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This Week

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

Subscribe to receive "This Week" emails in your inbox here.  Leaders and members of affiliate groups, off-campus supporters, and other are welcome!

This Week: New Discussion Topics List, Skepticon 6, Carl Sagan Day

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New Discussion Topics List

It's good to plan ahead! We have an updated list of discussion topics for you to feature at future meetings. Use them to plan out your meetings for the next school term.

Discussion is essential to a good group dynamic - besides making the group interactive, it allows you to develop your ideas and blow off steam. On occasion you'll want to have a meeting devoted fully or partially to discussing a particular secular-related topic; these can be good introductions for potential members or curious outsiders.

Skepticon 6

Skepticon is one of the largest annual secular conferences and the largest in the midwest region with 1,500 attendees in 2012. The student-initiated conference's mission is to support, promote, and develop free-thought,  skeptic, and scientific communities through inclusive educational programming.

Skepticon takes place November 15-17. The conference is open to the public and is completely free to attend. If you are near Springfield, MO, you should consider going there. You can find more information about the conference, including speakers and schedule, on their website.

Carl Sagan Day

Carl Sagan Day is Nov. 9th! There have been many events put on by SSA affiliates to honor the world-renowned scientist. Sagan is famous for his Cosmos television series and many works contributing to our understanding of the universe. You could host a party (with apple pie) or watch one of his remixed autotuned videos.

New Leader?
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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 Drew Pruit on how to raise fast cash for your group.
Newest Affiliate
Secular Student Alliance at Brandeis
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Featured Service
Business Cards

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Featured Speaker
Frank Zindler

Mr. Zindler is the author of numerous articles and several books on atheism and related history, including The Jesus the Jews Never Knew shows that the ancient Jews never heard of Jesus of Nazareth (or even Nazareth itself). He is a member of several learned societies including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, New York Academy of Science, Society of Biblical Literature and the American Schools of Oriental Research.
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This Week: Last Day to Renew!, Freethought Poetry Contest Update, Group Photo Best Practices

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Last Day to Renew!

The deadline for the fall affiliation renewal is October 22nd! You have until the end of that day to fill out the form or you will no longer have the perks of being an affiliate of the SSA. If you like being affiliated with the SSA, you'll want to fill out a form right now! Check to see if you are on our outstanding affiliation renewals list and if so, please fill out an affiliation renewal form. For those of your who already filled out a form — congratulations! If you have not, do it now!

Freethought Poetry Contest Update

We announced the Freethought Poetry Contest several weeks ago. Unfortunately, not too many of you signed up. Dean and Dorea Schramm, the sponsors of the contest, released this statement:

The Freethought Poetry Contest has been cancelled due to lack of participation. The number of prizes exceeded the number of contest registrants by ten to one. Those groups who registered before the deadline will be given $100 dollar prizes and will not need to submit an entry.

Though the contest is no longer going on, Dean and Dorea have still expressed interest in working with SSA groups and their members. Remember their names and look out for other opportunities they may provide in the future!

Group Photo Best Practices

You know one of our favorite things here at the SSA? Group photos. We never have enough! We feature them in our newsletters, and share them on our face-tweets, and when people ask about what our students are doing, we can actually show them!

That's why Ellen Lundgren created this fantastic resource to provide a few pointers on student photography. Follow the five simple steps (coordination, framing, lighting, closeness and efficiency), and you'll be a pro! Your pictures will look great too!

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Secular Student Alliance at West Virginia University brought 3 different social justice groups together in response to a campus preacher and raised hundreds of dollars as a result. Good going secular students!

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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 Jesse Galef speaking about the dark arts of persuasion.
Newest Affiliate
The Secular Student Alliance at Chantilly High School
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Featured Service
Speakers Bureau

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Featured Speaker
Valerie Tarico

Valerie Tarico, author of Trusting Doubt, is a psychologist and former fundamentalist. Tarico writes regularly for the Huffington Post and ExChristian.net about psychology of religion and other topics of interest to nontheists. A recent series, God's Emotions, explores what happens if we apply cognitive science to the mind of God.
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This Week: Affiliation Renewal, T-Shirt Design Winner, Group Bank Account

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Affiliation Renewal

 

Have you filled out an affiliation renewal form yet? All of our affiliates need to have a form submitted by October 22nd, or they risk losing SSA affiliation and all of the services and resources that come with it!

The form should only take 10-15 minutes to fill out. It is tremendously valuable for us on the SSA staff and allows us to see how we can better serve you. If you aren't sure if your group is renewed yet, wait to see if you get a personal email from us in the next few days. Our Outstanding Affiliation Renewals list is not currently synched and is NOT giving accurate information currently!

T-Shirt Design Winner

We have a winner! Alise Isaksen managed to beat all the other submitted designs and her design will be available on all our newest t-shirts. The inspiration for the design is Bertrand Russell's cosmic teapot. The shirts will be available on the SSA Store soon.

As the winner, Alise will receive a free t-shirt, eternal credit for the design on our store along with a mystery prize. Congratulations again, Alise!

Group Bank Account

Get a group bank account! Seriously, it is an amazingly useful tool for most all groups to have. If you don't have a group bank account, your group can't receive a single cent from the SSA in the form of project grants, speakers bureau funding or anything else.

The SSA is also working on sharing its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status to affiliates. If you're an experienced group that moves a lot of money around, you can apply for the benefits through SSA. Contact us if you'd like more information on that.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Secular Student Alliance at the University of North Texas including Daniel, Kevin and William alongside Metroplex Atheists at the 2013 Dallas Gay Pride Parade.

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Brag It Up!
Tell us about the awesome stuff your group has done!
SSA Leaderspace

Boston University's Child Cognition Lab is conducting an experiment that compares how religious vs. non-religious adults think about nature. They are currently seeking non-religious participants. It's a fun online study that incorporates a lot of your understanding of the Theory of Evolution. There is a fun section about Darwin's finches too! It should take 40 minutes to complete.
Newest Affiliate
Troy University Secular Student Alliance
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Featured Service
Tabling Supplies

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Featured Speaker
David Tamayo

David Tamayo is president and founder of Hispanic American Freethinkers (HAFree), the only national Hispanic organization in the U.S. that promotes freethought, critical thinking skills, and secularism among the Latino communities in this country.
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This Week: Affiliation Renewal Launch, Secular Woman Membership, Be Secular

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Affiliation Renewal Launch!

Affiliation Renewal Logo

The Fall 2013 Affiliation Renewal has started now! Every affiliate group must fill out this form to renew their affiliation with the SSA every semester. If you don't fill out the form, your affiliation will be lost in just a couple of weeks!

We need each and every SSA affiliate group to renew, so lend us about 10 minutes of your time. Again, groups that don't renew will have their affiliate status revoked and you will lose access to all the services and resources we provide! Learn more, check outstanding groups, read the FAQ, complete the renewal form, and more at www.secularstudents.org/renewal.

Secular Woman Membership

The mission of Secular Woman is to amplify the voice, presence, and influence of non-religious women. The organization was created in 2012 and is a friend of the SSA.

Secular Woman is offering annual student memberships to all SSA affiliate students. Women, men, and genderqueer students are all welcome. Student membership is free to all SSA affiliates for a limited time, so don't miss your chance join now! Members may:

  1. Join their members-only Facebook group.
  2. Receive the Secular Woman e-newsletter.
  3. Apply for a Secular Woman conference grant.
  4. Submit articles for publication on our site.
  5. Be considered for the Speakers Bureau.
  6. Be considered for Member of the Year award.
  7. Become a part of amplifying the voice, presence, and influence of non-religious women.
Learn more about Secular Woman at their website.

Be Secular

Be Secular is a socially conscious business focused on building awareness and community between people of all worldviews who support Human Rights and the Separation of Church & State.

They sell various brand items on their website and give 50% of the proceeds to affiliated non-profits. SSA National is part of that group! So if you are ever interested in buying more secular swag, check out their SSA page or other affiliated non-profits and see what they have to offer.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Akron SSA representing the Secular Student Alliance as part of Dear World. This group is hosting the Sexy Secular Conference October 19th in Akron, OH, visit the website for more information. Attendance is free.

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 Richard Carrier speaking on 21st Century Logic and Critical Thinking.
Newest Affiliates:
Humanist Student Union


South Eugene High School Secular Student Alliance

Roseville Secular Student Alliance

Secular Law Student Society

Free State Atheist and Secularist Club

Coastal Humanists

Skeptics at Rochester Institute of Technology

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Featured Service
Email and Forwarding Service

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Featured Speaker
Sam Singleton

Sam Singleton is a fictional Atheist Evangelist character and comedian created by Roger Scott Jackson. He likes to point out that "unlike you" he has a creator. That's why he claims to identify with God. "We're both totally made up," he explains. Brother Sam, as his friends refer to him, considers himself inevitable. "Sooner or later somebody like me was bound to happen if families kept (messing) with their children's heads.
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