline is within our scope at RSS anyway.

You also don’t have to be a University of Auckland student to join. AUSA have a policy that only 30% of our members can be non-UoA students, but we’re not even close to approaching this level – at the time of writing only 5% of our paid members are not UoA students.

In fact you don’t have to be a student at all. It is a student club in the sense that most of our members are students, but the club is for anyone interested. For example one of our members is a GP.

3. When/where are your meetings?

We have meetings every Tuesday at 6:00-8:00 pm in semester 1, 2013. These are held in the Arts 1 building, Room 315. Additional meetings may be held at other times or locations to accommodate speaker schedules or for more popular events. Meeting times are decided by vote at the start of each semester. We don’t generally hold meetings during university breaks or exams periods, but check our calendar to be sure.

We also have some one-off events like film nights, laser tag, etc. occasionally, so join our Facebook group.

Our Facebook group is also a place to share and discuss almost anything related (even remotely) to reason and science.

4. What does RSS do/what is RSS about?

At RSS our main activity is to have meetings discussing various topics, usually of an academic nature, especially in science and philosophy. For example we have discussed philosophical topics ranging from the the existence of God to the treatment of animals, and scientific topics from physics to evolution. We often have guest academics from the university and elsewhere come and give a talk, though we also have talks by non-academics, including RSS members. We usually start with a talk or video and then have a discussion as a group. We also have the occasional social event like laser tag or shared lunches.

5. Are you a new club? When did you start?

The club got started in early 2010 when Richard founded the club. It gained a higher profile in the second semester but we didn’t do much advertising in 2010 so many haven’t heard of us until now.

6. What degrees/areas do RSS members study?

We’re not really sure – we haven’t got much information on this and certainly haven’t made any formal attempt to study this question. There are plenty of people from undergrad and postgrad, and from various programs. Quite a few do science, some engineering, arts etc. And of course some are not students at all, since anyone can join.

7. If I couldn’t get to a meeting can I watch it online?

Sometimes. If we have a guest speaker and they’re okay with recording and putting it on our YouTube channel, we’ll try to have it up ASAP (but this can take days-months).

However we don’t always record the Q&A/discussion part of a meeting (and you can’t ask questions obviously), so coming along is always better. Sometimes talks are recorded but aren’t put online by request of the speaker, or are not made public.

[Last updated 08/8/12 by Andrew]

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