Last Monday, members of the Penn Secular Society gave out freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies to students who passed by their table… but only if the students signed a contract transferring the ownership of their souls:
So how many students took them up on the offer? The correct answer should have been “Everybody on campus.” The actual answer was a little less than that, but not too shabby at all:
Over the course of the day, 98 souls were collected (a 25% increase over last year’s harvest)…
Not only was this already successful publicity event, but it was during Penn Preview Days so large tours of incoming freshmen were walking by at regular intervals. Several stopped for cookies, and many more walked by with smiles and uncontrolled laughter.
They even posted the signed contracts on the wall so that everyone could see how many rational people were on campus, or cause some peer pressure, or just so they could enjoy the spiritual bounty they had collected:
More importantly, though, the event led to a few fascinating conversations with people who stopped by their table — and that’s really what this was all about: Starting a conversation. You can read about those conversations at Lots of Tiny Robots.
As group member Collin Boots told me, “We got a lot of laughs and absolutely no open hostility.” That sounds like a victory to me!