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Having An Event? Read This First! :: This Week

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We hope your group is planning at least one awesome event this year, whether that be a conference, hosting a speaker, or collaborating with another group to host an event. After the event, however, is a very important time. It’s greatly beneficial to have your members reflect on the event to build meaning and learn about the needs of individuals to better host future events. There are both pre and post-event exercises you can host for your group. Download the event reflection guide here.
Halloween is only four weeks away! This is a fantastic opportunity to get creative about promoting your secular group. Our Graveyard of the God packet is a way to show how many deities have ‘existed’ over time but cease to be worshiped. Some student groups like to do Graveyard of Great Minds instead, to focus on individuals throughout history who have contributed greatly to intellect. To ensure that you get your Graveyard of the Gods/Great Minds kit in time, you’ll want to order it now!
To keep getting access to things like tabling supplies and project grants, you will need to fill out an affiliation renewal twice a year. You’ll want to make sure you have things ready such as a roster of all members as well as any leadership updates documented. Start preparing now by reviewing the Affiliation Renewals FAQ.

Secular Student Alliance at Pasadena Community College!

"This is our second semester and we learned quite a few things from last semester about being open and present. Many students are aware that we exist and quite a few of them expressed gratitude that we have a group on campus."

Terri Smith

Pasadena City College held a tabling event during Clubs Week on their campus. They had many great conversations with believers and non-believers and made plans to collaborate with other campus groups. Terri stated that it was "very rewarding to receive positive feedback from almost everyone that approached the table". With hecklers, Terri said that the group handled them "calmly and with good humor". Great job SSA at PCC!

Last Call for Scholarship Applicants! :: This Week

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Last call to apply for our Student Activist Scholarships! We're giving away $15,000 to students like yourself for their outstanding activism and leadership. Tell us about your plans and what you've accomplished so far! Apply on or by September 30 to be considered!
We want to make sure your student members don't miss important information from us! In order to best promote your events, and for them to get word from SSA National, collect their name and e-mail address and send them to us! Members will receive a discount for our annual conference, eligibility for scholarships, project grants, and more! Submit your 2016-2017 roster here!
Ever see preachers on campus but are unsure what to do? One fun and creative thing to do is hold a Counter Protest! Your packet will include things like street preacher bingo sheets, stickers, and non-confrontational placards. Having a street preacher on campus is also a great way to reach out to other groups to co-host this, such as a women's rights or LGBT group. Request a Counter Protest Packet here for your group!

Secular Student Alliance at Jacksonville State University!

"SSA Con gave us great insight into using our campus to its fullest. Our confidence level is five notches higher because of SSA Con. The more activities we do, the more familiar people are with us. They won't be able to forget that secular individuals exist on campus."

Ben Williams

Secular Student Alliance at Jacksonville State University held a "Stone A Heathen" day. Unbeknown to them, a street preacher was already there when they went to set up! The preacher had signs depicting anti-pride with a list of sins, which in turn caused many Christian students to donate to SSA at JSU, saying that the preacher did not represent their version of Christianity. Ben Williams states that Stone A Heathen was a great opportunity to start productive controversial conversation. Fantastic job, SSA at Jacksonville State University!

Shape Our Future! :: This Week

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Want to help shape the future of SSA? Do you feel like you're well-informed or that you have a greater sense of purpose? Tell us about it, and encourage your group to do the same, in our quick five minute survey! Your feedback means the world to us as a student-driven organization!
"The Great Gatsby" and "The Catcher in the Rye" are classic books to read during school, but did you know they were banned at one point? Banned Books Week, September 27 to October 3, celebrates literature that has been censored at one point in time, or is being challenged today. Check out our fun activity ideas and more information on why we celebrate Banned Books Week! 
Group photos are one of the most important, and easy, things your group can do! Not only do they preserve the most awesome memories, but they also should be used for Brag It Up forms (so your group can win swag and be featured in national e-mails!) and we may share them on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! You can learn how to be a photo wizard here to help your group achieve this level of awesomeness!

Freethinkers, Atheists, and Agnostics of Mississippi State University!

"The best way to increase acceptance is to increase awareness! It's incredible to see how many people are appreciative of our mere outspoken presence on campus. We have previously had many difficult debates but we are starting to have more constructive conversations, interfaith alliance, and respect on campus."

Amanda Black

Each semester, Freethinkers, Atheists, and Agnostics at Mississippi State University holds an Ask An Atheist day. This year, they received more new member sign ups than ever before and even got support from people of different faiths. Amanda Black, current President of FAA at MSU, stated that "faculty, students, and Christians all thanked us for being on campus and providing diversity in a positive way". Several openly Christian students stated that they were excited that the secular students were being so open and seeking out answers for hard life questions. Other people asked sincere questions and expressed an interest in how secular individuals live their daily lives and view the world. The event was also a chance to get members to volunteer and do more outreach. Their tabling swag especially helped them make their presence on campus known! Amanda also stated that "it was nice to be respected and appreciated for being open and honest about who we are in our community". Beautiful job representing the secular community, FAA at MSU! 

 

We're Giving Away $14,000! :: This Week

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We are giving away $14,000 worth of scholarships to secular student activists like you! We have four scholarships worth $2,500 and four worth $1,000. Scholarships are open to any free student member of the SSA enrolled full-time in a college or university. SSA scholarships are intended to further empower current students to be secular activists during their academic and onto their professional career. Tell us your activist plans, ambitious goals, and/or compelling stories by September 30th for a chance to win!
Did you and your group do something awesome? Maybe you hosted a voter registration drive, had a successful and interactive Hug An Atheist event, recruited new members, or even got local news coverage during one of your events! No matter what cool thing your group did, let us know in a Brag It Up form! This is your chance to be featured in our e-mails, on our social media, and for you to win cool prizes like shirts and books! 
Have questions for other secular students? Want to share advice or tips to new leaders or members? Our new SSA Leadership Facebook is a great place to do that! Feel free to post questions, tips, stories, photos from events, and other SSA related material. Whether you're brand new or an experienced member - your input is important! 

​Our 2015 SSA Scholarship Winners!

"Being open with your activism and your experiences is how we learn from each other. Showing the world your bravery is not only empowering for you, but for everyone else who sees it. It’s no little thing."

Amber Barnhill

Our 2015 SSA Scholarship winners have been busy! All of them have used the winnings they received to not only make their lives better, but to further their educational and activist goals as well! Here's just a few of the stories from their year:

  • Buxi Iocobone testified in front of the Columbus City Council in support of an ordinance to strengthen harassment protections for abortion clinic workers and patients. Despite heavy pushback, including aggression and intimidation from regular clinic protesters, the ordinance passed unanimously!
  • Amber Barnhill has been tackling church/state violations with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, participated in #BlackLivesMatter protests, formed a chapter of Atheists Helping the Homeless in Southeast Texas, and spoke out about normalizing breastfeeding in public.
  • Matt Enloe has been involved with Law Students for Reproductive Justice, the Black Law Students Association, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs Student Advisory Council, and has joined the the Secular Student Alliance National Leadership Council.
  • Amanda Scott became an intern at the humanist lobby group Freethought Equality Fund PAC, as well as rallied outside of the Supreme Court in support of abortion rights and attended a House hearing on the First Amendment Defense Act in support of LGBTQ equality.
  • Candace Banks attended the National Black Speech Language and Hearing Association convention, organized a Queer Book Club in New Orleans, and participated in a #BlackLIvesMatter protest in Baton Rouge.
  • Kerri Dickey attended the Humanists of Sarasota Bay's Darwin Day as the recipient of their scholarship and is working towards joining the Recovering From Religion Hotline Project to offer the same kind of support to secular people that she's needed. What can you do with an extra $2,500 in a year?
  • Nicole Neibler was featured in the Women's Medical Fund newsletter as president of Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at UW Madison because they donated $500+ to help girls and women in need of monetary assistance to get abortions.

What can you do with an extra $2,500 this year?

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