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This Week

Weekly news, emails, and group-running articles for student leaders. Check in every week for new postings!

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This Week: Leadership Transitions, Freethinker's Guide to the Holidays, SSA LeaderSpace on Facebook

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Leadership Transitions

Winter break is upon academia and soon the new year will follow and the next school term. It is important to plan ahead to elect or appoint new leaders for the group if necessary. Leadership transitioning, or having a plan in place for new leaders, is the number one thing you can do to keep your group alive - so read our resource on all things leadership transition related.

SSA LeaderSpace on Facebook

Speaking of leadership transitions, one of the greatest services we offer for secular students is a way to get in contact with each other, which is why we have our Facebook Leaderspace group. Join today and keep in contact with other SSA affiliate leaders all across the country. This service is a great way for groups starting to get advice from your peers who have had much of the same experiences as you. This is also a great way to get in touch with other officers from other groups to offer advice as well! Make sure when you elect/appoint your new officers, they join this group!

Freethinker's Guide to the Holidays

The holidays can be a particularly awkward time of year for non-theists. Some of us celebrate the traditions we grew up in (whether that be Christmas, Chanukah, or any other) and some of us have chosen to go our own ways and either don’t celebrate or have chosen a more naturalistic celebration (for instance, the Solstice). It may surprise you to know that atheists are just as diverse as any other group during the holidays. There is no “right” answer as to whether you should or shouldn’t celebrate Christmas or if you should say grace at Thanksgiving. I personally know atheists who do celebrate Christmas, say grace at their dinner tables with their families, and some who even go to Midnight Mass with them too.

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Group Photo of the Week

Members from Texas Secular Humanists at SSA West in 2013.

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New Leader?
No Longer a Leader?
Let us know!
Brag It Up!
Tell us about the awesome stuff your group has done!
SSA Leaderspace
Newest Affiliate
Marshall University Secular Student Alliance
Check Them Out!

Featured Service
Tabling Supplies

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Featured Speaker
Andy Cheadle-Ford

Andrew Cheadle-Ford became involved in the secular student movement at Wright State University. He served as president of his Secular Student Alliance affiliate for two years. He is currently working for the SSA as their High School Specialist and the Coordinator behind the new Secular Safe Zone program.
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This Week: SSA 2014 Annual Conference, The Pluralism Project, Be on TV!

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SSA 2014 Annual Conference

So it's about time we announce our spectacular DOUBLE LOCATION CONFERENCE for 2014. This time, SSA West will be in Phoenix, Arizona. SSA East will be at its usual Columbus, OH location.

Our conference last year attracted our biggest turnout yet, and so we thought we would immortalize the two location conference, doubling the chance to improve on your student leadership. Here's the main page for both conferences. Check back often for updates!

You'll have to wait until February to register, but now you can start planning and freeing up the time in your calendar for either SSA West or SSA East. There is also a widget on our registration page that lets you sign up to be reminded when registration opens. We hope to see you at the conference!

The Pluralism Project

The Pluralism Project started in 1991 as a pioneering study of religious diversity in the United States. Today it serves as a resource for an opportunity for us to learn more about world religions in our cities and towns.

  1. Landscape - Explores religious diversity in 20+ cities in America. Also houses a Directory of 'Religious' Centers (secular establishments are also mentioned).
  2. Religion - Provides an introduction to over a dozen traditions. Atheism is represented.
  3. Encounter - Gives examples of our interfaith world and presents us with the real world changes taking place with the ever increasing diversity.

Watch Kile's video on interfaith work and use the above resources to get involved!

Be on TV!

Ustream TV at least. Beltway Atheists and a few others are producing a show called Road to Reason: A Skeptic's Guide to the 21st Century, and they want you to be their next guest! They're looking for leaders of secular student groups to let the world know the life and times of running a student group. If you are at a private religious school or a public high school they are particularly interested in having you on. Check them out on Youtube and Ustream to see the kind of format you'll be on.

Interviews will be held live on Sundays 3-4pm EST. The interview may not take a full hour, however. If you are interested in being a guest you can email us and we'll connect you.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from the Secular Student Alliance at the College of Charleston protesting the Westboro Baptist Church.

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New Leader?
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Members of:
Secular Student Alliance at West Virginia University
Brag It Up!

Secular Student Alliance at West Virginia University hosted the first-ever Secular Safe Zone training for a college campus.
Tell us about the awesome stuff your group has done!
Brag It Up!
SSA Leaderspace

Missed the SSA's 2013 Annual Conference in Las Vegas or Columbus? Didn't get to see all the talks? We're constantly posting new videos to our YouTube Channel so you can check them out! This latest video comes from Kile Jones talking about engaging interfaith on campus.
Newest Affiliate
Lake City Secular Student Alliance
Check Them Out!

Featured Service
Email and Web Forwards

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Featured Speaker
Ed Brayton

Ed Brayton is the owner of the Freethought Blogs network and the popular blog Dispatches from the Culture Wars, and also the host of Culture Wars Radio on WPRR in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ed brings his experience as a stand up comedian to his speaking engagements, making for an entertaining time for all.
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This Week: SSA seeks Rapid Response Organizer, Foundation Beyond Belief seeks Development Director, American Atheists Offers Scholarships

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SSA seeks Rapid Response Organizer

We're hiring a Rapid Response Organizer! Many secular students face illegal discrimination and intrusion of religion into their educational environment. The Rapid Response Organizer will reach out to these students and spread their stories to others in an effort to 1) resolve any ongoing conflicts, 2) provide the support of the community, and 3) give the public a better understanding of the struggles and successes that secular students face.

Learn more about the position here. Applications are due November 30th.

Foundation Beyond Belief seeks Development Director

Foundation Beyond Belief is growing and seeks a part-time Development Director. The primary responsibility of the Development Director is to ensure the continued success and growth of the organization's fund development program. The Development Director will oversee the development and management of annual giving, grant writing, major gifts, and planned giving.

You can find out more on the position here. Applications are due December 2nd.

American Atheists Offers Scholarships

Each year, American Atheists awards three scholarships to recognize student activism: the $2,000 O'Hair Scholarship, the $1,000 President's Scholarship, and the $1,000 Chinn Scholarship for LGBT Atheist Activism. The 2014 Scholarship Application is available for download here. The scholarships will be presented at the 2014 National Convention in Salt Lake City. Winners will receive free convention admission.

Applications and essays are due February 1, 2014. Send your essay to [email protected].

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Akron SSA using their mighty powers of compassion to exchange hugs for money to an animal shelter.

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New Leader?
No Longer a Leader?
Let us know!
Brag It Up!
Tell us about the awesome stuff your group has done!
SSA Leaderspace

The Secular Directory is a site that provides perhaps the most comprehensive list of secular organizations in the United States. It also lists many international secular groups. Use it to find allies in  your area!
Newest Affiliate
Hamline Secular Student Alliance
Check Them Out!

Featured Service
Funding Finder

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Featured Speaker
Peter Boghossian

Dr. Peter Boghossian is a philosopher and educator in the Philosophy Department at Portland State University in Portland, OR. He has a teaching pedigree spanning more than 20 years in a wide variety of contexts, including prisons, universities, and corporations.
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This Week: SSA Store Page and New Shirts, The Keys to Good Group Health, Light The Night Walk 2013

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SSA Store Page and New Shirts

We created the SSA Store page to make it easier for you to spread the word about all the things you can buy from us. You can also use it to see the latest item for sale without having to log in to do so.

Today's latest items are our new 2013-2014 design t-shirts for $6 each. They are available in male and female in many sizes so buy one today!

The Keys to Good Group Health

Running a group is not an easy job. That's why we try to provide many resources to make your job as easy as possible. Nothing beats personal experience, but luckily we can pass some of those teachings along.

Two of the biggest signs to a group's health is their visibility and having a steady supply of leaders. Without visibility, you have no presence on campus and people won't know you exist. Without the backbone of great leadership, the group will crumble fast. Check out the links below to see what you can do to keep your group healthy:

Growing Your Group's Visibility:

Start Advertising
Advertising Momentum
Social Media
Websites
Tabling
Flyers
Campus-unique ads
Chalking

Group Leadership and Transitions:

Managing Burnout
Leadership Transitions
Leadership Transition Quick Plan
Leadership at the National Level

Light The Night Walk 2013

The Foundation Beyond Belief International team of 2013 has raised more than $257,718 towards cancer research and the other charitable doings of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Shoutout to all the secular students involved this year. Awesome job people! Watch this video to see where all that money you are raising is going towards.

Also it is not too late to start a Light The Night team, or continue fundraising, check out our LTN page for all that and more and please ask us for fundraising materials if necessary.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Gustavus Secular Student Alliance. This group has been successful at gaining administrative allies on campus. Bravo!

Send us your photos!
New Leader?
No Longer a Leader?
Let us know!
Brag It Up!
Tell us about the awesome stuff your group has done!
SSA Leaderspace

Missed the SSA's Annual Conference in Las Vegas or Columbus? Didn't get to see all the talks? We're constantly posting new videos to our YouTube Channel so you can check them out! This latest video comes from David Silverman speaking on firebrand atheism.
Newest Affiliate
Utah Valley Atheists Club
Check Them Out!

Featured Service
Project Grants

Learn More

Featured Speaker
Carlos Bertha

Carlos Bertha is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the US Air Force Academy. He teaches ethics, symbolic logic, critical Ttinking and philosophy of science and is the faculty advisor for the USAFA Cadet Freethinkers Club. He has been a speaker at various national atheist/humanist conferences (as well as some academic ones) and can speak extensively on religion and the military, just war theory, skepticism, and philosophy of science.
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